Tea is a rather stylish and luxurious affair at Hyderabad’s Morsel & Tisane Co. Whether you are holding a business meeting or a date, this tearoom takes the tea experience away from the everyday and turns it into what might be reminiscent of a classic European tea café. Step in to see for yourself.
The décor spells opulence but there is also a delicious quiet, away from the bustle of traffic, only a flight of stairs down the main road, in upmarket Banjara Hills. Beyond the reception is a walkway along which the tables are set. An unconventional setting but one designed for complete privacy, “regardless of which table you choose,” says 33-year-old Amrit Dugar, who wanted to give Hyderabad a ‘proper’ tea room, inspired from his various trips to Europe during a 16-year-long stint as an event management professional.
Settling down at one of the many niche tables, Dugar takes us through its interesting history. The 120-year-old building used to be a club of the Nizams, and was supposedly used by a great grandson of the royal family for his tuitions.
For those who have been here before, this is a familiar space since it was the Tarun Tahiliani store not too long ago. After it was shifted elsewhere, Morsel & Tisane took over. “We retained the décor from Tarun Tahiliani, wherein arches were built along the walls.” The same arches are now used for the tables to be set within, so that every table – seating two – is a little private corner in itself.
Further down the walkway are private dining chambers with closed doors; apt for discussions and business meets. “You will not be disturbed till you ring the bell for the butler,” says Dugar. The butler will not just serve tea but also recommend the variety based on your preference while suggesting food choices for pairing too, like with wine. They take things a step further with the butler available to you as a concierge to help with printing documents or fetching something from your office, or even pick up and drop guests to the airport for your meeting if you have a prior booking.
On the menu is a fine selection of teas from the luxury tea brand, TWG from Singapore that specialises in bespoke hand-rolled tea blends. Besides the more popularly known green and white types, there are black, yellow, blue, and red teas as well, blended with a variety of natural ingredients to make up lovely infusions. Served by the pot, most don’t have sugar or honey so that you can taste the original flavour. It’s served with an array of cookies and mini pastries, quite filling by themselves.
Among the greens, Sweet France is a good pick, blended with exotic flowers and a hint of chamomile. White Sky is a white tea blended with ylang ylang flowers for a calming effect, but for something stronger, pick Alfonso black tea, which offers an unmistakable mango flavour. Berries from the Bermuda Triangle or roses from France, these tea blends are known for their use of natural ingredients, eschewing flavours or fragrances.
If you prefer your tea with a dash of real gold, do not miss The Yellow Gold Tea Buds from China, harvested once in a year and dipped in 24-carat gold. It sells at Rs 10 lakhs a kilo and the most expensive tea on the menu priced at Rs 5000 per pot. A small selection of local flavours like Kesar chai and masala chai is available too besides tea mocktails.
The day dining menu is largely continental. Among the large selection of soups, the Potato and asparagus soup is a good pick for its subtle and light flavours. Fresh Italian burrata is a classic, while other choices of salads include Broccoli blossom featuring a cream cheese dressing and a soup. Apart from a variety of sandwiches and grills, you could pick a rice bowl that’s a full meal. Brown rice with chickpea and roasted broccoli is a healthy option. Asparagus risotto with parmesan cheese is delicately flavoured, while Chicken Lasagne is made in a zesty tomato salsa and lightly sprinkled with cheese. On the dessert menu, chocolate lovers will relish the gluten-free chocolate cake but do try their less conventional dishes like the Pink Lady, which is a French style dessert made with roses, raspberries, and lychees.
If you enjoyed your cup enough to want to take a pack of the tea home, there’s a retail counter as well. Pick a tea jelly if you like your marmalade with a tea flavour. Sharing space here is also a shelf dedicated to cigars from Cuba and Nicaragua besides the rare brand, Gurkha. Certainly an aficionado’s cup of tea, we would say.
Where: Road No 7, Banjara Hills
Price for two: Rs 3,000
Contact: +91 9989 891521
Opening hours: 12 noon
Recommended dishes: Burnt garlic jumbo prawns, Herb crusted lamb chops, Banoffee pie with passion fruit compote
Noise level: Soft music