Home Coffee industry Tea becomes fashionable as young entrepreneurs set up kiosks | Kochi...

Tea becomes fashionable as young entrepreneurs set up kiosks | Kochi News

If you ask young people to give you the tea, you could literally end up with a steaming cup of tea, rather than hot gossip. Because dotting the highway and roads of Thiruvananthapuram in northern Kerala are stylish and cute tea kiosks, offering around 50 varieties of flavored blended teas, mostly run by young enthusiasts. While the idea has been germinating for some time, the entrepreneurs say, the kiosks started popping up early this year, just as phase one lockdown restrictions were lifted. Now there are several competitive and interesting names – The Chai Wallah, Booster Chaya, The Alchemist, BTech Chai, among others – operating as franchises and making their presence felt on the road.
Start young in the company
Faizal Yousaf, who launched The Chai Wallah in December 2020, has returned to his hometown of Alappuzha, after working in the coffee industry in London. He always nurtured a passion for the beverage industry, having trained abroad as a barista and in cocktail preparation, and decided to create an Indian version of the cafe culture he saw. abroad.

“I started when there was no one else to do this and I wanted to revolutionize the street chai by offering new tasty, affordable and hygienic blends with an ethnic atmosphere”, explains Faizal, who offers teas artisanal with “completely organic” ingredients.
Most ‘kiosk-wallahs’ are in their early twenties, such as engineering graduates Anandu A, and brothers Shafi and Shanavas Shahjahan, started their chai kiosk business in Kollam in mid-October, offering around 50 varieties. of tea flavors and immediately caught people attention with the name, BTech Chai. “I have always been motivated by the desire to start a business and since I am a tea drinker I decided why not. We looked through hundreds of names before I suggested this as a joke, but everyone liked it, ”says Anandu.

Gokul Dev, 22, who runs a Faizal brand franchise in Karunagapally, feels young people are getting into it, because for start-up enthusiasts it is an easy small business and on a reasonable budget, and so interesting that “I don’t even consider it a business”.
What’s in store?
For tea lovers, for whom the drink is a breakfast or a 4 p.m. habit, the regular brew is available, so there is no reason to get excited. But since change is the name of the game – in the look and feel of the service – it’s only natural that there are flavors in abundance. Mubeen Maheem, a 25-year-old who launched Booster Chaya in December and now owns 25 Thiruvananthapuram kiosks in Alappuzha, says he and his sister, Mubeetha, have tried around 100 blends and created flavors such as saffron, hot badam, velvet red and butterscotch, which costs around Rs 60. “To create a uniform taste in all of our kiosks, we keep the blends premixed and they are put into the tea which is all freshly brewed,” says -he.

Faizal’s masala chai contains, in addition to Assam tea, a mixture of 12 ingredients, including pink Himalayan salt, priced at 30 rupees. It also offers “thirst-quenchers” flavored with seasonal fruits and flowers, such as jackfruit, mango, ginger and hibiscus. . “We want to offer coffee flavors at a reasonable cost,” he says. Anandu says their masala chai named ginja has become their identity now and people come asking for it. All the kiosks also offer homemade snacks and cookies.
Very interesting, but on the decline
While the kiosks – a few of which will start in Dubai – draw customers in with their young and fun vibe, those who run them say that since the tea is freshly brewed, people aren’t used to the wait around. five minutes that implies. . “It’s a little problem that we faced. But we created the powders of the blends to speed up the process, ”explains Mubeen. Santosh Jose, who stopped by a kiosk in Alappuzha with his family, said the vibe interested him, but the wait was confusing. “We’re so used to getting tea almost as soon as we ask for it in a shack, so when I had to wait a few minutes, I repeated my order twice, thinking they forgot it.” But it was worth it, because it feels like the service is hygienic and the flavors are really innovative, ”he says.

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