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Chai at Sahu Tea Shop

Some say the secret ingredient is perfectly simmered cream; others say it's cannabis.

As you walk along Chaura Rasta in Jaipur, it’s easy to miss Sahu ki Chai, one of the most famous tea shops in the Pink City. Outside, beneath a modest sign, masala chai simmers in weathered pots over coals. The interior seating area, which some customers liken to a cellar, fits only ten people squished shoulder to shoulder. For the most part, customers drink their tea standing in the street.

And yet, from five in the morning until eleven at night, several generations of men help run a cafe that is never short on customers. Faded pictures around the cafe flaunt its popularity with a particularly renowned patron, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.

The family claims that the secret to their popularity lies in the cream’s extended simmering time, which gives the tea just the right body. Then, they add a pinch of cardamom to help bring out the tea’s tantalizing flavors. Though it’s uncorroborated, some customers allege that there must be another secret ingredient behind the addictive drink, such as opium or the edible form of cannabis known as bhang. Perhaps it’s bhang, or perhaps it’s just a rich,  perfectly creamy cup of chai that keeps customers coming back for more.

Need to Know

The storefront's sign is not in English, so be sure to look up a photo of the shop before visiting so you'll know it's the right place. Two glasses of chai will cost around 100 rupees.

Where to Try It
  • Sahu
    370, Chaura Rasta, Bapu Bazar, Biseswarji, Jaipur, 302002, India

    Look for Shop No. 365.

Contributed by
A Anita Squared
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