Awadh’s Chai Connect


Over the years many things have changed in the city of Lucknow but the city’s craze for tea has not changed a wee bit. Be it Sharma’s tea or the typical Kashmiri tea there are many favourites that one can boast of. A city which has now become a modern getaway for all things 21st century, a hot cuppa is something that beckons all generations to this day.

If some like a piping hot  cup of tea on a Awadhi morning there are those who still go in for a steaming cuppa with samosas, bun-makkhan or bread pakoda. There are typical flavours which are quite a rage. Some of them being lemon tea, masala tea, elaichi flavoured tea among others.

An intellectually rich and politically active Lucknow has always been a breeding ground of debate and discourse and people are often found arguing key topics over a cup of tea. From the chai ka thela to the the chai ki dukan  the chai guzzler is everywhere.

Lucknow University canteen estimates say 60 litres of milk come in everyday and by the end of the day, people miss the real headcount.

Tea in Lucknow for some quite interestingly is the agenda . For three youngsters Govind, Gopal and Madhav, tea is now a bread winning tactic. They have been widely written about for the now famous Graduate Chaiwala thela, outside Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Turning towards launching this unique venture happened when they failed to get their desired job after having their degrees.

In Lucknow, there’s a special chai that goes by the name of ‘khade chammach wali chai’. Like the name it’s a cup of tea wherein a spoon can stand still in the center without any additional support. The chai is supposedly a variant of the famous Irani chai from Hyderabad.

On the other hand Sharma Tea Stall is a ‘world famous’ tea shop of Lucknow. It was started by the late Om Prakesh Sharma and is now run by his sons, Deepak, and Gopal. Himanshu Sharma, script writer of Tanu Weds Manu, its sequel, and Ranjhanaa, is a regular customer.

From college-going youngsters, middle-aged bhaiyyas and old uncles tea in Lucknow is for all to cherish. In Lucknow do not get surprised if you find people going for tea dates.

Tea is meanwhile taking people places in the city of Lucknow where people are now taking up serving tea as a business. Taking the art of serving tea to a new level an exclusive tea bar is offering connoisseurs a place to enjoy tea in 40 varieties both hot and cold.

The Planters Tea Bar and Cafe set up in Aminabad aims to spruce up the desi brew with their own mix and match flavours. In 1961 this firm was officially registered as one of the first tea retailers in Lucknow

Narendra Modi and his chai pe charcha campaign has been well recorded during the campaign of the saffron giant in 2014. His background as tea vendor has been publicized greatly. It is no surprise that as UP gears up for a high pitched contest for 2017, the man leading the pack in UP, Keshav Prasad Maurya, he himself was a tea seller.

47 year old Maurya who replaced Laxmikant Bajpai as the president of the BJP in India’s most populous state sold tea in his youth at his father’s stall in their village.


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