Himalayaan Tea House is a compact, sweet-smelling tea lounge that’s cropped up in one of Calangute’s bylanes. With 30 different types of teas on offer (between Kashmiri kahwa and strawberry and basil), they’re doing some pretty innovative hot and cold brews. There’s also a tea store and a tasting room in the making upstairs.
Less than a month-old, this tea cafe is lucky to be cocooned in one of the quieter lanes. Soon as you enter, you’re treated to a warm, welcoming vibe, complete with its cosy interiors and the lingering fragrance of tea leaves.
Arti, the tea geek who runs the show here, grew up in Dehradun and tea isn’t just a habit but an ‘emotion’ for her. She’ll suggest you stay true to chai’s original character and stick to the hot brews. So we gave in and tried cinnamon and calming teas, both very different in their properties and aroma but equally compelling. We decided to also give the strawberry and fresh basil and lavender-lemon iced teas a shot and boy, we were blown. We realised that none of that peach/lemon iced teas we were used to will ever come close to these.
Every day, Arti promises to have two special teas of the day that will be unique (she had a bullet proof KETO chai when we went, what?!). And because no chai is complete without snacks, she has a menu with homely sandwiches, pakoras, bun maska and a certain something called cinnamon sticks which had us in sweet heaven. In fact, right from the tea to the cakes, every little thing will leave you feeling homesick and nostalgic.
Truth be told, everything about this place screams heartfelt – there’s a wall dedicated to memorabilia from Tibet. Arti tells us it’s to show solidarity towards all her friends from the region. In keeping with the theme, she even has a 'wall of love' with tiny flags where you’re free to scribble notes for your beloved or your fave cuppa.
April 1–4, the tea lounge has planned a full-fledged tea festival where you can walk in and try any of the 40 teas. Obviously, we can’t wait to drown ourselves in that cloud of intoxicating incense and sip the famous marigold chai Arti has on offer.