Bengaluru’s Love Affair With Sulaimani Chai
Image Credit: Sulaimani Chai has a very intriguing history too

There is chai and then there is Sulaimani Chai! This steaming hot cup is not only a concoction of flavours, but also the warmth of cultures that Bengaluru is home to. Freaky rain showers and Sulaimani by the roadside go hand in hand in the city. Best relished in ‘cutting chai glasses’, this special variety of tea uses no milk, but instead blends tea leaves with cardamom, cinnamon, clove and sugar or honey. And yes, a dash of lemon and fresh mint leaves floating on top make this fragrant, sweet and sour tea perfect to sip.

It’s not only the taste that fascinates people, Sulaimani Chai has a very intriguing history too. Although the origin of the tea can be traced to Arabia, this spiced cuppa is widely admired along the Malabar Coast of India. Often enjoyed after hearty meals, Sulaimani Chai is also popular for its digestive properties and is apparently a staple item on the wedding menus of Kerala’s Mappila community. Many also find similarities between the Kashmiri Kahwa and Sulaimani Chai.  

Simple yet irresistibly delicious, Bengalureans love their Sulaimani Chai with samosas and other tidbits. Interestingly though, almost every food trail on the city’s popular Mosque Road invariably ends with a steaming cup of Sulaimani. But if you are someone who, rather, likes to have your tea in the quietude of a tea corner, we have a small list of places for you right here. Even amid the bustle, these tea shops in Bengaluru can lift your mood with their version of the celebrated Sulaimani Chai.

1. Savera Tea Centre

Mention Sulaimani Chai and the first name that pops up is often Savera Tea Centre. Located in the heart of the busy Shivaji Nagar, Savera is a legend among tea rooms in Bengaluru. People from all walks of life drop by at this iconic place to rest for a bit while enjoying Irani samosas and Sulaimani Chai. Going by a quirky slogan - ‘Savera is my name, taste is my game’ - the shop also serves Harira, khajoor and other teas. 

Location: Noah Street, Swamy Shivanandapuram, Shivaji Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka - 560051

Timings: 24 hours

Price for two: ₹100 (approx)

2. Makkah Café

Step inside Makkah Café and you’ll be instantly transported to a bygone era. Always crowded, this nostalgia-inducing place is known for its Dil Pasand and Sulaimani Chai, apart from its old-world charm. It’s a popular spot among students and professionals. The café also serves Khava Naan, Dry Fruit Naan and Harira. 

Location: Shop No. 3, Johnson Market, Richmond Town, Bengaluru, Karnataka - 560025

Timings: 7am to 11.45pm

Price for two: ₹150 (approx)

3. Taj Tea House

Another tea shop in the city with humble exteriors, Dum Ki Chai and Sulaimani Chai is what people love to have here the most. Dum Ki Chai is basically tea decoction and milk, with a hint of green cardamom and ginger. Taj Tea House is also known for its khajoor biscuits and Irani samosas.  

Location: 62, Mosque Road, Pulikeshi Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka - 560005

Timings: 7am to 9pm

Price for two: ₹100 (approx)

4. Sulaimani Chai

The favourite beverage’s namesake, Sulaimani Chai, offers an assortment of teas - elaichi, ginger-lemon, honey-lemon and Sulaimani, of course. They also serve pizzas, sandwiches, cookies and juices making it a favoured tea-and-snack café in the neighbourhood.      

Location: 202, 17th E Main Road, KHB Block, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bengaluru, Karnataka - 560047

Timings: 10.15am to 5pm

Price for two: ₹300 (approx)