Hyderabad: Ever wanted to have some good quality chai, made exactly the way you want it? At ‘Chaiwala Project’ in Kondapur of Hyderabad, you don’t have to worry. The joint will make sure that your cup of tea is exactly what you had in mind because you have the choice to decide.

And how does the chaiwala meet the tea lovers’ expectations? “I customize the tea or coffee as per the choice of the customer. Basically, there is no standard because everything depends on the customer,” said Sameerchandra Nandoori, the owner of Chaiwala Project.

‘I don’t sell tea; I sell experience’

For the RJ from Hyderabad, tea was never just a drink, but more of an emotion. Speaking to NewsMeter, the tea connoisseur said, “I love chai so much, that I drink at least 8-10 cups of tea every day. Either you get it for ten or twenty rupees, or you get it from these big franchises for 200 bucks. I personally knew that good tea wouldn’t cost that much. I also know that a lot of people would appreciate a simple cup of good tea.”

Fuelled purely by their love for chai, Nandoori partnered with two of his friends, Sindhu and Chaitanya Achanta, to create the ‘Chaiwala Project’, which was launched on January 12.

No Irani chai at Chaiwala?

Surprisingly, the chaiwala does not sell Hyderabad’s famous Irani chai. Asking why, he replied, “There’s no point in selling Irani tea unless I can beat the Nimrahs and Niloufers in Hyderabad because they are the best. In Fact, it was Nimrah’s Aslam Bhai who encouraged me to put my thoughts into action. He has been very supportive about our project.”

“I began this project after I was getting too comfortable with my job, and I wanted to start something new and challenging. On my very first day, a man paid me Rs 500 for a coffee that was worth only Rs 80 because I made his ‘spicy coffee’ the way he wanted it. I literally stole my mother’s tea recipe and used it in the shop, and people enjoy it. It’s these small things that they look out for and that makes me happy,” says the tea entrepreneur.

With many celebrities coming in to get a sip of Chaiwala’s tea, the shop is off to a good start, says the owner. Talking about their future plans, he said, “My friends have been asking to open franchises, and one is coming soon in Vijayawada. I do want more youngsters to come up in such ventures, and I want people to do it for the love of good tea and coffee.”

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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