“Depends on the mood and time of the day,” I replied, not thinking what question he will ask next.
“So what you feel like now? There are two famous tea stalls on the way to cinema, one serves awesome ginger and other cardamom tea, which one would you prefer?” Kiran said.
I (being me), not able to decide replied “The first stall which comes our way we’ll settle for that”.
And within 2 minutes here we were at “Sri Devi Bakery” in BTM Layout Bangalore.
The place was busy; there were few people in the queue to be served and some outside the tea stall having tea. Soon we were part of the tea drinking crowd with tea glass in our hands. The aroma of tea was distinct, the first sip was like a ginger-bomb in my mouth. The tea was spicy and full of flavor.
India is associated with street-side tea and coffee stalls. Choice of tea/coffee or both depends on which state you are in. Northern India has more tea lovers oppose to Southern states where the culture of filter coffee is more evident.
Having a tea or coffee is a social trend, and there is always an excuse to have one no matter what time of day it is. Some people also call it “Chai & Sutta” time means going for Tea and Smoke.
Tea is prepared differently in India. Tea leaves are boiled along with sugar and flavoring spices such as cardamom, ginger, cloves or mixed tea masala. The taste of the tea depends on what one adds, it could be one spice, a combination of two or everything. Once the liquid boils, the milk is added and boiled further for a few minutes, finally the tea is filtered and served. Usually the tea is served in the transparent glass called “Chai Glass”. Different regions have their own variations of the tea making process and serving style.
Likewise tea, coffee has its own brewing style. In South India coffee is prepared using special coffee maker made of metal (copper, brass or steel) and has two sections upper and lower. The ground coffee is added in the top section and pressed. The hot water is added and the coffee drips in the bottom section. The consistency, strength and thickness of the decoction depends on the type of the coffee beans and level of fine grinding. Sugar and boiled milk is added to the coffee decoction, and to make froth the method of ‘pulling’ is used. The hot coffee is poured between 2 containers several times and by performing this action a thick layer of froth on top appears. Traditionally the coffee in South India is served in the stainless steel tumbler and bowl referred as ‘davara tumbler’
I requested Kiran, if he could guide me to similar tea and coffee places, so that we can share this experience, and he happily agreed. Here are the few places we visited:
- Sri Devi Bakery: Ginger tea, can’t get any better than this place. On average, they sell around 2000 cups of tea a in a day. One can enjoy fresh baked items, snacks and biscuits which are baked at the bakeshop, with the tea.
- Disney Bakery: Best cardamom tea place, comes with a smokers garden and roof top access. It’s against the law to smoke in the public place. This place is gone step ahead to help “Chai & Sutta” patrons by providing a smoke garden. First cup or tea is served at 5:00am and the bakery remains open till 11:00pm, 7 days a week.
- Chai Point: Various types of teas, both hot and cold are served at the Chai Point. Selection of cakes, pastries and savory items are also available. Lemon tea is something which you don’t want to miss at this place.
- Adyar Ananda Bhawan or A2B: Chain of restaurants, A2B has branches all over Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andra Pradesh and Delhi, serves typical South Indian style coffee. The coffee was strong, buttery and creamy. This is due to milk, which keeps boiling and condensing.
- Hatti Kaapi: Hatti Kaapi has a few branches in the city. The Hatti Kaapi’s specialty is serving the filter coffee with Jaggery instead of sugar. Most of the produce they use is organic.
- Maiyas: Located diagonally across Hatti Kappi, Maiyas specialize in serving Karnataka style coffee. Milk is not cooked for long time, which makes coffee less creamy but stronger in flavor.
- Sri Devi Bakery – No. 25, 7th Main Rd, Mico Layout, BTM 2nd Stage, Bengaluru
- Disney Bakery – No. 01, 16th Main Rd, BTM 2nd Stage, Bengaluru
- Chai Point – 10th Main Rd, 4th Block, Jaya Nagar East, Jayanagar, Bengaluru
- Adyar Ananda Bhawan or A2B – No. 567, 38th Cross Road, 11th Main Road, Jayanagar, Bengaluru
- Hatti Kaapi – No. 126, 30th Cross, 7th Main Rd, 4th Block, Jayanagar, Bengaluru
- Maiyas – No. 459/30, 30th Cross, 7th Main Rd, 4th Block, Jayanagar, Bengaluru