Coimbatore or Kovai – one of the main cities of Tamil Nadu, India. It is like a second home to me. I had spent three years here completing my Under Graduate degree. Recently I had the opportunity to visit the city again and see it from a blogger’s perspective.
With two days on hand and equipped with a mobile phone camera, a used up journal, my best friend Siji’s company (who is fluent in Tamil) and lovely weather. We picked two main streets of the city to scout for tea. The result was a memorable, as I call it ‘Tea Walk’ with my best friend, translator (I have never been able to quite master Tamil and always end up speaking a mix of Malayalam and Tamil) and confidant. We visited tons of tea places and I have shortlisted six unique tea-stops @Coimbatore that we got to experience. If Coimbatore happens to be on your travel plan and you need a tea guide then you are at the right spot.
“Tea is best enjoyed with good company.”
Siji and I go a long way. She is an ardent food lover who enjoys experimenting in her kitchen and blogs about it. She’s not someone who sticks by a recipe. She enjoys creating her own dishes through a marriage of flavors, aromatic spices, and skill. Despite being 8 months pregnant with her first child she was a sport for joining me on my tea walk. Thank you so much for making this so memorable for me! 🙂
I did not set out on the walk with a purpose of solely sipping on tea from fancy cafes. I wished to experience street side stalls and meet the people behind each delicious cup of tea. Hence some of the tea shops listed below are in a basic street side setting. I find a tremendous amount of beauty in the walls, counter tops and even the utensils that display years of tea making.
Six Unique Tea-stops @Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
1. Aavin Paal Kadai
Location: Gem Hospital, Ramnathpuram
The Tea stall owner has an independent business and they exclusively use ‘Aavin’ Milk. There are many such tea stalls all over Coimbatore, which go by the same name. It is like having a Lipton signboard outside a teashop where they exclusively use Lipton Teabags.
This Kadai was our favorite of all the Aavin Paal Kadai’s we visited. ‘Anna’ swiftly made our order of two strong teas and a light tea. The taste was spot on and they make over 2800 cups of tea a day.
He started by preparing the tea decoction. Pulling the decoction between two different vessels in nice long pulls. The decoction is a method of extraction by boiling of dissolved chemicals from the tea leaves (Wiki). Steam was rising from the vessels where milk with and without sugar was being boiled separately. The decoction is added to the tea glass followed by milk and an extra swish of decoction on top for strong tea. ‘Pramadham!’
2. Yes Yes (Tea, Coffee, Snacks & Cool Drinks)
Location: Race Course Road, Next to CSI All Souls Church
Owned by a soft-spoken Keralite from Palakkad who has been settled in Coimbatore for 20 years. People walked in and out of the shop with their tea. Some chatting on their phones, others gazing at the busy roads while sipping on their tea.
They had a variety of teas like masala tea, cardamom tea, ginger and lemon to name a few. At this shop tea preparation is slightly different. They have their special tea mixes which are pre-made and are simply added to the milk based on orders. We loved our cup of tea here!
Location: 12/1, Saraswathi Bagh, Thomas Park, Race Course, Coimbatore
Owned by Chef Gautham, L’Stanza is an elegant restaurant can serve as a great spot for a lazy evening with friends or a peaceful place to zone out.
A good list of pot teas, as well as iced teas, graced the menu. We decided to try out the Golden Tip and Nilgiri Black Tea. A charming interior and calm atmosphere set the perfect tone for tea tasting. The freshly prepared bread and pastries are growing in popularity in the region.
If street side stalls are not to your liking this cozy restaurant in a quiet corner of Race Corner would be ideal for you.
4. Veera Kaapi Bar
Location: E Ponnurangam Road, R.S. Puram, Coimbatore
A little teashop with a specialty. A tree right in the middle of the shop. Beautiful Coimbatore!
Owned by Mr. Sugumaran (pictured Left) from Thanjavur, this tea shop has been in existence for eight years. Ginger tea is one of their specials. Prepared using freshly crushed ginger and cardamom, this tea had the right amount of spice.
The shop was buzzing with activity as orders were being placed, tea being brewed and packaged, and money exchanged as I tried to capture the tea making process. Some customers gave large size flasks which are then filled with steaming hot tea. Plastic bags are also used to pack tea depending on orders. The ginger tea and Kumbakonam degree coffee are a must have here.
5. Eternitea Lounge
Location: TV Samy Road East, R.S. Puram, Coimbatore
Eternitea is an award winning tea brand boasting a variety of specialty teas. They provided an informative menu providing useful information about the health benefits and origin of each of their teas.
Silvertip and raspberry tea accompanied with homemade cookies. The buttery homemade cookies were definitely a bonus.
The staff members were really kind and the ambiance was very warm and peaceful. Good quality tea to relax and appreciate.
6. Cha Republic
Location: Food Court, Brookfields Mall
Bubble tea has always been a weakness for me. A tall cup of Pearl milk tea is something I find very hard to refuse. And Coimbatore has its own bubble tea spot. At Cha Republic all the drinks come with boba (Soft chewy tapioca pearls) – in a variety of flavors ranging from fruit to coffee. I tried the Hong Kong Milk Tea. It tasted a lot like authentic Pearl Milk Tea. The server added a special tea powder imported from Hong Kong to a condensed milk base and prepared this blend . Each drink can have a customized topping like mango, strawberry, passion fruit, grape, coconut and color jellies. This is a great place to experiment with different flavors and create a custom tea of your own.
I had a memorable time with my best friend tasting teas and watching tea makers at work. Hope this serves as a guide to all you tea lovers new to Coimbatore.