“I don’t drink coffee, I take tea, my dear,” sang the super-hot Sting in one of his biggest hits. Well, you don’t have to be an Englishman to have an obsessive affinity for tea. After all, the hot beverage made its way west from Indian shores too.

Delhi is one city where the humble cup of tea has risen to be the drink of choice — to be had over a date, catching up with friends and colleagues, or simply enjoying a cool evening outdoors.

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These 5 Delhi boutique tea shops celebrate chai in its various avatars and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed:

1. Anandini Himalaya Tea

Shahpur Jat’s hipster lanes are home to this relaxed place that’s more than just another tea room. Anamika, the owner of this place, is a knowledgeable tea connoisseur, and the tea comes from her family-owned Dharamsala tea estate.

The Pinewood Smoked Tea and Green Tea infused with Pineapple, Mint & Orange rind is fabulous. They have a shop to buy designer packs of tea as well.

More details here.

2. Rose Cafe

You’ll be reminded of Victorian England as you walk into this petite place in Saidulajab.

Popular for the All Day Breakfast menu, they are one of the few places in Delhi offering a High Tea menu, including tea and snacks.

The range of fruit teas such as apple, apricot, strawberry and peach are some of the more interesting varieties. Pretty pastels and distressed wood furniture complete the cute decor in which small groups can comfortably be accommodated.

More details here.

3. Jugmug Thela

What started as a pop-up stall at upmarket events has transformed into a full-fledged shop. Get your friends together and head to their lovely, rustic outlet in Saket for artisanal chai (and coffee as well).

Try out the Te Moruno — a variety of Moroccan Tea; Kinnow & Rose Earl Grey — citrus , lavender and rose infusions with Earl Grey; and the delightful Three Flowers Tea combining rose, pomegranate and hibiscus.

More details here.

4. The Chai Story

Located bang in the centre of Connaught Place, The Chai Story is the ultimate destination to head for light snacks and a range of teas, including infusions, classics, and tea with milk, when you’re out shopping.

Try out their iced tea range, which includes interesting flavours such as Watermelon, Wild Berries and Cranberry among others. Kashmiri Kahwa and the now-made-famous-by-Hollywood Turmeric Tea Latte are also recommended.

More details here.

5. The Singing Tree

We are saving the best for the last. A popular classic in tony Chittaranjan Park, this place is literally a tea stall under a couple of trees opposite market no. 1.

Do not underestimate the unpretentious location; this is where youngsters from the neighbourhood and beyond make a beeline for more than 20 varieties of tea on most mornings and evenings.

Try out the unique Amla or Hajmola Black Tea, or savour Kullad Tea while meeting other interesting millennials.

More details here.

Image Credit: Jugmug Thela, Rose Cafe