So what does Argentinian football sensation Lionel Messi drink before a match? “A more potent version of what you are drinking,” says Kavita Mathur, pointing to the cup of the golden yellow liquid I was sipping from. The Yerba Mate, an Argentinian tea made from the ground leaves of the mate tree, is one among the 50 varieties of the beverage on offer at Tea Trails, the newly-opened gourmet tea lounge at Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex.
Co-founded by Mather, her husband Uday Mathur, Satish Narayan and Sajeev Potti, TeaTrails kicked off its journey at Thane’s Viviana Mall. The BKC outlet is the group’s third venture in the city, which is in an informal cafe format at the third floor of The Capital. While this would work well for those working in the building, it becomes restrictive for the common public as they have to go through a cumbersome entry procedure to find their way to the lounge.
As we walked in at lunch time on a weekday, the lounge was packed and we had to wait a while to find seats. A range of quirky facts and quotes about tea that line the walls of TeaTrails kept us occupied and we couldn’t stop admiring the striking mason jar lights that lend the space a distinct character. Altogether sunny, thanks to the glass walls, the ambience here is light and happy, with even a few sparrows flying around occasionally.
Apart from the Yerba Mate, we also tried the Vanilla Absolute from the flavoured blacks section and the caffeine-free mixed berry tisanes. Every tea is served on a tray that comes with a note indicating the steeping time and health benefits of the particular brew and a timer to clock the brewing process. This little tea ceremony was an interesting twist and something we looked out for each time we called for a tea. They also have a range of tea-infused dishes like tea-marbled eggs, Burmese green tea salad, a Thai curry bowl and even a tea-infused version of Dilli Ke Kulche Chole to choose from, other than the regular all-day eats. The highlight of the day was, however, the Taiwanese Mango Bubble Tea, with soft bubbles full of fresh fruit flavour that burst in your mouth. We called it a day over a piping hot kullad chai paired with bun maska.
Tea Trails is definitely a novel experience to the novice tea drinker, with a lot on offer in terms of tea and hordes of information provided by the ever-obliging staff. However, the food menu, especially the all-day one, is still in its nascent stages and would do with a bit of a revamp.
Getting there: 308, 3rd Floor, Sky Lobby, The Capital Building, Opposite ICICI Bank, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai; Call 022 40050115