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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chatting Over a Cup of Tea


Have you ever seen the flower blossom in a tea cup? I hadn’t. Never before!

But yes! This is the moment not to be missed. I had an opportunity to experience this last week at a famous tea house ‘Infinitea’ at Bangalore.

The meaning of tea changes in accordance to its context. Chai-pani is the bribe people give to make their life easier, to avoid long queues and get the work done in a jiffy. Tea-party is the gathering of friends where there is less tea but more oily snacks, where people hold discussions and deals are made. Tea for me is just a chai, a must-have morning cup of tea with milk, sugar and tea-leaves. I may choose to have it at odd times if I am in mood or not have it at all. So when we entered the tea house and was asked if I wanted to have tea, my immediate response was ‘No’

But I soon realized that this was no ordinary tea house when I saw the waiter place the cups, the tea pots, the strainer, and the sand-timer in front of us.



I started to study the menu card. Infinitea peddles a variety of exotic teas like Stupa, White tea, Silver Blossom, Dragon Pearl, Rosette, there was variety that ranged from oolong, black tea, green tea, and herbal, exotic, fruity tea. How do people decide what they want?

It was difficult for my friends to decide too and all of them climb down the stairs from the mezzanine floor where we were sitting, to get the first hand knowledge of what they would like to taste, then came back gleaming, ear-to-ear, pleased at being able to choose the one that was most suitable to their palate.

While we waited for the tea, I looked around. There were posters everywhere. If you have forgotten to carry a book, fear not, there was enough literature and amazing posters adorning the walls that professed that sensitivitea, serendipitea, sensualitea are all linked to tea.



The order arrived, the glass pots with warm water were placed in front of us. He put tea-leaves of different flavors in each pot and allowed it to brew right in front of us as he turned the sand timer over.  Variety of flavors included vanilla milk oolong, Elixir, Enigma and most interesting of all was a black tea bud. This was the most fascinating of all. We watched the bud blossom in warm water, growing in size each second, unfolding a pink flower.


Naturally, I was curious to taste it.

Poured a sip from each pot, one by one tasted the different flavor of different fragrance and loved it.

Infinitea was launched in Bangalore with an aim to offer what is known as the “Champagne of teas” for Indian consumers. This was the first tea-shop to be set up anywhere in the world. The Infinitea logo promises ‘from leaf to cup’ which really means straight from the grower, fresh from the garden to your cup with no middle man. You get Darjeeling tea manufactured in First Flush (April) by June the same year.



Beside great variety of tea, the place offers exotic snacks too. A good two hours were spent leisurely, sipping tea, dinning and then deserts


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On our way out, some of them bought tea leaves to take back home.

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