Amidst the fast-paced life that is inextricably tied to Mumbai, I truly miss Namma Bengaluru’s laid-back vibes. I am swept over by a wave of nostalgia when I think of the city’s beautiful weather and infinite microbreweries but what I yearn for most is the city’s freezing winter and the comfort of snuggling under a blanket with easy access to a continuous supply of hot tea.
When I think of tea, I am transported back to a quaint little tea stall on one of the bustling roads of Thippasandra. Back in 2007 when Mr. Daniel (the owner) had just opened his ‘kutti’ shop, there was such a buzz about this chaiwallah who was serving over 100 varieties of tea. I vividly recall running off after school, under the pretext of attending tuition, to visit the now infamous ‘Sharon Tea Stall’. From Tulsi to Kashmiri Kahwa tea, the variety of chai on offer was staggering. As people queued up for their cup of tea, I overheard a college kid chatting up a tea fanatic, both of them in agreement that Mr. Daniel’s tea was the best in the city. After waiting in line, I reached the counter and placed my order, “Ondu peppermint tea kodi” (“Please give me one peppermint tea”). A sip of the freshly-brewed tea and I was in love - the heady aromas and taste still linger in my memory. Just thinking about Sharon’s tea makes my mouth water and my heart melt.
Having become every Bangalorean’s favourite tea stall over the last 10 years, it comes as no surprise that it is now a ‘must visit’ spot for tourists and locals alike. Mr. Daniel has expanded his humble tea stall to two other branches, one in Indiranagar and the other in Domlur. On expansion, he said, “I would constantly pray to God that he should keep the customers coming in,” Mr. Daniel added that his chummy attitude also contributed to the success of his enterprise. Open from the early hours of 7 in the morning to 10 at night, Sharon Tea Stall caters to the working class and college crowd as they pick up chai to-go or just hang around while they make conversation with friends. Now that Mr. Daniel has more space, he has added a food menu as well that includes nibbles like Maggi, a local variety of cookies and savoury samosas. Although all his teas are tea-rrific, I would especially recommend the ginger chai and black pepper tea. If you’re in the mood to experiment, try one of the fruitier flavours (like peach or pineapple) or the indulgent chocolate tea. Ranging between INR 8 to INR 25, all the brews at Sharon Tea Stall are super affordable.
As I envy those who continue to thrive in the warmth and love that the tiny tea room imparts, I wonder if they dunk their cookies in tea or just take a bite after every sip. As for me, I revel in the smaller things in life. Every time I take a sip of tea here in Mumbai, I am reminded of Sharon Tea Stall and all that it stands for - laughter, conversations and home.
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