7 Tea Parlours in Mumbai every chai lover must visit!

We Indians love our cup of tea! Right from our steaming cup of tea to kick-start our day to hot tea and pakoras that we relish during the monsoons to bonding with the family over a cup of evening tea- this beverage means a lot to us and is a way of life. With the proliferation of the coffee culture and a Starbucks to a Di Bella opening up at almost every block, I had always wondered why there aren’t enough tea lounges given our tea culture. But now things are changing and with a slew of chai parlours opening up, I went tea lounge hopping and here are some of my picks!

Taj Mahal Tea House: This ink-blue bungalow dotting the busy Bandra street with its homely touch will make you forget that you’re in the bustling city of Mumbai! Welcome to Taj Mahal Tea House where time stands still and you’re bound to be swept away by its charming ambience and the colonial furniture. Head to the alcove and curl up on the arm chair with a book, complete the unfinished game of chess or just relax on the patio and catch up with friends! This tea parlour is a breath of fresh air amidst the commercial and chaotic coffee chains where you’ll constantly have someone hovering around you waiting for you to leave.  Try their wide variety of milky teas ranging from Karipatta Delight (spicy and strong) to Kashmiri Saffron (warm and earthy). Or opt for the non-milky variants, Misty Oolong- a light tea with fruity and floral flavours or the Jasmine Pearls. The mains with a tea influence (read Darjeeling tea infused risotto) are best avoided. The high tea platter with them scones and tarts doesn’t do justice to the premium charged. Instead have the light bites like the Idli burger or the shortbread cookies. On your way out you can pick up some tea or some lovely tea crockery.  Visit this place for its warm vibe!

Where? 36-A, Ground Floor, Sonatan Pereira Bungalow, St. John Baptist Road,Reclamation, Bandra West.

Damages? Rs. 1200 for two people

 

Tea Trails: This newly opened South Bombay outlet in the bylanes of Fort is like a portkey to another country. The sunny yellow and white walls and the ambience is that of a European cafe. The menu is great with a lot of tea inspired dishes. The tea infused pancakes with fruit compote, honey and tea jelly are so fluffy and irresistible. The Olive and Green tea bruschetta is a great blend of flavours with the olive and green tea tapenade. We tried the South African tea, a nice fiery red with a nutty flavour. Kudos to this place for offering such a wide variety ranging from the classic chai to green tea to tisanes to the Taiwanese bubble tea.

Where? View the list of all outlets

Damages? Rs 600 for two people

 

The XVII Tea Room: Walking into the XVII tea room is like walking into a well-done up drawing room of a house for high-tea; plush purple chairs, an ornate chandelier, a vibrant mural on the wall et al. However, the high-tea notion doesn’t exactly translate into reality. There’s no fancy china or teapots and no scones 😦 But there is a wide array of teas to choose from. The Green Rose tea is mellow and smooth. The Strawberry Basil tea with its fruity flavour and a subtle hint of basil is refreshing. The Spiced Guava tea as the name suggests is spicy and bold. All teas are accompanied by biscotti in shot glasses. In the light bites, the options are limited and vegetarian. The chilly cheese toast as the description suggests comes with a generous amount of cheddar and the jalapenos add a nice zing to the dish. If you’re a dark chocolate fan, the icing on the cake is the decadent dark chocolate mousse with the berry balsamic sauce. What is pleasantly surprising about this charming cafe in Bandra is that it’s quite pocket-friendly. (I can’t remember the last time I used Bandra, charming cafe & pocket-friendly in the same sentence).

Where? Shop no. 1, Darvesh Royale, Perry Road, Opposite Kotak Mahindra Bank, Pali Hill, Bandra West.

Damages? Rs. 500 for two people

 

Chaayos: Visit this place for its desi chai experience. This no frills tea chain is what the founders claim a contemporary interpretation of the ‘chai adda’. So if you’re the type who finds the entire high-tea concept pretentious, and you’re more of the chai pe charcha person, this place is for you! Here it’s all about making your perfect cup of chai. Choose from the 12 add-ons like adrak, tulsi, cinnamon to name a few; decide if you want your chai kadak or irani style! Their claim is that Chaayos offers over 12,000 ways to make chai! If you’re not in the mood to customize,  and go over the several permutations and combinations, straight up, go for their kullad chai- it is bliss in a cup, (actually a clay pot) very soothing and soulful!

Where? View the list of all outlets

Damages? Rs. 400 for two people

 

Tea Villa Cafe: It started out with a solitary outlet in Vile Parle East and has now spread its wings to Versova and Bandra and has also gone through a revamp. The revised menu is quite extensive and in my opinion is trying to be too many things at the same time (Dimsums + Sizzlers + Mexican + Italian is a bit much); straying away from its core which is tea. The tea menu is elaborate and rightly so, ranging with premium teas priced at Rs 995 a cup to the regular blends at Rs 75 a cup. You can choose your tea by going through the wide array of tea blends in tiny glass test tubes. We tried the Sushi Green Tea which has a distinct nutty flavour because of the rice kernels blended with green tea. The Oriental Sencha is refreshing with its floral and summery aroma. What I loved about this place was different teas matched to sun signs and splattered across the walls of the tea parlour. Capricorn was recommended a Himalayan tea 🙂

Where? View the list of all outlets

Damages? Rs. 1000 for two people

 

The Tea Place by Manjushree: Pristine white walls and victorian furniture greet you as you walk into this really nicely done up tea parlour. With the exquisite Noritake china and the perfect tea timer, the teas here are slightly steeply priced. I tried an oolong and a black tea. The Lavender Oolong tea is subtle with a distinct and soothing lavender aroma. The Blue Mountain tea is a full-bodied tea with a floral flavour. Visit this place if you’re looking for a very English high tea experience.

Where? Ground Floor, Jewel Arcade, Waterfield Road, Bandra Talao, Bandra West.

Damages? Rs 800 for two people

 

Tea Centre: Last but not the least is the iconic Tea Centre. Its old world charm and the Calcutta cafe vibe is a refreshing break from the city commotion. The service is slow and it may take an incessant ringing of the bell on your table for your order to arrive, but there’s something about the place that keeps drawing me back. Maybe it’s the calming effect the place has on me amidst all the chaos and madness. After a long day at work, a heart to heart talk with a friend over a cup of hot apple butter tea is all it takes to make things right. It’s currently shut for renovation and I can’t wait for it to reopen.

Where? 78, Resham Bhavan, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate.

Damages? Rs. 500 for two people

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Which of these tea parolours is your favourite? Also, feel free to add to the list in the comments section. I would love to try them out!

PS: All the reviews for this post have been done anonymously

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Pradeep S Vedula says:

    Lovely writing Sunami.

    Like

    1. Sunami says:

      Thanks Pradeep 🙂 Are you a chai fan? If yes, then you must check out one of these the next time you’re in Mumbai 🙂

      Like

  2. Not a chai fan but would love to accompany you here 🙂

    Like

    1. Sunami says:

      Yup! I think you’ll like Taj Mahal House and Tea Trails 🙂

      Like

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