Tea is the second most-consumed drink in the world, second only to water. This fragrant beverage is believed to have originated in China in 2737 B.C and has since gained popularity worldwide, with over 2 billion cups of tea consumed every morning. More than half of global tea consumption comes from Asia, including Nepal.
Tea has become a part of most Nepalis’ lives. It is what we drink to start our day. Whether you like your tea black, green or with milk, Chiyapaan has a variety of tea that you will enjoy. Opened in October 2016, Chiyapaan has since gained a reputation for its excellent service, affordable prices, and of course, its amazing tea.
What sets Chiyapaan apart from most “cafes” is this: Chiyapaan is a tea lounge opened by a group of passionate tea lovers for other tea lovers. It serves 111 different varieties of organic tea. The menu has different offerings based on the types of tea, and each category gives you 11 options to choose from, with prices ranging from Rs.11 to Rs. 1,111. “Different people from different backgrounds come here. Our customers include a range of working professionals from diplomats, high officials to artists and writers,” says Aswini Koirala, co-founder of Chiyapaan. He further adds, “We generally have customers who are not a big fan of coffee and other drinks.”
During the interview, Aswini shared his story on how they came up with the tea lounge. When he was abroad, Aswini noticed how coffee cultures and wine cultures were blooming. Tea is ubiquitous in Nepal as it is served in every street corner and consumed at all times, be it day or night. He believed that tea culture has the potential to flourish in Nepal.
In the initial days of research, Aswini found that 91% of tea produced in Nepal is exported through India and 7% is exported directly to the international market. Exported tea from Nepal is further repackaged and is imported back to Nepal at double the price. With a vision to change this scenario, Aswini, along with the other two founding members; Keshab Sharma and Bimal Dhakal founded Chiyapaan. Their main mission is to increase the quality tea consumption of Nepal and consequently improve the situations of local tea farmers.
At Chiyapaan, you can drink tea that has an integration of three different styles of tea consumption with their own twist. As explained by Aswini, “People consume teas in three styles. In the Chinese style, they brew tea leaves in boiling water and take it without sugar, for taste and health. In the European style, they add flavors and take their tea with something to eat. Lastly, in the Indian style, they mix spices and flavors to the tea.”
Chiyapaan serves different varieties of tea including Jamara Tea, Hibiscus Tea, Orthodox Tea, Mint Tea, and Himali Tea. The founders assert that green, black and orthodox teas are the most popular varieties with their customers. Almost all of Chiyapaan’s tea varieties come from their organic farm in Jasbire of Ilam and the rest is imported from local farmers.
Chiyapaan’s future looks promising; with plans to upsurge the number of stores around the city that sell packaged tea leaves. The founders also aim to initiate “Tearista” training to produce tea experts in Nepal.
If you are a tea lover, looking to try new varieties of tea, Chiyapaan is the place to be. With over 111 tea varieties to choose from, coupled with a relaxed ambiance and excellent customer service, drink your next cup of tea at Chiyapaan.