Friday, March 1, 2024
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Shah Alam’s Tamil Nadu treat

This little tea haven serves up “five-star” tea and coffee, enriched with premium ingredients from India

(ANN/THE STAR) — In Shah Alam, Selangor, there’s an ambitious little tea stall making waves by offering a unique culinary voyage to India’s Tamil Nadu.

Established by V Surendran, 37, the stall has become a hotspot for tea aficionados, renowned for its fragrant “five-star” tea and coffee infused with an array of spices.

Surendran’s dedication to tea is unmistakable, as he employs high-quality loose tea leaves, premium coffee, and six distinct varieties of traditional sugars sourced directly from India, enriching each brew with enhanced taste and aroma.

On the menu are 12 flavourful teas and two types of coffee.

“The charm of my stall lies in the chai glasses that are the same as those found at tea stalls on the streets of Tamil Nadu,” said Surendran.

Surendran making the Badam Paal Tea with almond milk. PHOTO: ANN/THE STAR

“The brass boiler, a rarity in Malaysia but a common sight in India, completes the look. Even my staff (tea masters) are from Tamil Nadu, each with their own tea stall experience, ensuring they deliver authentic flavours,” he added.

Within just six months of opening, the stall went viral on social media, drawing massive crowds and long queues.

Approximately 500 or more customers visit the stall daily. The tea variants are all priced at RM2 per glass.

“I aim to provide my customers with a cultural experience from another country.”

One of the stall’s bestsellers is Badam Paal Tea that’s made with almond milk, making it suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

The stall’s signature Kattan Chaiya is the Indian equivalent of teh o and is priced at RM1.50.

By 11.30am, I found queues of customers eager for a cup of tea. Luckily, my wait less than five minutes before I was able to secure a table to savour my drinks. I loved the Classic Tea and Bru Coffee in the chai glasses.

They had an authentic taste with a richness that came from fresh cow’s milk. The bold flavour lingered for a delightful aftertaste, and the tea was perfectly balanced.

I also savoured the Sukku Malli (dried ginger and coriander powder) tea which contained fresh ginger for a slight spice and a hint of bitterness.

Letchmy sells snacks such as curry puffs, ‘vadai’, ‘kuih kacang hujau’ (green gram fried fritter) from the stall next to the tea stall. PHOTO: ANN/THE STAR

While enjoying my tea, I indulged in various snacks from a nearby stall. M Letchmy, 53, and her son Vasantha Ruben have been operating the stall for over 16 years.

It offers snacks including ulundhu vadai (70sen), curry puff (80sen), kuih wajik (RM1.40) and tauhu sumbat (stuffed tofu, RM1.20).

These vegetarian snacks are available daily except Mondays. The vadai and curry puffs were ideally sized and crispy without being overly greasy.

Together, the two stalls combine for a terrific spot to satiate tea-time cravings.

The Seven Hill Tea stall on Jalan Mesra in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam, is open from 6am to 10pm daily.