Ever tasted strawberry tea? Vanilla? Tea is no longer only available in its modest masala and lemon versions; there is a lot more that can be done with just a handful of tea leaves. This is what Sharon Tea Stall proves.
Tucked away in the corner of the busy New Thippasandra Main Road, the tiny stall may fail to catch one’s eye, but the aroma of fresh tea leaves is something that no passerby can miss. The stall offers close to 64 varieties of tea and coffee ranging from vanilla tea, tulsi tea, pepper and strawberry tea. And to add to the customer’s delight, the cost of the beverages is between Rs. 5 and Rs. 20.
Daniel Jabaraj, who has been managing the stall since 2007, says that he gets an average of 500 customers every day. Standing in his tiny stall and briskly taking orders from his customers, Mr. Jabaraj is seen adding the pre-squashed lemon syrup and hot water in an empty cup before garnishing it with fresh coriander leaves. “I make a personalised cup of tea as per the customer’s whims and fancies,” he says proudly, even as he continues creating one cup of tea after another.
When asked why he decided to have such a lengthy menu, he says, “The idea came to my mind about a year ago when a regular customer requested for tea with less sugar. At that time, sparing a few minutes for one customer was a challenging task. But after months of practise, I have understood the need of making different types of tea to please customers, and now I manage to make a cup of tea within seconds.”
M. Jabaraj manages the stall with the help of his three employees, his brother and his wife. However, as only Mr. Jabaraj and his brother know the tricks of the trade and have mastered the art of making tea, peak hours between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. are usually very stressful for them.
Mr. Jabaraj has won loyal customers from all walks of life ranging from autorickshaw drivers, corporate professionals and students. Kiran N., a software programmer, who has been visiting his stall for over a year now says, “This stall has a variety of natural and healthy tea options. It is not possible to get these many varieties under one roof. I have managed to taste most of the varieties of tea, but my favourite one is lemon tea.”
Another customer, Walter, a restaurant owner, said that the personalised service provided at the stall is “outstanding”. “Moreover, the prices of all the beverages are very nominal,” said Mr. Walter after relishing the last drop of his ginger tea.
Sharon Tea Stall is located next to Anjeneya Temple, BEML Main Road, New Thippasandra.