The BC (before COVID) era is vastly different from recent times. We have reduced eating out and one reason for the same is, a reduction in disposable income. But even in this gloomy situation, this blog post is about a young entrepreneur and his journey of grit and determination- of his dream of serving fine tea from a roadside kiosk- Tripti Cafe.
Location and details
Let’s say you’re going from Rashbehari crossing towards the Tullygunge phari. Once you reach the Bhavani cinema hall, on your left side, you’ll find a Mio Amore outlet and one suave looking kiosk in front of it. Few well-uniformed youths will be managing it and once you reach that place, it’s Kolkata’s new sensation for best roadside tea- Tripti Cafe. Please don’t have any false hope, it’s not a swanky cafe. All said and done, it’s a kiosk. But once you have a look at the menu, you’ll be in for a surprise.
Bijoy sil is your friendly neighborhood young entrepreneur. His family runs an age-old tea-shop in the adjacent lane. So, one day, this boy has a challenge with his father to do something of his own. He finds out the gap in local demand and supply. Fancy tea is always served at a cafe, with a steep price tag. He wanted to go without the sho sha and started serving a good variety of team at reasonable pricing. And Tripti Cafe was born.
There is an interesting story behind the invention of tea. In 2737 BC, the Chinese emperor Shen nang made a rule that water has to be boiled before drinking. And someday, some tea leaf fell into his water while boiling. And voila, tea lliquor was born. The first tea shop was established in England in 1657. But tea came to India much later. 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, East India company started an organized tea plantation.
Though it’s a humble roadside kiosk, the arrangement of different elements is done pretty tastefully. Colorful tea cutting glasses, earthen kulhars, and even some brass metal pots to hold various ingredients- aesthetically, the place is a visual delight. Teas are not classified here, based on gardens- but rather on recipes. At Tripti Cafe, There is a lal cha (without milk and sugar), alongside the Chocolate tea- with a heady concoction of malai, tea liquor, and chocolate syrup.
In fact, apart from a tea, a good variety of coffee, milkshake, soda, and lassi is available here. A strict hygiene standard is maintened- hand gloves and skull caps are used by the stuff. Hand sanitizer along with a dispenser is kept for the customers, as well as the stuff
What to eat… errr – drink
Apart from the regular tea (with milk), I can recommend the chocolate tea here. If getting a heavy hot (or cold) tea-based mocktail is what you like, over the fine Darjeeling tea- definitely go for this one. Milk tea is mixed with thick milk malai- chocolate syrup is poured with a sprinkling of some choco chips and topped with a Biscuit- that’s the Chocolate tea here for you. And if you like it simple, please try the Malai Tea at Tripti Cafe. It’s milk tea with thick full cream malai- sinful, but damn tasty.
Warning: DO NOT visit this place for your sophisticated first flush or expensive Darjeeling tea. It’s the aam-janta tea here- with a twist
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 Assam tea company. In 1840, the British brought around 300 Chinese tea workers from China to work here. But the middlemen screwed up the whole thing and it didn’t click. After the Assam tea company, sergeant dr Campbell started tea plantation in Darjeeling in 1841.
The milkshakes are pretty heavy but good at Tripti Cafe. But for me, in this hot, sultry Kolkata summer, their Ice Pudina tea is he choice. Pudina Crush is used with tea liquor and ice cubes. The quantity is slightly less, but the taste makes up for it. And honestly, I am spoilt for getting an extremely value-for-money product range at Tripti Cafe. But that’s just me. Would some crushed ice, instead of those ice cubes, be better? Maybe …..
My personal take
In today’s cafe scene, where we find people opening up a swanky cafe without checking the ROI (return on investment), I find this model quite good. Low capital involvement and good return- value for money proposition for common men. Probably, the crowd gathered at this place, justifies my point. Do visit this place and meet the proprietor Bijoy Sil (@9831213131 / 7003235087) to check out his story. Do let me know your feedback in the comments section. And if you want a visual of the place, check the Foodka episode below.
Bon Appetit !!!
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