By Sampurnaa Dutta
As chilly mornings turn into cozy days, what could be better than indulging yourself in a good book and a warm cup of tea? If that’s the mood you are currently in, step into The Tea Story and let the refreshing aromas of exotic teas tantalize your olfactory senses.
For me and my fiancé, the hunt for a new place to hang out in is always on. Uzan Bazaar happens to be the go-to destination for all the cool places in town. After a little bit of research on one recent afternoon, we found ourselves at The Tea Story.
The Tea Story is housed in a 127 year old building – one that bears testimony to the numerous stories lived by its inhabitants through its century old existence. It has been renovated to keep its old school charm intact. The British looking furniture combined with the blue walls make up the perfect ambience to indulge in a cup full of aromatic tea.
As we flipped through the menu to pick a flavor each, we were spoilt for choices. Apple Pie, Zesty Orange, Peppermint, Mango Green, Kashmiri Kahwa – you name it and they have it! The Tea Story is home to 53 varieties of tea! If the names aren’t enticing enough, the young and dynamic owner of the bistro, Deba Pratim Das, will brief you on each of these flavors and let you smell the ones you like. My way out of this pleasant confusion is to try each one of those flavors, one at a time.
The Tea Story has a story of its own. Its enterprising owner has a degree in International Hospitality from the prestigious Edinburgh Napier University. When the time came to make a choice between going back to the United States to rejoin his lucrative job and staying back in the city to start his own venture, he chose the latter. To ensure that the viability of his start up, he conducted a survey among 7000 residents of the city covering all age groups and concluded that a place of this kind was found wanting. It was in June 2016 when he started blending the tea and the research and development that went into the setting up of the bistro happened over a period of one and a half years.
His intention behind starting The Tea Story is to offer people the idea and experience of tea, which according to him, is the most relatable beverage owing to its universal character. Everyone has a story to share over a cup of tea, and his bistro seeks precisely to do that. Over the next few weeks, he plans to introduce open mic days. He also has an empty space in the ground floor that he would be happy to let any creative soul – be it a painter, writer, actor or musician use as their playground to hone their creativity.
Deba hasn’t gone all out in promoting his bistro on social media because he wants his product to be the USP and believes that the right people will find him. His targeted clients are those who have a fetish for tea and would appreciate the same. And he gives you ample opportunities to appreciate him. Any variety of tea that you order is served on your table in less than ten minutes and your food will be ready in no more than fifteen.
If tea isn’t all that you are looking for, The Tea Story will also gratify your sweet cravings. The Tea Story in collaboration with Cake Cottage by Ruhi Borooah offers some of the best desserts in town. From brownies to cup cakes to honey spiced rum cakes to chocolate caramel cakes – Ruhi, who happens to be one of Guwahati’s most loved bakers, adds her magical touch to them and send them off to The Tea Story. As you enter the bistro you will be greeted by an amazing display of tempting desserts that you will inevitably indulge yourself in. Deba and Ruhi are childhood friends and their collaboration is a perfect opportunity for two young professionals specialized in their own fields to join hands and launch an exciting business venture. In a candid conversation with Deba, he fondly thanks Ruhi for supporting him throughout the setting up of his bistro and for regularly checking in on him.
So the next time you are looking to spend a warm lazy afternoon with a friend, think The Tea Story. It’s not every day that freshly brewed tea from around the world is served on your table in a century old building. Who knows, you might just begin a new story at The Tea Story!
(The author sincerely thanks Spandan Bharadwaj and Shaunak Bordoloi for their support in writing this article)
Photo Credit: Shaunak Bordoloi.
(The writer is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Science and Technology Meghalaya. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)