We, at Kolkata, are crazy about tea and that’s no secret. Tea is like our DNA- the backbone of our morning or evening adda. From the “tin-foot cha” to the first flush from a specific tea garden, we love the drink. And I must say, in recent times, multiple damn good tea rooms have come up in the city. In most of the cases, the management knows their dip, is pretty crazy about the procurement and in general, serves a good cup. I run an IT company professionally and a large number of my clients have offices around the Dalhousie area and I’ve always felt the need for a good tea room/ cafe there. And then The Tea Room by Goodricke got opened (on 8th September 2019) inside The gigantic building of Tea board Of India and this story is on that hidden gem.
The first tea shop was established in England in 1657. But during the opium war in 1833, the British had a problem in tea import from China in India. And thus, they thought of harvesting tea in India. In 1823, Robert bruce first found and documented tea plant in Assam. And in 1837, The East India company started an organized tea plantation. In 1839, Assam company was formed with 3 London companies and 1 Kolkata company. But prince Dwarakanath Tagore formed another JT stock company called the Bengal tea association. And this company gradually was merged with the Assam tea company.
If you’ve been to the Dalhousie area, in all probability, you’ve seen the gigantic structure of The Tea Board Of India on the Brabourne road. Get in and go to the mezzanine floor. In case there is a problem in finding the place, ask at the reception for the Tea Room and you’ll be redirected. The wooden staircase comes straight out of a Raj Kapoor movie set and Kaboom- you’re transported to a quiet suave tea lounge at one of the busiest parts of the city- welcome to The Tea Room, Kolkata.
The interior is done quite tastefully, with lots of sunlight coming in via the long glass walls. And it’s definitely fun to be inside and watch the mad city run its daily chores just outside the window. All the tales are near the window and hence no issue with the view. There is an option of buying the tea and let me say, the range is quite impressive. The range of tea there, for consumption, is moderately priced (around 120-200/- for a cup) depending upon the variety and few food options are available as well. For a client meeting, discussion or just some me-time during a visit to the area, it’s pretty decent.
The Tea Room is open from Monday- Saturday 9 Am- 9 PM
The lounge is Goodricke teapot business vertical and managed by Denise Anthony. Denise is an Anglo-Indian lady with fantastic winemaking skills. If you are looking for some Anglo-Indian wine, she might be your go-to person in the city. However, she’s running this Tea Room and that too, quite efficiently. Tea is taken quite seriously here and it’s served in a British-styled manner in a white teapot with tea cozy and served in white old-fashioned teacups. I am not really a fine tea connoisseur, so Masala tea there works for me, much to the server’s surprise. But, let me confirm, the serving style is neat.
In 1840, the British brought around 300 Chinese tea workers from China to work in Kolkata. But the middlemen goofed up the whole thing and it didn’t really take off. After the Assam tea company, sergeant Dr Campbell started tea plantation in Darjeeling in 1841.
The food at the Tea Room is rather interesting there. It’s more towards the continental variety and the details are maintained pretty neatly. Over my multiple visits, I’ve really liked their Ham and cheese sandwich. The filling is pretty stuffed and finished with a perfect cut. I personally prefer a sandwich without loads of veggies and mayonnaise (like the American Subway styled ones) and this one is just that.
In fact, if someone is in a mood for a heavy meal, the chicken and Leek soup is definitely recommended. It’s a cream soup with small diced chicken and the aroma of the leek is pretty strong. The portion size is quite good and what is shown in the pic, is one soup divided into two portions. Overall, good stuff.
I keep going there and sometimes, I promise to try some other items and update this post here.
Overall, the Tea Room is a good place to soak in the ambiance. And for a tea lover, this place is heaven. On the flip side, the service is laid back and is not suggested, if you’re in a hurry. But then, who enjoys tea in a hurry?
Britishers used to distribute free tea from Boubacar and thanthania crossing, to increase the popularity of tea. Even they distributed a small packet of tea leaf costing 1 paisa to everybody. Love for tea for bongs started from the early 20th century. Swami Vivekananda, Kaji Nazrul Islam, and Rabindranath Tagore were the promoters. Rabindranath Tagore named his চা চক্র as চাক্র. In 1900, the first tea-related book was published by Amritalal Ghosh- চা প্রস্তুত শিক্ষা প্রণালী.
So, what are your favorite tea places? We’ve tried to showcase a few with our food Vlog on Youtube named Foodka and you can check it here.
Bon apetit !!!
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