Lucknow a city of –Chai and chat

 “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy tea

and that’s kind of the same thing”

This line suits best for Lucknowites. Lucknow’s love for tea is one of its kind. Some only prefer a hot cup of tea, while some prefer their cup with samosa and some with bun-makkhan or bread pakoda. You can easily find a variety of things to accompany your cup of tea.

Being an intellectually and politically active city, a steaming glass of thick tea and a warm discussion is the most common view of almost all the tea shops in the city. The city is flooded with tea shops ranging from small roadside chai ka thela to normal chai ki dukan and even tea bars and café.

Shivam Joshi, a tea shop worker of Lucknow University’s LUMBA canteen said “there is no estimate of how many cups of tea we are making. Every morning we bring 60 litres of milk but it lasts for only a few hours than we have to order more milk depending upon the requirement. Students came here, sit and talk for hours drinking multiple cups of tea. A majority of the students prefer samosa with tea. I myself drink 10-15 cups of tea in a day.”

Ajay Singh, a university student said, “We usually have small breaks between classes and for that tea is the best companion. It’s economical as well as engaging.”

Jagjeet Singh Arora is a chai thela owner near Mayo Medical Centre behind Kendriya Vidyalaya in Gomti Nagar. He is there for past 13 years and his major business with tea is bread-pakora. He said, “my business is not only from the hospital but also from school.”

jagjeet singh arora with his thela
Jagjeet Singh Arora near Kendriya Vidyalaya Gomti Nagar

 

Puneet Rawat a middle-aged man who came to the tea shop early in the morning after his morning walk with his friend said “it gives a refreshing start to my day. ”

Kripa Shankar Pandey, another chai-thela owner near Seth M.R. Jaipuria School in Gomti Nagar said “I use nearly 50 litres of milk every day to make tea, and my main customers are students. If 20 percent is going for jeera or biscuit than 80 percent will go for samosa or pakodi with tea.”

kripa shankar pandey

Kripa Shankar Pandey near Jaipuria in Gomti Nagar

 

Piyush Tiwari a student said, “After an exhausting day, a cup of tea is what we all need to make us fresh and to give us energy. It’s our daily routine to have tea here. The chai time is the best part of my day; we can enjoy both the tea and the quality talks.

Graduate Chaiwala is another special chai thela owned by three brothers- Govind, Gopal and Madhav- who are jobless graduates, outside Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. They cannot get a decent job to run their house so they came up with a small business idea, as they cannot afford a large-scale one.The Sharma Tea Stall is a world famous tea shop of Lucknow,

The Sharma Tea Stall is the most famous tea shop of Lucknow, started by late Om Prakesh Sharma and now run by his sons- Deepak and Gopal. The shop is also one of Lucknow’s Heritage Arc. The average consumption of milk in the shop per day is around 80 litres. The shop also organises many social events and get-together. Jashn-e-itwar is one such meet where alumni of St. Francis School meet.

sharma tea stall
Sharma tea stall in Hazaratganj

 

It’s a favourite destination for celebrities as well. Himanshu Sharma, who has written scripts for Tanu weds Manu, its sequel and Ranjhanaa is a regular customer of the shop and visits the shop every time he visits the city.
Pande ji ki Chai ki dukan is another famous tea point near BBD at Faizabad Road, serving mirch pakoda along with tea. Not only students but for faculty, the tea shop is a great hangout point. It’s an escape from stress and work for both the students as well as the faculty.

pande ji from pande ji ki chai ki dukan
Pande ji from Pandeji ki Chai ki Dukan near BBD in Chinhat

 

The tea lovers of Lucknow are of all age groups. A college going youngster will be as much a fan of the chai as a middle-aged or older person. Gopal Sharma of Sharma Tea Stall said “I have not seen such a craze for tea in any other city like Lucknow, the love for tea for the

Gopal Sharma of Sharma Tea Stall said “I have not seen such a craze for tea in any other city like Lucknow, the love for tea for the lucknowites is a unique thing to see. My customers are of all age group. People belonging to Kalyan Singh’s age group to a very young child in his teen all come here to enjoy tea.”

Gopal Sharma of Sharma Tea Stall said “I have not seen such a craze for tea in any other city like Lucknow, the love for tea for the lucknowites is a unique thing to see. My customers are of all age group. People belonging to Kalyan Singh’s age group to a very young child in his teen all come here to enjoy tea.”sharma tea

Planters tea bar and café, in Aminabad is the first tea bar of Uttar Pradesh. It offers around 50 types of teas, in an affordable price range of Rs 35 to Rs 65. The various types of tea include white tea fruit tea and methi tea. White tea which is liquor priced around Rs12, 000 per kilogramme, is good for heart, knee and cancer along with teeth.

It’s one of the few cities where youngsters even go for a tea-date. Ayush Singh, a city youngster said: “I like going for a tea-date instead of going for a high-profile coffee-date because it suits my budget as well as I feel more connected to tea than coffee.”

So if you are planning to visit the city, don’t miss the tea.