Thu, Feb 09, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Chai cafes set to woo India’s rich

NEW TREND:Coffee shops have been springing up all over Indian cities to cater for the new middle class, but now tea, or chai, cafes for upmarket clients are entering the fray

Reuters, NEW DELHI

“Consumers are looking for a change,” he said. “They have been having coffee at coffee shops for so long that they were yearning for a new concept.”

Bohra, who says his idea has already been copied by other start-ups in Jaipur, plans to open another Tapri outlet soon.

Both Chai Point and Tapri have tried to steer away from setting up as upscale cafes. A glass of tea costs less than one-fifth the cost of a cappuccino at coffee shops.

While there are a handful of upscale tea restaurants such as Infinitea in Bangalore, which says it tries to lure patrons with a “refined palate,” they haven’t sprung up across the country.

“In India, the perception is that you need not pay that high for chai,” said Bijral, who said he was sure his no-frills cafe would be a hit.

Bohra agreed that chai should stay close to its roots.

“Chai is a common man’s drink,” he said. “The moment you start sophisticating it, it loses the essence of chai.”

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