Well, tea is the latest cool thing in the foodie world. Where coffee was once considered to be a hip beverage, tea is now the flavor of the season. Hyderabad has seen a growth in the number of upscale tea places in the past couple of years. And given the cosmopolitan nature of the city’s demographic, tea is now the ‘in’ thing.
One of the latest cafes to serve exotic tea is Finjaan Cafe on Road No 7, Banjara Hills, which is right next to the Irani consulate. While the founders have been serving tea to Hyderabadis for the past 100 years under the name Ispahani Company, at Finjaan, an oofy tea brand that branched out of Ispahani, one has to go through an elaborate sensory experience. It all begins with selecting the tea based on its aroma. Then the tea is presented in a glass filter kettle. After a few seconds, the aroma changes, and it is invigorating. Then it’s time for you to sip your tea.
Finjaan serves 50 varieties of exotic teas. Along with the tea, people get the opportunity to experience a tea ceremony on a Chinese tea table which is an exclusive experience in itself. Of course, there is a good selection of snacks to indulge in, but the owners feel their customers love the ambiance the most, of course barring the tea.
The owner of the chic space happens to be Taya Taiyebi, who also runs a 100-year-old pharmacy in the old city. The family’s passion for tea led to the opening of a small tea store in Tolichowki in 2005. Not surprisingly, the family drinks 8-10 cups of tea every day.
The story goes that their grandfather went to Kolkata and brought back 30 kgs of tea that he sold in Hyderabad. That’s how Ispahani happened. Then his father and uncle thought of Finjaan Teas, which the family has been promoting for a few decades now.
Taya Taiyebi is pretty clear that there is no secret recipe. While he says all varieties are a unique and personal choice, Jasmine Pearl and Blooming Tea are among his favorites. Taya says both teas bloom once they are put in hot water. Then, of course, there is Herbal Relief Tea which tastes not only great but also prevents allergic reactions.