For many a traveller passing through or even near Kalladka on National Highway 48, a small roadside hotel at Kalladka junction is a great attraction for its most obvious specialty: food, and more importantly, its way of serving tea and coffee.
Many of hotel Lakshmi Nivas' patrons introduce others to its simple charm: a small hotel furnished with wooden tables and benches and the tempting aroma of much loved food.
Probably the most attractive offering is the way the hotel has been serving tea and coffee: The regular transparent glass to show the decoction – be it tea or coffee – swirling atop the milk. The glass, in typical local fashion, would be sitting inside a small stainless steel bowl with a spoon placed beside it to stir the beverage.
According to old-timers, Kalladka Tea or KTea as it is known, is famous for the way the hotel has been making tea and coffee for more than 30 years. An employee of the hotel took this correspondent to the tea-master in a dark and cramped kitchen.
The tea-master showed how he had been making the tea for more than 20 years now. With the finesse of long practice, he quickly arranged five glasses vertically in front of him. He then poured milk into an aluminium tumbler, into which he had already put sugar. Quickly, he filled three-quarters of each glass with milk.
Cup of joy
After preparing the decoction in a separate container, he picked up a spoon and poured the brown liquid carefully onto the spoon, from which it slowly overflowed and settled on the milk. Swirling, but not mixing in the glass as it made its way to the customer eagerly waiting for his cup of joy.