Capital’s bustling tea cafes woo customers

Offer unique ambience with variety of tea blends to attract locals as well as foreigners

APP May 21, 2024


The twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have witnessed a burgeoning trend of tea cafes, drawing both locals and foreigners to indulge in the timeless tradition of a strong cup of tea.

As teal lovers are celebrating International Tea Day today, the cultural phenomenon is spreading across various localities, particularly in the federal capital, where numerous tea shops have become popular destinations.

Tea cafes have emerged as vibrant social hubs, catering to a diverse clientele. Among the most frequented spots are Quetta Royal Teas, Quetta Tea N Teas, English Tea House, Chai O'Clock, Chai Shai, Chai Mehfil, Chaaye Khana, Quetta Cafe, and Quetta Tea etcetera. Each of these establishments offers a unique ambience and a variety of tea blends, attracting tea lovers from all walks of life.

These tea cafes are not just popular among locals; they also attract a significant number of foreign visitors. The rich, aromatic flavours of traditional Pakistani teas, such as 'Karak Chai', have found fans among expatriates and tourists. The cafes provide a space where people can unwind, socialise, and experience the local tea culture.

Saudi Press Attache Dr Naif Al-Otaibi, in an interview, shared his fondness for these tea cafes. "Every weekend, I visit one of the tea cafes to enjoy the taste of 'Karak Chai'. The experience is always refreshing and reminds me of the rich cultural exchanges between our countries," he said. He said that tea was more than just a beverage; it was a cultural cornerstone. In many households, Dr Naif said that the day began with a steaming cup of tea, setting the tone for the hours ahead. "The tradition of tea spans generations, with recipes and rituals passed down through families. It serves as a symbol of hospitality, offered to guests as a gesture of warmth and welcome," he added.

In urban areas, the Saudi official said that tea houses and cafes were filled with people savouring a variety of blends, from classic black and green teas to trendy match and herbal infusions. Meanwhile, in rural communities, he said traditional methods of brewing tea continued to thrive, preserving the rich heritage associated with the drink.

Dr Naif was of the view that tea was also a significant contributor to the nation's economy as the tea industry supported millions of livelihoods, from small-scale farmers to large-scale producers. Beyond its cultural and economic importance, he emphasised that tea was celebrated for its numerous health benefits. Rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, Dr Naif said that tea was known to boost immunity, improve heart health, and aid in digestion. Health experts and enthusiasts shared insights and tips on maximizing these benefits, encouraging people to incorporate various types of tea into their daily routines, he added.

It is worth mentioning that today, people across the nation are coming together to celebrate International Tea Day on May 21, honouring the drink that holds a special place in the hearts of many. From bustling urban centres to quiet rural villages, tea remains a unifying element across all segments of society.

As International Tea Day is celebrated with enthusiasm across the nation, it is clear that tea holds a unique and cherished place in society. It transcends social and economic boundaries, bringing people together in a shared appreciation for this timeless beverage. Whether it's the comforting warmth of a morning cup or the refreshing break during a busy day, tea continues to be the drink that connects us all.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2024.


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