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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Do you have a Nair tea shop in your town or neighborhood?

    They are conspicuous by their presence. They are known for taste, consistency and neatness.

    They are not big fancy eating places. The tables are chairs are just about functional. But the welcome, and the service will be so good that you will be attracted to go there, again and again.

    They are called the "Nair tea shops" and very rarely "Chetan tea shops". In Coimbatore city, which is just 26 kms from the Kerala border, the Nair tea shops are so common.

    Just hop in for a cup of hot tea and some snacks, like samosa or the south Indian snack called Bajji or the bonda, or the masal vada or all of them. They are never over priced. The Nair gentleman, would speak Tamil more better than a local person. They mingle with the local crowd so well.

    These Nair tea shops can be found in every town in Tamil Nadu. In cities like Chennai, you can find them in every locality. They are simple, neat and great value for money. Tea costs just Rs.8 in small towns, and Rs.10/- in the metros and in Coimbatore city. Sometimes, Rs.15/-., But the lingering taste is simply superb.

    Do you have them in your town, and have you tasted the tea?
  • #638997
    Recently I have visited Kedarnath and Badrinath. There also I have tasted Nair tea which is good and costing only Rs.10/-. In Hyderabad, there are many Kerala Tea shops and the tea is special there. I like that tea very much. But they are not named as Nair tea shops. They will have different names. But the taste of the tea is good.
    always confident

  • #639002
    We never came across Nair tea shops as such in Hyderabad. But we have Irani tea restuarants and Andhra tea kiosks which are set up during united AP regime and they are continuing the business even today. Irani chai is most liked by us for its special flavor and now we are also habituated to Andhra tea. However in Secunderabad station road there was a Kerala store in which all the Kerala items are available and that was demolished now. But we never had the chance of tasting Kerala Nair tea so far. If any body came across such shop in Hyderabad, please give details here.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #639007
    I haven't heard about Nair Tea shop in Tamilnadu but only Malayali tea shop. Of course, I have heard about Malabar tea which is an excellent tea to taste. Such teas can be had from a Malayali Tea shop only. Generally Malayali tea shops provide good tea.
    No life without Sun

  • #639031
    As has been revealed in the responses above, I too am yet to hear about a category called Nair Tea Shops in the catering field. Yes, you will find Kerala Hotels all across the country and even in some other parts of the world. There is a famous joke, describing the expanse and popularity of Malayali or Keralite hotels, which says that Neil Armstrong could sight a Kerala Hotel on the moon when he landed there. The rest of the descriptions given by the author are almost correct and I do agree that these hotels maintain a similar identity. Things are changing now and we rarely get to see hotels carrying the Kerala or Malayali tag in their names.
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #639034
    I haven't heard about this tea earlier. In Bengal, we are satisfied with Darjeeling tea and Assam tea. Whenever I visit Kolkata, I bring high-quality tea originally from Darjeeling and Assam and enjoy it in Delhi. When I finish the stock, I take Red Label Tea. Most probably Nair tea is a local product of Tamil Nadu which is very popular in a particular region.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #639036
    I am a very rare tea consumer. At my age of 27 only I tasted my first tea at Jhansi Railway Station on the way to New Delhi from Chennai. Later I heard the tea preparation by Malayalis are great. I identified two,three shops in Chennai run by malayalies, especially nairs where I can get a good tea.

  • #639038
    Partha Sir, Nair tea is not a Tamil Nadu product. Nair is a particular community from Kerala. They settle down wherever they can or get a chance to. They are very sincere, very honest and very hard working. They sell tea and some snacks and have a lovely ability to mingle with the local crowd. They identify themselves with the local crowd. It is only the local Tamils, who identify the person as Nair, because he is from Kerala and does belong to the Nair community. If you come to Chennai, or go over to Coimbatore city, you can find a huge number of these Nair tea shops. As you know, the Mallus, as they call themselves, are very hard working. The joke cited here by Saji Ganesh Sir, is a huge joke, normally told in schools and even in colleges, in admiration of their hard working qualities. They are also very neat. They do not spoil public places.

  • #639099
    I am living in Delhi & so far not interested in tea but only during winter time that look around for some hot tea or coffee. I do feel that for locals there we may find something different in terms of the quality, preparation & service. I stayed in other places too & enjoyed their recipe including the tea with Samosa. But perhaps when I will visit to the Kerala then I may have the chance of enjoying the tea but am very much impressed with the way the author has come up appreciation for the NAIR community.

