Many cafés are frequented on my journeys throughout the world. However, one teeny little café in particular really summed up the essence of my love of travel and tea.
Teapot lies in the heart of Fort Kochi in Kerala, India. Located on Peter Celli Street, Teapot is a cosy and fresh teahouse giving its guests a succinct food menu and extensive Indian tea list to please and nourish many travellers in transit. With its yellow-washed walls, vintage furniture, tea box tables and dozens of teapots, Teapot exudes a sense of nostalgia that's juxtaposed with hints of old world British colonialism and modern day hospitality smarts.
The cultivation and brewing of tea has been steeped in India’s traditions over the course of centuries. Tea has been used throughout Indian history for both medicinal use and general consumption. Exactly when tea was first introduced into India is unknown, though tribes in Northern Burma and India’s state of Arunachal Pradesh claim to have consumed tea since the 12th century.
India also has its own unique way of preparing tea. In the process known as chai, black tea is brewed with milk, sugar and spices, such as cardamom, ginger, cloves or cinnamon, then served steaming in a glass.
Commercial production of tea in India started in the early 1820’s when the British East India Company arrived in the country. Now, India is one of the world’s largest producers of tea and 70% of India’s tea products are consumed within the country alone. Popular varieties of tea, such as Darjeeling and Assam, are produced only in India.
Tea in the southern state of Kerala is served as many varieties. Teapot, for example, serves 15 different types of Indian tea. It's no wonder their tagline is as thus: