Vantage point

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ten points for Cha Bar

Tucked away in a corner of the Oxford Bookstore near Churchgate is the 'Cha Bar'. As the name suggests, it is a tea bar, and serves around fifty different types of teas from all over the world. There are Assamese, Darjeeling, Neelgiri, Kashmiri, English, Japanese, Chinese...and many more.

The range available is diverse and rich and the method of serving tea is also equally imaginative and impeccable. Right from getting the masala or ginger chai "cutting style" in the conical glasses right off the streets of Mumbai to getting the Kashmiri Kaava in a quaint teapot with a traditional circular earless cup, the entire experience reflects the painstaking effort that has gone into conceptualising and presenting Cha Bar.

Most teas are served with milk and sugar, and are in teapots. The quantity is quite wholesome, and you can easily have 2-3 cups from a single order, the average price of which is around 40 rupees. It is thus extremely VFM as well, and when you take into account the proximity to books, it becomes an ideal location to spend many afternoons and evenings. There is something elegant about mixing your own cup of tea with just the right spot of milk and sugar and inhaling the unique aroma of each blend..

On almost every count, it scores over coffee shops such as Barista and CCD, and I hope the Cha Bar people have the initiative as well as the funding to open several such stores all over the country. It will reacquaint many urban Indians with their forgotten love - tea.