  • #639114
    The Nair tea shops can be found anywhere in India including the remote areas. It was in the year 1974, I went to a place called 'Tuli' in Nagaland to work for the National Projects Construction Corporation. It was a very remote area and there was a Nair tea shop there. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Kerala tea shop in that area. He gave me tea mixed with Kara Bundi. It was the first time that I tasted such a combination. They have a very good habit of feeding Keralites free who come for livelihood. Once the person gets employment, he pays his dues to the shop. Same thing I found in Dimapur Where a lodge owner provides Keralites accommodation and food free of cost until they find employment. I cannot say anything about the tea but their cooperation towards their people from Kerala was exemplary.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #639121
    ''The Nair tea shops can be found anywhere in India including the remote areas. ''----------I humbly submit that I have not seen such tea shop in any place where I visited, not even in southern cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, Ooti or Kochi. I haven't seen any Nair tea shop in Kolkata, Delhi, Agartala, Guwahati, Asansol, Dhanbad, Allahabad, Bhopal, Amritsar, Jammu, Srinagar, Ladakh.

    In fact, I must admit that I have not seen any Nair Tea Shop anywhere in India. Maybe I somehow failed to notice such shop in southern cities.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #639122
    Mr. SivaKumar explained very well in his response @ 639038. During my college days, I used to dine at Nair's mess. What we know is not the entire world. There is a lot outside than what we know.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #639123
    So far as the joke is concerned, I have heard the same Armstrong joke in respect of Panjabis, Sindhris and Bengalis (the three most affected communities by the partition of India).
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #639128
    The Armstrong joke which referred to is "Neil Armstrong would have had tea from Nairs Chai Kadai ( shop ) on the Moon." This itself is an indicator of Nair tea availability anywhere. Learning is a good process always.
    The image is from Google.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

    Delete Attachment

  • #639139
    Partha Sir, am afraid you have not gone to the right shop at all. In Chennai, in every locality, including just opposite the Egmore Railway Station, just inquire where the person comes from. At least two will be Nair shops. The Nair shop is not to degrade them. Instead, it is just an identity.

    Please do note, there are thousands of educated Nairs who are lawyers, doctors, engineers, scientists and so on. It is just that this community people are so enterprising. In fact, the largest bakery chain called K R Bakes, in Coimbatore city, is owned by a person from Kerala. I guess he is a Nair too.

    If you have not seen the shops in parts of North India, fine. I had not said that they are there everywhere. Even the joke is particularly true to the Nair shop only. This joke is widely told in every single college in Tamil Nadu, and it is just to point out how hard working they are. The Gulf economy woes its existence to the enterprise of the Kerala people. They are very neat, and very disciplined. Nairs are superbly settled as US citizens too, as professionals. In fact, the IIM, Kozhikode is now among the best five in India.

    Though I do not belong to Kerala, the fact that it is called the God's Own Country, with the hardest working people in India, is a fact that cannot be denied. Go to parts of Delhi and you can see the Kerala people dress more like Punjabis. They integrate into other cultures so well, and those outside Kerala have taken to modern fashions in a very big way. This is just to illustrate how they integrate with everyone. They are highly educated too. I am told, one of the best teachers in Ashoka University, New Delhi, is a Kerala woman.

    Have you by any chance, tasted what is called the "Sadhya" meal? If not, try to taste it on the Onam day, in any house from a Kerala friend or in a restaurant in New Delhi ( there could be at least one Kerala restaurant). In Chennai, there is one restaurant called Ende Kerala, which is a superb restaurant for all dishes, both vegetarian and nonvegetarian. Being a pure vegetarian I do not go there, but my friends do tell me, the standard is so good.

    I do not know anything about the joke being told of other communities. This is a big news to me. Thanks for that.

  • #639149
    Just going through the above comments I felt like adding a few points. There was a time when Keralites went out of the State seeking jobs in the neighbouring places outside Kerala border. In fact Malabar ( presently the place where the northern districts exist - Palakkad to Kasargod). In places like Coimbatore, Madurai, etc. several Malayalee families settled taking up small jobs or businesses. Together that small tea shops also were started. During those days caste system was in force. People from upper castes preferred hotels run by Nairs or Brahmins. Because of this the name boards specifically mentioned the same. Brahmin hotels are there in several places, this was the case with Nair hotels also once. In North Indian cities where South Indians, especially Keralites, are more such hotels could be seen.

  • #639168

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