Meet the famous chaiwalas of Nagpur

Amar Ashok Jajoo | Feb 9, 2017 17:54

Nation Next tells you about some chaiwalas of Nagpur who with their distinctive style and irresistible tea have become very popular over the years!
Photo by: Kartik Thakur

I was once in Mumbai on a work trip when I suddenly felt a strong urge to have tea. A friend of mine, sensing my discomfort, took me to a tea stall nearby. Not that the tea I had wasn’t nice, but it somehow did not satiate my craving for tea; something was missing. And then like a thunderbolt, it stuck me, I was missing the tea made by my favourite chaiwala in Nagpur. If you are from Nagpur, you’ll relate to this: A Nagpurian is very serious about where he has his daily dose of tea, just like the Lannisters who are very serious about paying their debts; GOT fans will agree. Nation Next tells you about the famous chaiwalas in Nagpur and their irresistible tea.

Dolly Chaiwala @ VCA stadium square

How old: 20 years

Daily sales: 3500 – 5000 cups

Time for tea: 6:30 am to 8:30 pm

Things to know: This stall is operated by two brothersShailesh and Sunil Patil. Sunil is popularly called ‘Dolly’ by regulars and over the years has earned quite a fan following among regulars because of his absurd sense of style and way he talks. Don’t call Dolly ‘bhaiya’ if you visit this stall as it may offend him. Dolly has a fan made page to his credit on facebook which has close to 5, 000 likes on it! Situated in the up-market area of civil lines which is a hangout place for many youngsters in the evening, this stall sees a high footfall.

Raavan Tea Stall @ Times Square, Dharampeth

How old: 12 years

Daily sales: 1200 – 1500 cups

Time for tea: 8:30 am to 7 pm

Things to know: The distinct yet catchy name of the stall can be attributed to Sumit, who assists Shankar Sarose – the owner of the stall. Shankar named the stall ‘Adarsh’ and Sumit rechristened it as ‘Raavan’. Shankar is well known in the area for the tea he serves and for the social messages he chalks down on a board at his stall. A pinch of elaichi powder and superior quality tea powder – that’s Shankar’s recipe to a perfect tea. Regulars which include office goers and students, claim that there’re addicted to the tea prepared by Shankar. Sumit has now set up a snack kiosk just beside the tea stall.

Arun tea centre @ Tiranga Sqaure

How old: 16 years

Daily sales: 600 – 1000 cups

Time for tea: 6 am to 7 pm

Things to know: The owner of the stall is Arun Khadse who is called ‘Arun bhau’ affectionately by the customers. Arun bhau always has his hands full with making tea and mouth full with pan masala and that doesn’t allow him to talk much. Picture this: You tell your preference of tea to the chaiwala once and then you never have to repeat it again ever whenever you go again! Arun bhau prepares strong and sweet tea in two different kettles. If you have visited his stall a couple of times before, he will identify you and will give you tea, the way you like it!

Baba Chaiwala @ Mohd Ali Sarai, Mominpura

How old: 52 years

Daily sales: 3500 – 4000 cups

Time for tea: 5 am to 3 am

Things to know: Parvez, an undergrad is the owner of this tea stall. He inherited the stall from his father Noor Khan who opened it in Mominpura a couple of decades back. Parvez has no regrets of leaving studies and enjoys doing what he does. More milk and less water, that’s the mantra at this tea stall to prepare tea. The measure of ingredients to prepare tea is constant and that’s the reason even when the tea is prepared by different employees, the taste remains the same whenever fresh tea is prepared.

Santosh Chaiwala @ Laxmi Nagar square

How old: 47 years

Daily sales: 1000 – 1500 cups

Time for tea: 5 am to 7 pm

Things to know: This tea stall in the morning becomes a buzzing hub for tea enthusiasts. As there’s ample of place to sit near the stall, there’s a lot of ‘chai par charcha’ which goes on. Joggers and students from various tuition classes around the area throng this joint for a morning cup of fresh tea. Although the stall primarily serves tea, coffee is also available on special request. The owner, Santosh Sahu has a knack for using ginger extensively for the preparation of tea thereby giving the tea a strong taste. One can also have black tea and special tea at the stall. A little around 7 am, samosas and poha are also available at the stall. Santosh is also affectionately called ‘Mithai’ by tea lovers who visit the stall.

Ravi tea stall @ Opp Accharaj towers, Chhaoni

How old: 16 years

Daily sales: 1000 – 1500 cups

Time for tea: 7 am to 11 pm

Things to know: Ravi Shinde is many things to his customers – he is a confidante to young students, a friend and an advisor to many others and a chaiwala who makes perfect tea for them. Regulars at Ravi’s tea stall claim that Ravi’s cooks the finest tea in Nagpur. Tea prepared by Ravi has an aroma to die for and it can be attributed to the perfect well thought combination of ginger and cardamom.

Raju Tea Stall @ Traffic Park, Dharampeth

How old: 32 years

Daily sales: 1000 – 1500 cups

Time for tea: 7 am to 7:30 pm

Things to know: Well-known Nagpurians like Ramesh Mantri, ex-corporator Baba Maid, ex-mayor and current member of MLC Anil Sole are regulars at this stall. Other customers mainly include students and office goers. Raju Tajne, the owner of the stall serves tea in porcelain cups and that’s the reason the tea remains hot for a longer duration. Keep the water less, boil the milk for a longer duration and the result is delicious tea – That’s Raju bhau’s mantra to perfection!