The Great Indian Chai Experience - The tea shop in Kumartuli, Kolkata


It was a hot and humid day and we had spent the entire morning exploring the streets of Kumartuli, photographing the artisans working on highly elaborate idols of Ma Durga. By the end of it we were tired and despite the heat, in dire need of tea. Right opposite the lane where artisans work, there's a tea stall. Since it was hot, we thought we would share a cup. But then we saw the utensils in which the tea was being served. 


They were tiny earthen pots, called bhaar, that could probably hold just over a quarter cup of tea. We fell in love with them immediately and asked the tea-seller where we could purchase such pots. He said he could pack some for us, but later realized that he didn't have any box or paper to pack it such that they would safely reach Delhi. So we had to let go.


The quantity of tea was perfect for us. And it was pretty reasonable too. It was just 3 rs for one bhaar. So we bought two and sipped on it in leisure. The tea itself was good, though slightly too milky for my taste. It wasn't too sweet, just as I like it. However, I did miss the masalas. A little cardamom would have been nice.

Nevertheless, it refreshed us and what we really enjoyed was watching the tea-seller demonstrate his tea pouring skills and also our interaction with children around the shop. One-by-one they came and posed for us. Loved the experience. 


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