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Eat: Photoessay

By Stacy Yu
When you want to get away from it all and try something different than the usual hip cafés that seem to be taking over Delhi, Aap Ki Pasand offers refuge like few others. This unique tea boutique not only stocks almost every blend of tea worth stocking, but also offers the casual laid back atmosphere and the charm of a bygone era to bring you one of your most memorable experiences.

Tea Boutique Image

Old Delhi is always an attractive tourist destination for foreigners, but sometimes the culture shock can be a tad too much for a the faint-hearted. It is then that Aap Ki Pasand can prove to be a perfect place to refresh and replenish.

Tea Boutique Image

Located in the busy and crowded old book market of Daryaganj in Old Delhi, Aap Ki Pasand claims to be the first tea boutique of India, established in 1981. A whole-wall shelf flaunts an unimaginable array of choices for tea lovers.

Tea Boutique Image

Packed in black flannel with traditional Indian hand embroidery, Presidents Tea is the most famous and venerable blend on offer here. The Indian Prime Minister’s Office has been buying its tea from Aap Ki Passand since 1985 to gift foreign quests as well.

Tea Boutique Image

The professional tea tasting room with Victorian styled furniture emanates the smell of thousands of kinds of tea leaves. Every week more than a hundred tea leaf samples from Darjeeling, Assam, Kolkata and other plantations in India are tasted in this room.

Tea Boutique Image

“Darjeeling tea is the best,” says Suhail Kapur, the son of the founder Sanjay Kapur without hesitation when asked about his favorite tea. “Only Darjeeling tea has totally different aroma and colors with seasons.”

Tea Boutique Image

Suhail prepares a spring and summer Darjeeling, the must try in Aap Ki Pasand picked carefully from hundreds rounds of tasting. “Spring Darjeeling starts from March. This is the happiest tea with aroma of vegetable and flower, and summer is with more spices aroma and stronger colour.”

Tea Boutique Image

“Tea is a life style.” Suhail says. “Our family has tea in its origins. My mom is from Darjeeling and my grandfather has a tea plantation there. My parents met in Darjeeling and my father established Aap Ki Pasand. I like tea, because tea has flavors like wine, fruits, vegetables, wood and flowers, which need to be discovered.”

Tea Boutique Image

Anil Malhotra, who lives in Faridabad on the outskirts of Delhi, drove for an hour for just a 100 gram pack of his favourite green tea. But just one sip makes the trip worth it, he says.

Tea Boutique Image

San-Cha, a new brand created by Suhail who says “I made this to carry on the spirit of the Victorian times and maybe some French style.” Besides its own blends, Aap Ki Pasand has two outlets in Delhi - one shop and a export facility in Gurgaon.

Tea Boutique Image

Slanting sunlight creaking in through the blinds, a warm yellow lighting space, six wicker chairs and comfortable 1980’s music, Aap Ki Pasand truly makes for the kind of place where you will surely come more than once.

About the Author

Stacy Yu is a journalist in India from Taiwan. An avid traveller, Stacy has travelled across a number of countries worldwide and always makes it a point to try out the most fabled and the reclusive cafes when she comes to a new place.

Her recommendations for people visiting Taiwan include:

1. Journey Café (覺旅咖啡)

Journey Café is known for big wooden tables with power plugs and free wifi - A place you can make your own office or just spend time with friends. A big plate brunch, a fresh juice, a wood bowl salad or pasta, Journey Café is a place where you would like to sit the whole day. Visit Website

2. Sugar Café 方糖咖啡館

A small cat that sits on your coffee! Sugar Café is famous for shaping the foam into a cute cat, which can always make your day! Visit Website

3. Moooon River Café & Books (獨一無二的書食空間)

You might be left wondering whether it’s a library or a café when you visit Moooon River & Books the very first time, and it’s just like that, a place that combines food, drinks with books and magazines. Visit Website

4. Rose Garden (古典玫瑰園)

A teatime as a queen might be a great way to spend your afternoon in Rose Garden, which is created by a famous artist in Taiwan and is a place that combines food, tea, arts and roses. Visit Website





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