Restaurant Review: Around The World In (Almost) 80 Teas At Tea Trails

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Move over all ‘ye olde coffee shop chains, for Mumbai’s beverage scene has gotten a much needed shot of something newer and more refreshing than boring old lattes and macchiatos! Well, how about sipping on a Japanese Sencha or detox with a calming brew of South African Rooibos tea? lemon grass teaEnter the concept of the tea lounge in the form of the well-stocked Tea Trails at BKC. As the first of many more to come Tea Trails tea lounges, this one is as refreshing to look at as its soothing libations on offer are to drink. Perched up on the third level of the lobby of the BKC’s The Capital Building, the bright and cheerful lounge may not be very large in size, but the huge glass windows give it an exaggerated sense of space. Elements like glass tea jars turned into overhanging lamps and posters with tea information and trivia make it a great place to sit back and relax over a nice warm cuppa. grean teaAnd the beauty of it is that one does not even have to be a serious tea aficionado to appreciate its magnificent selection of teas that it proudly offers. Take me for instance. A recent initiate into the fragrant new world of teas, I have been lapping up (pun intended!) every bit of information and trivia on tea that is known to mankind. So, when I was invited to check out this tea lounge that boasts of a whole smorgasbord of teas from around the world, I made sure to send in my RSVP double quick. Fruity teaOne of the first teas that I sipped on was the rather intense and full-bodied Lapsang Souchong from the Fujian province of China which is sure to hit the spot with any whiskey drinker with its similar bouquet of smoky flavours. Rich, dark and robust with a savoury mouth-feel, this is one tea for the serious tea drinker. Chasing it with a fruity Turkish Red Apple caffeine-free Tisane tea proved to be a nice change, as the perfumed waft of its dried apple bits filled the air. Another super fragrant tea (that I was assured, was all au natural) was the Jasmine Green from China, that was light, refreshing and very much more-ish. Happy to learn about Tea Trails' novel idea of tea-infused savoury dishes, I simply couldn’t resist ordering the Burmese Salad that was made up of shredded cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, split gram and roasted peanuts, all dressed with a sesame dressing to which Darjeeling Green Tea was added in addition to being scattered on the salad itself. Tasty and filling, the salad was the perfect antidote to the sweltering heat, though I would have liked a lime hit to the rather so-so dressing. Bursting with the initial hit of the Darjeeling Green Tea was the Penne Pasta in a tomato sauce with red and yellow bell peppers. Yummy al dente pasta in an interesting sauce made this one a real winner. I wish I could have said the same about the Pizza, wherein the green tea was completely overshadowed by the more showoff-ish basil and cheese that drowned all hints of tea in it. Sad. 1Back to my tea tasting, I felt let down with the Yerba Mate (pronounced maa-tay) a popular ‘tea’ from South America that isn’t even a tea in the true sense of the term. The mate leaves are members of the Holly family and are not a tea at all, but their taste is almost like a matured green tea with a decidedly bitter after taste. Not only was the one I tired wrongly served (see WHAT’S NOT below), but it was also very lightly brewed and not remotely bitter. This, I was told, was altered, because they don’t think that us Indians would like it bitter. My point is: then why have it on the menu at all!? Anyway, putting that aberration aside, I happily sipped on the wonderful Taiwanese Mango Bubble Tea that is nothing like the horrible bubble teas that I’ve tried before. This beauty is a delicately flavoured iced tea with light-as-air fruit juice globules standing in for the chewy, annoying tapioca pearls one usually has the misfortune of encountering in other bubble tea specimens. Served with an overly cumin-seasoned and outsourced, stale cheese straw, the delicious Kullad Special Chai was a treat with its black cardamom flavour and earthy taste, enhanced by the mud cup that it is served it. Worth every single one of those 70 rupees! So, if you like the double ‘Ts’—tea and travelling, let this other double ‘T’—Tea Trails take you on a vicarious journey around the world, with that perfect cup of tea for company… WHERE? 308 Sky Lobby, 3rd Floor. The Capital Building, Opposite ICICI Bank, BKC. Call, 022 40050115 HOW MUCH? Rs 450 for two with food (no alcohol served here) WHEN? 9am to 6pm WHAT'S HOT? The mindboggling variety of tea and the astonishingly reasonable prices make this lounge a sure shot winner. WHAT'S NOT? I wish they had paid more attention to the presentation of the international teas on offer, by serving them as they were meant to be. Like for example, a Yerba Mate has to always be served in a hollowed gourd called a cuia with a bomba or a metallic straw to maximise the taste and experience. Sadly, not here… SHOULD YOU GO THERE? Sure...why not? This review was done on the invitation of Tea Trails Pics courtesy: Tea Trails

Raul Dias

Raul Dias
Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.