We have all had different kinds of teas, haven’t we? However, this one threw me off the chair. I spent two decades in this city and had never tasted this one. This time, luckily I did. This tea costs five bucks. Has lemon, honey and a spice powder that makes it almost taste like Hajmola. It is very addictive and I used to have two at a go. It is a version of what the Bengalis call laal chai and what the Odias call naali cha, meaning the same, red tea. That is, tea without milk.
The shop is an Omfed outlet, the Mother Dairy of Bhubaneswar, behind Kesari talkies. Though these outlets are named after the milk company and may have sold milk sometime, now they are all tea and snack shops and basically, addas. This shop also had the best nimki in town. Small, thin and crumbled at the touch of teeth.
I wonder if East India is more tea obsessed, that’s why we have many more and brilliant dedicated tea shops in the east. In Delhi, a tea shop would just sell tea, cigarettes and Haldiram namkeens.