There's nothing better than a crack cup of cha, and in Bahrain it is not hard to find one. You just need to know where to look
Time Out Bahrain staff
Ever fancied a cup of tea and a nice sit down but all you could find was coffee and shisha? Despite a tea culture dating back centuries, much of the Arab world has since turned it back on the humble leaf in favour of the full-bodied bean. Which is a shame really, since tea is jam packed with anti-oxidants and is credited as one of the main reasons that the Japanese live forever. Fortunately, for those of us who live in Bahrain, a quiet revolution is underfoot, attempting to transform us into a population whose favourite tipple is a cup of tea. We pick four places you can get a brilliant brew.
T. Club: With a narrow entrance on Exhibition Avenue (blink and you’d miss it) T. Club is heading into its third year of operations and has become something of a hub for tea lovers. Part retailer, part cafe, T. Club is a suprisingly cavernous establishment run by people who really know how to make a proper brew. With over 3,000 teas on offer, here you can find everything from English Breakfast to the treasured Chinese silver needles (the latter of which will set you back BD150 per kilogramme). With no bush left unbrewed in the search for the best the world of tea has to offer. But in the unlikely event they don’t have what you want, they’ll source it for you by special order. Those too gasping to get home and put on the kettle can indulge in the vast menu, which reads like a who’s who in the world of the caffeinated shrub. Each serving comes with a timer to make sure you pour before it stews, while all the tea pots are hand-made and used specifically for the tea that you order. For more information, call 17 749 017.
Tea Angles: If you thought tea originally came from heaven, then you’d probably worship Tea Angels, the Bahrain-based internet mail order company that specialises in boutique teas. With a range of green, oolong, white, black and herbal, their selection even extends to the lesser known puerh and some spectacualr blooming infusions. With a guide to the health benefits of the infusion as well as a great selection of tea pots and strainers, most tea fanatics in the country have made Tea Angels their home page. For more information, visit www.teaangels.com.
Tchaba: If there’s one place in the Arab world that has not forgotten its taste for tea, it’s Morocco. So it’s perhaps not surprising that a Moroccan brand is seeping through the region’s tea scene. Tchaba, which originated from Marrakech, has mastered the art of tea blending. With a great selection of perfectly blended staples (their masala chai is out of this world), as well as a selection of designer herbals infusions, Tchaba will soon be opening their own boutiques. For the time being, the tea is served in the Ritz-Carlton Spa (where it’s paired with the treatments) and at several of the country’s restaurants. And with packaging almost as delicious as the tea, you’ll find yourself wanting to mash up the container and pop it in the pot too. For more information, visit www.tchaba.com.
Jolie Maison: Due to open in Bahrain’s Moda Mall, Jolie Maison is not solely a tea shop, and so had to fight for its place in this list. Retailing cholocates and confectionary as well as a great selection of tea, we made space for it because of its themed teas, which will make an eccentric contribution to the Bahraini tea scene. To check it out, head to Moda Mall.