India is known for its diversity, food, and love for chai! Until a few years ago, the tea aka chai was more of a homemade cuisine or a refresher for office breaks from the nearby local stalls. But with the café culture rising in New Delhi, so is the admiration for tea cafes. A number of tea based cafes have risen and gained massive popularity at the same time. The Indian chai can be best tried on the roadside stalls, that’s surely my favorite. Though I’ll not recommend that to anyone not from India as the water used is mostly not treated. That said, I hereby present my favorite cafes where to relish different styles of tea or the routine Indian chai!
The most famous tea cafe in Delhi is indeed Chaayos serving the freshly made chai. Their signature Desi Chai is the routined home-made tea prepared fresh for every order and a must-try. If you’ve been wondering what is the fuss about the Indian chai, try their Desi Chai. The tea is served with numerous variants & a number of top-ups like cardamom & ginger are also available. Chaayos offer mouth-watering snacks to go with chai. Palak patta crispies, matar kulcha, and black chana chaat are some of the scrumptious ones. The eccentric yellow decor and the humble staff makes Chaayos a perfect pit stop during your Delhi tour. Also, their cycle based theme with wheels all around undeniably stands out. As we Indians love our tea in glasses, Chaayos incorporated the same through multi-coloured glasses as a part of their ambience.
Where? M-Block in Connaught Place.
Chai Point puts forward the tea cafe culture for the corporates. The Cafe with a theme of freshly brewed chai with natural flavours made their way in the market from Bangalore. Serving chai in various sizes including a cutting chai (half cup tea), Chai Point is easily spotted around a corporate hub. Indian chai is often enjoyed best with a snack and Chai Point offers India’s favourite Maggi along with other options. They offer sandwiches, vegetarian patties and Mumbai’s speciality vada pao. Chai point expanded their menu to beat the Indian summers & launched iced tea variants like – lemon, ginger lemon, cranberry and peach tea. The best part is that they’re also the biggest retailer of tea which means they deliver tea in the heat retaining flasks in under 20 minutes.
Where? N-Block in Connaught Place and Gurgaon Cyber City.
As locals in India love the roadside tea stalls, Tpot Cafe encompasses the concept and combines it with a cafe to bring out the best of both. Unfortunately, the cafe is often overshadowed by the counterparts including Chaayos & Chai point. Similar to Chaayos, Tpot serves freshly prepared tea with unique Indian breakfast including a masala parantha. With over 30 locations in Delhi NCR, they’re gaining a grip in the city. The cafe is easily found on metro stations, in posh neighbourhoods and around office complexes. The snacks range of Tpot ranges mainly from Delhi & Mumbai including a pao bhaji. I would recommend their fresh bread omelette and or Anda Bun (Egg Bun) for breakfast. Although they specialise in tea, they also serve delicious coffee & shakes.
Where? C-Block Malviya Nagar.
Cha is locally used to say chai in Punjabi, a regional language from Punjab in India. When I say Cha Bar, it easily translates to a tea cafe in Delhi. A cafe popular with the book nerds in the town because of its location inside the Oxford Book Store in Connaught Place. The white-washed café and varieties of tea from every corner of India is what makes Cha Bar exceptional. The menu of Cha Bar not only has regular Indian tea, but organic, decafs, diet teas, chinese, herbal, and premium rainbow teas. The menu of Cha Bar surely seems never-ending and overwhelming at first with the choices they provide, and we can’t blame them for it. Take some time to study their menu and choose your pick, it’s difficult to go wrong with Cha Bar. The whitewashed decor & the company of other book lovers make it a perfect place to sip & read alongside. I’d recommend trying out passionfruit iced tea.
Where? N-Block, Connaught Place.
Luring the locals with cuisines from all parts of the country, Cafe Lota is perfect for trying out unique tea(s). Apart from the unique regional Indian delicacies, the cafe serves Ambaadi tea originating from Maharashtra. The iced tea is prepared from hibiscus aka ambaadi, an edible plant. The refreshing tea is served fresh with mint and lemon to beat the Delhi’s unbearable heat. The cafe is situated in the premises of the National Crafts Museum, with Indian crafts decor and no air-conditioning, but an old-fashioned cooler. The Cafe Lota is a must-visit when travelling to Delhi.
Where? National Crafts Museum, Pragati Maidan.