“If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you and if you are excited, it will calm you”.
– British politician William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898)
Whether it’s spine-chilling winters, pouring monsoons or humid summers, tea lovers can’t live without their hot cuppa. Gone are the days when most tea drinkers preferred to have tea either at home or at a local tea shop. Just like elite coffee houses, tea cafes too are increasing in numbers, all thanks to people who are obsessed with tea. So here’s a list of the 8 best cafes around the world where you can sip your favourite afternoon tea!
1. Tea Centre, Mumbai
Known for its quiet ambience and colonial charm, the Tea Centre, established in 1953, is one of the oldest cafes in Mumbai. It has on its menu, tea varieties spanning from traditional Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiris to exotic ones like Buttered Apple, Kashmiri Kahwas, iced teas, Blood Orange and Banana Caramel Tea.
Must-try: Hot Buttered Apple Tea
2. Tea & Sympathy, New York
One of the great places for afternoon tea in New York, are the quintessential British themed rooms of Tea & Sympathy. You can select either Tea & Sympathy’s blends or one of the thirty branded teas on offer. Enjoy your tea with cakes, finger sandwiches and scones with jam and clotted cream.
Location: Greenwich Village
Must-try: Loose Teas
3. Tea and Tattle, London
A pocket-friendly cafe, Tea and Tattle is located below the 100 years old Arthur Probsthain bookshop. Known for its loose leaf tea blends, served in bone china cups, it offers a classic combination of afternoon tea and scones with clotted cream and jam. You can choose from a variety of fresh leaf tea ranging from Ceylon, Assam, Darjeeling and Jasmine to Oolong, Peppermint and Lapsang.
Location: 41 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3PE (opposite the British Museum)
Must-try: Earl Grey Tea and Darjeeling Tea
4. Cha Bar, Kolkata
Beautifully located on the first floor of the Oxford bookstore, Cha Bar offers an amazing one-of-its-kind experience where book lovers can enjoy tea while reading their favourite books. It serves an array of teas from the traditional masala chai to experimental fusion teas to sweet dessert teas.
Location: 17, Oxford Book Store, Park Street
Must-try: Ayurvedic teas & bollywood ‘masala mix’ cha
5. Infinitea, Bangalore
Started in 2003 by Gaurav Saria, the owner of four tea estates in West Bengal, Infinitea is extremely popular among tea fanatics. It boasts of having over 150 tea varieties from all around the world, from exquisite ones like Pearls of the Mountain and Peony Rosette to Oolong teas like Spring Specialty First Flush and Red Thunder.
Location: Cunningham Road
Must-try: Japanese Green Tea
6. The Chaai, Pune
Here, you can choose from white, black, green, oolong, herbal and rooibos teas along with other beverages like cold drinks and coffee. The Organic Houjicha , a Japanese green tea and the White Monkey Tea are highly recommended for those who like their tea light and without milk.
Location: Deccan Gymkhana
Must-try: Spicy Chai with strong flavours
7. Aoyama Flower Market Tea House, Tokyo
As the name suggests, the Aoyama Flower Market Tea House combines a florist with a tea house. Lavishly decorated with fresh flowers of the season, it’s a dream cafe for every tea lover. Located at a 5-minute walking distance from Omotesando Station (metro subway station), it offers a wide selection of tea ranging from herbal and dry herbal to special seasonal teas.
Must-try: Seasonal Teas
8. T’Pot Cafe, Delhi
It serves around 50 different varieties of tea ranging from desi chai, Hibiscus tea, fruit tea and Darjeeling organic tea to white tea.
Location: Malviya Nagar
Must-try: Masala tea served in a kulhad
Toh ek cup chai ho jaye?