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. Some customers allege that the tea is so addictive, there must be a secret ingredient. More likely, though, 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.
Try It on an Atlas Obscura Trip
Northern India’s Colorful Cities, Villages, and Celebrations
Visit towering forts and palaces, explore local villages, experience Diwali with an Indian family, wander centuries-old ruins, learn to cook in a family home, and witness the sunrise over the Taj Mahal and the River Ganges on this immersive tour of Delhi, Rajasthan, and Varanasi.
Where to Try It
Look for Shop No. 365.