As the monsoons enter Mumbai slowly our visits to the nearest chai tapri double up. Shirin Mehrotra goes beyond the regular cutting and finds out what more do Mumbai cafes have for the tea lovers.
“I say let the whole world go to hell, but I should always have my tea,” Fyodor Dostoyevsky aptly quoted my sentiment in his novel Notes From Underground; the first glimpse of cloudy weather and all I can think of is a hot cuppa tea with cinnamon and tulsi. While I love my daily dose of masala chai I don’t mind indulging in the more exotic flavours once in a while. Here’s a list of recommendations that should be your cup-of-tea this season.
Hot Buttered Apple Tea @ Tea Centre
The cosy little tea house near Churchgate Station serves some of the best teas in Mumbai. Their popular one is the hot buttered apple tea which has a subtle cinnamon flavour and is served with slivers of apple.
Price: Rs. 110
Kahwa @ Poush
The only Kashmiri restaurant in Mumbai serves this lovely drink from the beautiful valleys. An aromatic blend of green tea leaves, cinnamon, saffron and cardamom; kahwa or kehwa is a traditional Kashmiri drink and is served after Wazwan (a lavish Kashmiri meal). The drink is known for its digestive qualities and helps you stay warm.
Price: Rs. 50
Sulemani @ Prithvi Café
There cannot be a single soul who sat at the Café in Prithvi Theatre and didn’t order the legendary Sulemani chai. The tulsi flavoured lemon tea works as a brain stimulator for the artists sitting there and working on their new play, book or movie. Order a cup and you might just get hit by a life altering idea.
Price: Rs. 30
Chamomile Peach Tea @ The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
The café which is more famous for its coffees, has some interesting variety of tea on its menu. Try out the chamomile peach tea which is a blend of green tea and chamomile flower with an addition of peach. While you sip-on the hot tea, the Nariman Point outlet will also give you a lovely view of the rain outside.
Price: Rs. 100
Purple Rose @ Cha Bar
The tea bar in Churchgate has the most extensive chai menu and is reasonably priced. From masala chai to herbal and Darjeeling to premium teas, everything is served here. Out of all the wonderful blends Purple Rose is a must try which is a first flush Darjeeling with currants, elderberries and a subtle flavour of rose. The café is located inside the Oxford Book Store and lets you sit for hours on end with a pot of tea and a book.
Price: Rs. 80
So next time you crave for a hot cup of flavoured tea, toh huzoor, sirf wah Taj mat boliye!