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Around the world in a teacup

Masala chai may be your comfort cup in the rains, but why not try exotic green, blue, red and black teas that take your senses on a flavourful trip?

india Updated: Jul 07, 2012 16:26 IST
Bhairavi Jhaveri

Who moved my

chai

? And served it without milk or sugar? Maybe it’s the colonial high-tea hangover or the antioxidant health benefits of Chinese green tea, but whatever it may be, tea-drinking in Mumbai has changed multi-fold in the past few years.



This monsoon, watch the rain with the most dream-like tea flavours.



In the first of a two part series, we introduce you to some of the most exotic and finest quality of teas available at city cafés and restaurants. Plus, we bring you brewing tips and interesting

chai

recipes. Enjoy!



http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/edstoryimg/green-tea2.gif Where:

Taj Mahal Palace & Tower


Taste of:

The Himalayan region


The Sea Lounge high-tea menu is currently serving a splendid Darjeeling First Flush with 15 teas that have been brought in only days after the first harvest.



What’s brewing?


Tukdah, Arya, Castleton, Okayti and Margaret’s Hope are five varieties rarely seen in the city on First Flush menus. They range from extremely robust to buttery teas. If you like your tea strong, the Tukdah is the most concentrated. It is grown in the Kanchenjunga mountains. The snow lends the Tukdah a peachy flavour. Margaret’s Hope and Arya are good post-meal teas. Our personal favourites are Castleton and Okayti, with fruity and vegetal flavours. The tea here is served with a timer to brew the tea at three levels — light, medium and dark — depending on your taste.



Price:

Rs 425 (plus taxes) per tea pot


Call:

6665 3518



Where:

Yauatcha


Taste of:

China


Dimsum and tea house Yauatcha is one of the only places in the city to serve blue teas. It is a type of Oolong. All teas are hand-rolled, lending a fresh characteristic taste.



What’s brewing?


Anxi Tie Kuan Yin is a blue roasted tea that exudes a soft, sweetish taste, with a natural fragrance. The tea is pale yellow. High Mountain Oolong is a blue tea with darkish green curls, grown in the Taiwanese mountains at 1,000 to 1,200 feet above sea level. To release the oils, it’s rolled and dried repeatedly, giving it a woody taste and fruity aromas.



Price:

Rs 250 per cup to Rs 600 per tea pot


Call:

2644 8888



Where:

Suzette


Taste of:

France


Journey through France in a teacup at the French creperie, Suzette. Sourced from one of the oldest family-owned tea houses in Paris, Mariage Fréres, the tea house’s blends use flowers and fruits of different regions.



What’s brewing?

The Marco Polo is a flavoured black tea infused with Chinese and Tibetan flowers and fruits. It’s velvety, chocolate-y, aromatic and the most popular tea at Suzette. The Vert Provence is a flavoured green tea and is a complete explosion of flavours — lavender, rosemary, redberries and blackberries. Mariage Fréres has tried to recreate the magic of the French Riviera in a teacup, replete with plants, flowers and fruits with heady scents.



Price:

Rs 140 for a cup


Call:

2641 1431 / 2288 0055



Where:

The Yoga House


Taste of:

Sri Lanka


The tea menu here includes a very healthy and medicinal selection of chais, green teas and white teas.



What’s brewing?

Broken Orange Pekoe is a type of orange pekoe tea grown in Sri Lanka and India. The Yoga House imports their orange pekoe from Sri Lanka. This black tea has a robust flavour that’s offset by a slightly sweet aftertaste. The brewed tea is amber in colour, and the flavours remind you of the typical Indian chai. It’s the perfect breakfast tea.



Price:

Rs 100 per tea cup


Call:

6554 5001



Where:

Trattoria


Taste of:

South Africa


These red tea infusions are part of Trattoria’s special monsoon menu. The shrub or the flower that the teas are infused with are red in colour.



What’s brewing?

The Rosehip Hibiscus is a floral green tea infusion and, on preparation, produces a baby pink colour. The fruit of the rose flower, rosehip, lends the colour. The taste is strong, fruity and tangy. The Roobios Straw Honey is an infusion of one of the finest red teas in the world, Roobios, a flowering shrub that grows in South Africa. It’s a distinct taste with a fruity aroma — a burst of strawberry sweetness and a hint of honey.



Price:

Rs 250 for a cup


Call:

6665 0808

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