03 August, 2021

Talk Of Taking Tea!

Tea lounges spiff up the ‘cutting’ a bit to keep up with upmarket tattling

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The Tea Villa Cafe in Versova
Photograph by Apoorva Salkade
Talk Of Taking Tea!
  • Chai Bars: Tea lounges or chai bars are offering up desi chai as well as a variety of fine teas and exotic blends
  • Quite A Hit: Most Indians prefer tea to coffee, so these chai bars are giving stiff competition to established cafe chains
  • Big Plans: Most of the tea lounge chains are Indian-owned. They are expanding in India and even seeking business abroad.


On an afternoon drenched by monsoon showers, opposite Dariya Mahal, last one standing of the original ‘Seven Bungalows’ of Ver­s­ova, youngsters are sipping, appropriately for the Mumbai-in-the-rain mood, hot, hot chai. Milky but well-brewed, it’s the special at Tea Villa Cafe. In the month since the cafe has opened, it has been running full house. On weekend nights, waiting time can go up to an hour. Des­pite up-and-running neighbours like Bru Cafe, Barista and Chaicoffi, the new chai bar seems to have found a cozy niche.

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