Although he has been visiting several cities for work, the idea for the tea stalls came to him last August

Serving tea in clay glasses isnt just a business for this Hyderabad engineerImage by arrangement
news Chai Friday, January 15, 2016 - 20:23

For an 18-year-old in Hyderabad, an attempt at serving tea in eco-friendly ways turned out to be a means to a college education.

Thirty-seven-year-old mechanical engineer Satyanarayana of Hyderabad launched “Taste Buds”, a chain of tea stalls on December 11, 2015 across Hyderabad. Instead of using plastic or paper cups, he serves his customers in earthen cups shaped like glasses.

Although he has been visiting several cities for work, the idea for the tea stalls came to him last August.

“I realised that across north Indian, tea sellers used earthen cups to serve tea. I decided to start something like that here, which could help potters whose sales have declined in the city,” he told The News Minute.

He added: “In the past, every house used to have an earthen pot for cool water, but now with the increase in technology, people have switched to high class fridges which is a created a very bad situation for all the potters specially in urban areas.”

According to a report in TOI, experts have suggested that plastic cups being used by tea stalls be banned as they litter roads and choke drains. 

Satyanarayana has four stalls in East Maredapally in Secunderabad, and three in Hyderabad which together sell around 200 to 300 cups every day. He has plans to expand to other areas of Hyderabad.

The shops serve different varieties of tea such Tulsi tea, herbal tea, green tea, special masala tea, and also with as ginger, elaichi, badam, cinnamon and other flavours priced between Rs 7 and Rs 12.

“I learnt these tea recipes from my north Indian friends’ mothers and taught them to all my staff. They learnt it so well, that now they are just experts in making chai,” Satyanarayana says.

Satyanarayana says he hired people including youngsters who are in urgent need of jobs. “I also sponsor their food, accommodation and education, and they are really happy working with me.”

One such youngster is 18-year-old, G Rajkumar from the Uppal area in Hyderabad. His father is a potter whose business was run down because of the lack of demand for earthen products.

“Earlier we had lot of financial problems as our business was not doing well. So I started to look for part-time jobs as I was not able to afford my college fees. But thanks to anna (Satyanarayana, whom he refers to as older brother), our financial conditions have improved a lot,” Rajkumar says.

He has now stopped looking for part-time work. “After college I make some time for preparing these pots and delivering them. Now I can afford my college fees,” he told The News Minute.

Twenty-seven-year-old Hyderabad businessman Charan told The News Minute that Taste Buds was one of his favourite tea shops in East Marredpally.

“I usually frequent Irani chai joints but one day this stall where the tea was being served in clay pots caught my eye. The tea had proportional mixture of good herbs which was a rare thing to expect from such small tea joint. Drinking it from a clay pot took me back to my childhood.”


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