Tea And Sympathy
SOME FAMOUS CHA JOINTS
Dollyʼs is Kolkataʼs most famous tea shop situated in a corner of the Dakshinapan Shopping Centre in South Kolkata. Set up in 1987 by Dolly Roy ‒ the ﬁrst-ever woman tea taster of India ‒ the outlet, with a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, serves aﬀordable tea that customers swear by. It is a part of Royʼs mission to spread the goodness of Indiaʼs wonder beverage. Even today, she personally approves each tea served at the outlet.
Maharajʼs, set up over a decade ago on Sarat Bose Road, oﬀers tea in traditional mud pots along with staple delicacies that include jalebis, gulab-jamun and malpoa. It is also very popular for breakfast and oﬀers crisp kachoris ﬂavoured with asafoetida and a standard potato curry. The ʻspecial teaʼ has nothing really special about the tea leaves. What makes the diﬀerence is the preparation. No water goes into the brew as the tea leaves are boiled in milk with a touch of cardamom.
Known for their cupcakes and desserts, Mrs Magpie boasts of a decent selection of High Tea choices. The varieties include Darjeeling, Green, Assam, Earl Grey and Peppermint. If you like to indulge in a grand aﬀair, then the After Noon Tea makes for a good choice. It includes assorted mini frosted cupcakes, sandwiches, raisin scones and a pot of Darjeeling Tea. You can also order your tea with petit fours, assorted biscuits, loaf cake and a big pot of green tea.
Sharma Tea House in Bhowanipore is a mecca for those who like their beverage laced with saﬀron. The kesar chai is so popular that even visitors from outside the city ask for a sip of this elixir! Most tea addicts canʼt do without their kesar chai before facing their daily chores for the day.
Radhuʼs Tea and Snacks in the Lake Market area today lives oﬀ its illustrious reputation as the most famous traditional tea shack in town. If you live inits vicinity, you will surely enjoy some gossip over a cup of tea with your best buddies here. The ﬁsh cutlets can transport you to a magical utopia like the dreamy version of Willy Wonkaʼs chocolate factory! The black tea is just right for a chilly winter morning. And the potato chops disappear before you can say Jack Robinson. The joint boasts of fantastic clientele. Raj Kapoor began his acting career in Kolkata, aided with ﬁsh cutlets from Radhuʼs. And Bappi Lahiri, the musician, still remembers this tea and snack joint with great nostalgia.