There are many stories that unfold and friendships forged over a cup of tea. The tea culture in India provides a strong foundation for casual chats with complete strangers on your travels.
The Indian landscape is dotted with small tea shops across the nation – this one peculiarly does not have a regional flavour to it. It’s amazing how inhibitions are lost when you are offered a cup of tea by a local and how people in India take it upon themselves to guide and suggest you the ‘appropriate’ thing to do when you are passing through their city. So enjoy the warm hospitality mixed in a piping hot cup of tea while in India.
While social nuances are built on this affable beverage, surely the culture must have started with the widespread cultivation of the same. The neat rows of tea plants are spread across the country from Assam in the North East and the mild hills of Nilgiris. Many tea plantations are rapidly becoming travelling hubs due with great places to stay and charming landscapes attached to these. New favourites for travellers include Munnar, Nilgiris, Assam, parts of Nagaland, Siliguri, Darjeeling and Wayanad. You can also have tea tasting sessions with experts in these plantation factories.
Try a cup of tea from any of these places to understand the cultural diversity in India:
1. The mud ‘kulhads’ – Mud cups or ‘kulhads’ in the Indian trains used to be very famous. Bio degradable and clean, the taste of tea from these was truly inimitable. These cups are fast fading in the progress and advent of plastic, but still hold a heart warming charm to them.
2. Tea Lounges – The concept of tea lounges is not new in India. Many plantations had a section for tea tasting which have been expanded as lounges these days. Some of the better tea lounges can be found in the Nilgiris and even in cities. Try Tranquilitea and Infinitea both based out of Coonoor and Bangalore respectively.
3. The Narrow Streets of Varanasi – As much is the place famous for its ghats and spiritual connections, the tea shops of Varanasi make a common ground of hundreds of travellers meeting over a warm cup. Tea shop owners busy themselves with meter long pouring techniques as shops fill up with visitors in the mornings and evenings. This scenario can be found throughout India.
4. Cycle Walahs – If you head out in a city early in the morning, you can find tea cups being doled out in plenty by cycle vendors precariously balancing a huge container of tea and coffee by the side of the road.
Enjoy the variety of settings , tastes and company with each cup of tea that you encounter in India.
If you would like to visit India contact our reservations team who will be happy to help you with your plans.
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Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.