At Siliguri’s Gomden’s Tea Bar & Retail, a author indulges in her love for tea.
A buying and selling centre for tea, Siliguri has drawn lovers of the beverage to the Himalayan foothills. Photo by: Sayan Misra/shutterstock
Lately, my morning tea ritual appears like this. I fill my infuser with a measured quantity of tea leaves—often masala chai and sometimes, inexperienced tea. Straying away from the common ginger tea with milk, I dip the leaves inside a cup of sizzling water and set the timer. The leaves increase in the infuser, and when my timer goes off, I sit down for breakfast with a refreshing brew. This new norm is the results of my go to to Gomden’s Tea Bar & Retail, a tea lounge in Siliguri.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Siliguri is a buying and selling centre for teas. A Google search of issues to do in this area doesn’t give room for an itinerary. However, my love for tea compels me to forego Darjeeling and discover this sleepy city for a day.
While strolling in the busy Salbhari market space, I probability upon Gomden’s Tea Bar & Retail. The interiors resemble a café, with one nook allotted to a large show of teas. There are barstools close to the counter, and I rapidly place myself there. With nobody else for firm, I flip to the “bartender.”
The bartender is Anant Gomden, the proprietor and proprietor of the tea lounge. As most bartenders go, Gomden is nice and pleasant, whereas being interested by my curiosity in tea. The 50 completely different sorts of tea from which I can select depart me stumped. However, Gomden is aware of his teas and simplifies the choices. Our dialog additionally turns into a lesson on the historical past of tea. Gomden explains that in contrast to fashionable notion, the British first launched tea in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra Valley and never Darjeeling.
Soon sufficient, a personal tea tasting session has been arrange with three completely different inexperienced teas—ginger mint lemon, honey lemon, and rhododendron. The rhododendron doesn’t flip vibrant purple like a few of the teas I’ve had earlier than. Gomden explains that the tea has actual flowers, with none added colouring. He additionally insists that I clear my palate with water earlier than I swap teas. Gomden stop his service as a fifth-generation tea property supervisor to start out this specialised bar in 2018. “The idea behind starting this bar was to familiarise people with good tea. Many try expensive teas, but they don’t brew it right,” he explains.
So, how do you brew a correct cup of tea? Precision, Gomden believes, has loads to do with it. For each cup of tea that Gomden presents, he measures precisely 2.5 grams of tea leaves that’s brewed in mineral water for a hard and fast period of time. I ask him about my favorite morning staple, masala chai.Unsurprisingly, he has a mix for that too. I catch a whiff of the heavy scent as he opens the bottle earlier than my eyes decide on the entire spices. “This is perfect for the milky chai that a lot of Indians drink,” he humours me.
With snacks being conspicuously absent in the menu, Gomden goals to centre the complete expertise at the eponymous café on tea with none distractions.
I returned with 5 tea blends, an infuser, and the information of appropriately brewing a cuppa—5 minutes for a cup of black tea, three for inexperienced.
Gomden’s Tea Bar & Retail is in Salbari, Siliguri. A cup of Tulsi inexperienced tea prices roughly Rs40 and a cup of Oolong tea prices Rs100.