Here’s Where You Should Go For A Comforting Cup Of Chai

Aditi posted on 25 July

It’s not just the soulmate of the samosa. A good, proper chai can conquer gloomy days and mighty kingdoms. There is no consensus on what makes for perfect chai, but we find that these Delhi-NCR establishments dedicate themselves to the art and craft of a perfect hot brew.

Chaayos

What we like is that someone asked us exactly how we’d like our cup. With Meri Wali Chai, choose the core ingredient or mix and match – their menu allows for over 12,000 combinations of tea! You can even make it kadak or paani kum if you like to err on the side of caution. They offer a ‘Hangover Brunch’ option, which is chai and its faithful rusk, a sandwich and a side, for only INR 189. Their more innovative offerings include Aam Panna Chai, Hari Mirchi Ki Chai and God’s Own Tea.

Price: Single cup starts at INR 42

Cafes

C-14, SDA Market, Opp. IIT Delhi Main Gate, Hauz Khas, New Delhi

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Tea Trunk

A tea ninja went training in Sri Lanka to learn about the perfect leaf from a Japanese tea master. All this worldly wisdom can be found in the handpicked whole leaf teas in the cute little tin trunks from this superb online shop. We love the fact that the infusions are made with all-natural ingredients and that there’s no trace of lingering dust or doubt about the tea’s goodness.

Price: 100gm tins start at INR 350

Mittal Teas

Originally started in 1954, this tea shop was one of the first to sell leaf tea in India, and has grown in repute and fondness over the years. Run by a family of tea tasters and lecturers, this store houses teas from all over the world, including China, Japan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Nepal. Walk away from here with a selection of teas, and tea ware, including strainers and timers, to make sure your equipment is worthy of your cup, and of course, a potful of knowledge.

Price: 100gm packs start at INR 200

Juice & Milkshake Shops

27, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi

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T'Pot Cafe

This cafe, that first came to Malviya Nagar and is now open in Connaught Place as well, is the perfect place to take a little break from driving. They serve a variety of teas including Oolong, fruit tea and even chocolate tea, but their specialty remains the masala chai, served in lovely little kullars.

Contact: 011 41420516 {Malviya Nagar}, +91 8882447722 {Connaught Place}

Cafes

C-5, Main Market, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi

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Cha Bar

If you’ve ever suffered a moment where you had the perfect cup of tea but nothing to read, you’ll be grateful for Cha Bar, set in the midst of Oxford Bookstore. The teapot wall is a beautiful display of tea traditions from around the world, and works as a perfect canvas to gaze at curiously while others around you are pretty sure you’re deep in thought. Hmm, clever.

Price: Single cup of tea starts at INR 80

Cafes

N-81, Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place, New Delhi

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San Cha Tea Boutique

If you’re buying your tea from San Cha, you’re probably drinking the same cup of chai that the top cats around the world do. That’s because the PMO trusts San Cha to curate and blend the best tasting teas sold at auctions in East India; in fact, one of their blends is called President’s Tea. The family behind San Cha is discerning enough to segregate Darjeeling teas into three distinct categories, basis the season they were picked in.

Visit them for a rather elegant tea-sipping experience. Read more about them here.

Price: 100gm packs start at INR 150, and goes up to INR 1,600. Tea tastings and tea sessions are free; no purchase necessary

Food Stores

DLF Cross Point Mall, 209-A, Hamilton Court Road, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon

The Tea Place by Manjushree

We like a lady with a mission. Manjushree’s seems to be serving just the right cup of tea. Starting with the Ginger Honey Black Tea, traipsing through the Nepalese Orthodox Ilam Tea {which comes from rainier terrain and soil}, and going right up to the provincial specialties of Chinese mountain teas, it’s a whole new world. The choice of cookies, scones and cakes only enhances our tea journey.

Price: Single cup of tea starts at INR 165

Cafes

8, Ground Floor, MGF Metropolitan Mall, Saket, New Delhi

Regalia Tea House aka Asia Tea House

This one’s just a heads up – if you go looking for the famous Regalia Tea House, you’re likely to turn up against its new avatar, which goes by Asia Tea House. Luckily though, they still do what they do best – curate the best teas that have been serving Sunder Nagar and beyond for ages.