Review: Tea Trails, a New Tea Lounge in BKC

Tea drinking is not usually associated with young, hip urban professionals. It’s either relegated as an old person’s drink or, because of all the recent education on benefits of tea for digestion and antioxidants, as a health drink for women on diets. Tea Trails, a tea lounge recently opened in Bandra Kurla Complex, breaks this norm by creating a very gender neutral setting.

After tasting success in Thane, this is the second outpost of the tea lounge in the city. Committed to offering teas directly from source gardens, Tea Trails aims to understand the evolving tastes of the modern tea drinker, and has developed special varieties in collaboration with regional tea estates, co-owner Kavita Mathur tells us. But do the teas live up to expectations? Here’s what we thought.

Tea Trails BKC interiors

The Ambience

Tea Trails has an informal setting, with semi self service that seats 40 persons and cool, tea-related posters lining the walls. Free wi-fi access is also available to customers, so this is an ideal environment to work in peace. The tea lounge is about the whole experience that goes with drinking tea. All teas are served on separate trays with a teapot, a tea timer so that the tea is steeped (infused) as per your tastes and an instruction card with brewing information about the tea.

Tea Trails BKC

The Tea Selection

Tea Trails’ menu is vast enough for a tea lover to be content and clear enough for a beginner to experiment with his/her taste buds. The brews are divided into 10 categories—International, Classics, Flavoured Blacks, White, Greens, Tisane (caffeine-free), Oolong, Chai, Taiwanese Bubble Teas and Coolers. We decided to try some from each category.

We started off with the Chamomile Green tea (Rs 95), which is perfect for an after-meal drink or nightcap. The aroma, along with the flavour of chamomile, was very fresh and intoxicating—far superior than that offered by regular teabags.
Our next drink was a choice from their Tisane collection—the Turkish Red Apple Tisane (Rs 95) was a perfect blend of apple and cinnamon, tasting exactly like liquid apple pie. It’s the perfect dessert drink for a tea lover.

Tea Trails BKC tea

Next, we tried the Blueberry Mist (Rs 95) from the Flavoured Blacks section. It’s  fruitiness made for a refreshing change from the usual black tea.

But what really surprised us was the next tea we tried—The Lapsang Souchong (Rs 150) from the International category. It’s a Chinese tea, sometimes referred to as smoked tea. Lapsang is distinct from all other types of tea because its leaves are traditionally smoke-dried over pinewood fires, taking on a distinctive smoky flavour. It was uniquely refreshing in its taste and its aroma and perfect for the upcoming monsoons.

Tea Trails BKC bubble tea

After that came the Mango Bubble Tea (Rs 110). Traditionally from Taiwan, bubble teas are a blend of tapioca balls and tea base mixed with milk or fruit. The variation offered at Tea Trails is a fruit-flavoured tea base mixed with fruit balls. And while we were disappointed with the lack of tapioca balls, the mixture of the mango tea and mango fruit balls was delicious.
We ended our tasting session with the Chocolate Chai (Rs 60), which reminded us of a lighter version of hot chocolate and did not quite live up to our expectations.

The Food

Tea Trails BKC food

Tea Trails has done a great job in incorporating food with the tea experience. All the dishes in the breakfast and lunch sections are tea-infused, from the fruity pancakes and poha to pizza, biryani, chhole kulche and salads. We tried the green tea-infused Burmese Salad, which was both light and appetising.

With a reasonable price range starting at Rs 60 for a cup of chai to International teas priced at Rs 150 for a pot, Tea Trails has something to offer every kind of palate. We look forward to repeating the experience very soon.

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