CHENNAI: For most, a break from office would mean heading to the corner Nair kadai for a hot cup of tea and smoke. Walk into this Nair’s kadai and the variety of teas available there will leave you in a dilemma.
K Rajeev’s tea shop near the Southern Railway Divisional Office in Broadway goes beyond just green tea and lemon tea. Rajeev serves lemon green tea, lemon mint tea, ginger cardamom and honey mint tea. Over a span of 18 years, Rajeev has mastered the art of brewing 62 different variants for your cuppa. Originally from Palakkad, 33-year-old Rajeev came to the city 18 years ago. How did he manage to learn these many tea recipes? It all began with a small tea shop outside the men’s hostel of Madras Medical College where doctors and medicos often dropped in. The interaction with these medicos helped him discover the nuances of brewing tea with an ayurvedic twist. “Doctors prescribe different tablets for every illness, but when they fall sick, they depend on these concoctions,” he says. Two years ago, he shifted his shop to the current location. On a working day, he gets around 2,000 customers. Apart from English-style tea, ginger tea and lemon tea are the most popular here.