Kerala University students’ tea shop makes NH stretch hot and happening

The trio belongs to Kollam.

Published: 19th August 2022 07:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2022 07:17 AM   |  A+A-

CK Amruta, B Sreenath and AS Deependu, PG students at Kerala University, in front of their ‘The Chai Spot’. Also seen Anas, a regular customer-turned business partner

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Till a few months ago, the NH stretch in front of the University of Kerala’s Karyavattom campus looked desolate after dusk with no proper street lights, except for some speeding vehicles. Thanks to ‘The Chai Spot’ opened by postgraduate students C K Amruta, B Sreenath and A S Deependu at the entrance of the campus, it is now bustling with chai, coffee and mojito lovers from 4pm to 2am.

The trio belongs to Kollam. They wanted to be on their feet without troubling their parents. Initially, 25-year-old Amruta, a journalism postgraduate, who is currently pursuing MA Islamic History, took tuition for school students. But her dream to become an entrepreneur led her to think about launching a tea shop. Starting a ‘thattukada’ was out of question for Amruta as cooking was not her cup of tea. With an initial investment of Rs 1 lakh, the trio designed a ‘chaya thattu’, installed menu boards, and bought utensils, a few stools and a makeshift table.

“I have three elder sisters and being a single mother, my mother had great difficulty in bringing us up. She ensured that we got proper education. So, I felt that I should be on my own. Initially, my family in Kundara did not believe me and they asked me to concentrate on my studies. But when my mom happened to see a video of mine from my ‘chaya kada’ with my friends singing, she told me that she watched it three times to make sure it was me,” Amruta told TNIE.

Amruta churns out different flavours of mojito like a professional. It is one of the trio’s friends, Rajeev, another Kollam native, who makes tea. He has hardly any time to talk as a large number of youths will be waiting for their orders.

The most in demand are Booster Chaaya, special Chai Spot tea and a special ‘sulaimani’ which includes a variety of spices like clove, ginger, kaanthari chilli and cardamom, besides honey. M M Anush and S Abhijith, employees at an e-commerce company in Kazhakootam, visit ‘The Chai Spot’ almost everyday on their way back home. They quip that it is the ambience, good service, unique tea and above all affordability which make them stop in front of the shop.

Postgraduate students Anagha, Manjima, Aleena and Theertha were sipping tea. “This has become our favourite spot and what we love is the ambience. We have our dinner from the hostel and then come here and have chaya,” said one of them. The popularity of the shop shows how one of their regular customers, Anas, an engineering degree holder, became their business partner.


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