I love to take tea indoors and outdoors. Its my fuel, I reckon. This posts is about the tea spots in my town, which I visit regularly. I am going to present them in the order of quality of tea.
This joint is a typical pakisani tea shop cum resturant consisting of two small rooms, one used as a kitchen and the other for customers. Chairs are also placed on the pavement and road outside the shop, so that one can also enjoy the vehicle smoke and dust. Tea is presented in century old cracked cups placed on similar plates. You can either take tea from the cups or put it in plates before drinking. Yes many people like to take tea from plates. The furniture here comprises of dirty plastic tables and small wooden chairs. You have got to park yourself at your own risk. In Murree cafe, when you enter, first nobody gives a damn. If you want your order prompt, you have to give it yourself, otherwise you remain at your seat (if available) for 10 to 15 minutes until some semblance of waiter drops in and have your order as informally as possible. To remain in sync with the cafe’s environ, waiters also attire themselves in something equally revolting. Anyway tea here is great. You can also have ‘Dhood Patti’ (Milky tea with no water). Thats great too.
Now this outfit rocks in its quality of meals but I will just stick to tea. But first the outlook. Don’t expect anything more chic here. Its even dirtier than Murree. It comprises of three rooms. One is used for kitchen and two for customers with chairs sprawling upto the roadside. It has got long tables with benches, so you have to sit shoulder by shoulder here. If somebody has to go, the whole line has to evacuate first. Table tops are of marble and benches are wooden. Tables get cleaned every minute, but the floors, ceilings remain dirty as a token of tradition. Waiters are run of the mill. They don’t expect tip and hence you shouldn’t expect any lost love. This cafe is the most popular in town and people flock from every nook of town. Tea is good, ‘dhood patti’ is also fine. Here the half cup of tea is called as Token.
One special thing here is that you can eat sweet noodles (‘Saiwian’) with tea. Utensils here are same as of Murree.
This cafe is rejuvenated recently, but only in outlook, which is deteriorating very rapidly. The rejuvenation has made the place more cramped than before. Shop consists of a big room with an attached kitchen and some stoves outside. They have painted the shop with funny colors inside, which only they think looks elegant. Here tables are wooden and every table has foamed wooden benches, which are utterly ugly and uncomfortable. When first you enter the shop, everyone (including waiters, customers,counter-boy) eye you like you are the most stupid person as you have come here instead of going somewhere else and you feel that you have committed some inexplicable felony. The eyes chase you until you get seated in one of those god damned benches. Now you are totally at the mercy of their waiters. To get something here is not matter of skill. No matter whether you cry, or plead, or show anger, or thread or whatever, the chances of your getting served depends entirely on the mood of waiters. The utensils here are relatively new and you can also get something awful to eat with tea. Tea standard is ok, not bad that is. They take tea and dhood patti as synonyms.
There are also some high standards joints in Wah like Samad Fast Food, POF hotel. Green Lagoon and Wah Continental, but they dont have that standard of dirt and disgust and perhaps that is it is shame to call their tea a tea, because its not a tea, just a mixture of hot water, lots of sugar and some milk. Prices are sky high here. You can manage to spend Rs.150 to Rs.100 in these latter joints whereas in Muree, Al-Karim and Shakir, you get tea just for Rs. 5.