Every cup of tea that we have in India is an experience in itself. Right from our home made ‘masala chai’ to speciality tea; we are quite passionate about our so called “national drink”. Though our morning and evening tea time are usually followed like a religion but still most of us are ready for tea anywhere anytime.
So, if you are around Delhi – NCR and wish to relax and enjoy a special brew in this part of the world; here’s a quick list of some of the best tea bars. They’re all different but have one thing in common – from classic to luxury every cup of tea offers a unique experience.
Classic flavours in a luxurious style
The Atrium, the Imperial:
If you are in the heart of Delhi and are looking for a perfect cup of tea then you definitely should go to Imperial’s Tea lounge- The Atrium for the traditional afternoon tea. Glass-domed ceiling with sunny indoor conjure the feel of a tropical garden. Atrium is a place where opulence and old-world charm are a plenty. This tea boutique serves 28 different varieties of teas which include herb teas as well like jasmine, chamomile, green and mint amongst others. The variety of delicacies such as the hot buttered scones, home-made jams, cakes, little sandwiches filled with cucumber or salmon are delicious. Their efficient service amplifies the pleasure of luxurious high tea. My favourites among the tea include: Darjeeling, Makaibari Silver Tips, Kashmiri Kawa, Assam golden tips and of course the Masala tea. In the food selection I really enjoyed the English-style crustless sandwiches (cucumber and mint, carrot and cheese, mango chutney and Emmentaler cheese), fruit tarts and mini scones with cream and jam.
- Average spends: Rs 1000 to 2000 per person.
- Where: The Imperial, Janpath Lane, Connaught Place, New Delhi, India.
- Travel Samosa recommends: Makaibari Silver Tips and Kashmiri Kawa along with crustless sandwiches and mini scones with cream and jam.
- What else? The Imperial was once the centre of British Empire social and political life, the place where Mahatma Gandhi and Jahwaharlal Nehru met Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, to negotiate India’s partition and independence. Till date it remains one of the world’s great classic hotels, with every detail reminding the days of the Raj.
The Tea lounge, Taj Palace:
The Tea Lounge of the Taj Palace Hotel is straight out from a novel. Set in traditional Viennese style with exquisite tones of browns, beige and white; this place is literally synonymous to the word classy. Sophisticated decor, high-ceiling, beautiful paintings on the sides and sometimes live performances on the beautiful piano makes this luxurious tea drinking experience quite royal and unforgettable.
They offer an exhaustive array of fine single estate coffee’s and designer’s teas. Right from the must have Darjeeling, to Assam and to the aromatic Nilgiris, the menu lures the tea lovers with options of organic tea brewed to Ayurvedic specifications, teas from Sikkim’s sole tea estate, green teas from Japan and Vietnam, smoky Chinese black teas, and grassy Egyptian Chamomile. The sumptuous selection of savouries such as the salmon sandwiches, scones and herb pies, chicken jalapeño quiche and many more have been crafted carefully to complement the enriching flavours of tea offered by the Tea Lounge.
- Average spends: Rs 1000 to 2000 per person.
- Where: Taj Palace, Lobby Level, Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
- Travel Samosa recommends: Rajamallya( Nilgiri tea) and Chinese black tea are quite nice. I absolutely loved the chicken jalapeño quiche.
- What else? The Tea Lounge of the Taj Palace Hotel offers outdoor seating as well. So, if you wish to enjoy the property view then you could choose to sit outside.
Mister Chai, Shangri-La:
Mister Chai is a recent addition to the luxury experience of tea drinking in Delhi. Opened just few weeks back in Shangri-La hotel, Mister Chai has a consortium of authentic aromas. From traditional varieties such as the Kawha, Masala Chai and Irani, to the local tea, this place is infused with smells of ginger and cardamom that would take you down the memory lane of tastes provided by the original tea hawkers. The food selection is inspired from the streets of India such as the Vada Pao, Samosa, Cheese Melts, Falafel, Nachos, Sev Puri, Bun Maska and more.
- Average spends: Rs. 1000 to 2000 per person.
- Where: The Shangri-La hotel, Lobby Level, 19 Ashoka Road, Connaught Place, New Delhi, India.
- Travel Samosa recommends: Masala chai, Irani chai, Sev puri and Vada pao.
- What else? Have tried several varieties and they have always left me impressed.
Elma’s Bakery, Cakes and Tea Room:
Going again with the combination of wide variety of Tea and British inspired decor, The Elma’s Bakery, Cakes and Tea Room is yet another place that takes you on a Victorian journey. A big ivory white piano, vintage tea cups, classic music, vintage telephone and similar decor props definitely leaves you wanting to spend more time may be book reading or creative thinking at the Elma’s Bakery, Cakes and Tea Room. Their range of brews includes herbal infusions of jasmine and rose, and organic black teas in addition to the traditional stuff. Their food varieties include freshly baked breads, scones, pastries and puffs.
- Average spends: Rs 1000 per person.
- Where: 31 Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi
- Travel Samosa recommends: kali zulph (black tea) and nilgiri frost, toasted croissants and jacket potatoes, smoked salmon finger sandwich,
- What else? They have moved to a new address and now they have a seating of approximately 40 people.
Enjoy your favorite cup of tea at the places mentioned above. If you have another favourite, feel free to share it with Travel Samosa.