Tea time: Best brews in Abu Dhabi
What’s On has details of teas in Abu Dhabi and where to try them, including Chai Karak at Gossip Desserts and bubble tea at Bubble Station.
– Afternoon teas to try
Originating from the subcontinent region, chai karak is made from black tea, milk (fresh or condensed), sugar and spices such as cardamom. Translated as ‘strong tea’, the concoction is boiled together (the longer it’s boiled, the deeper the flavour) until it’s fragrant and creamy.
Where to try: Gossip Desserts offers two versions of the popular milky tea, using Earl Grey leaves or English breakfast tea as the base. Served in a glass cup, the tea is cooked with strands of saffron for added aroma.
The Galleria, Abu Dhabi Global Market, Al Maryah Island, Sat to Wed 7am to 11pm, Thur and Fri 7am to midnight, Dhs22 to Dhs24. Tel: (02) 6777520. Taxi: Galleria, Al Maryah Island. gossipdesserts.com
Made from finely ground-powdered green tea, a cup of this frothy Japanese tea is packed with antioxidants and may even help lower your cholesterol. Coloured a vibrant green, a cup is traditionally prepared by using a bamboo whisk to mix the powder with hot water together until thick and frothy. Good quality matcha will taste grassy and have a lingering, slightly sweet aftertaste.
Where to try: Visit TWG Tea in Yas Mall for a cup of the good stuff or takes some home – 50g will cost you Dhs154. And while you’re there check out their tea-infused macaroons.
Yas Mall, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur to Sat 10am to midnight, Dhs64 for a cup. Tel: (02) 5650360. Taxi: Yas Mall. twgtea.com
Invented in Taiwan in the 1980s, this tea features chewy, bubble-like tapioca pearls you can suck up through your extra wide straw. Expect a lot of flavours ranging from milk-based teas to icy, slushy like drinks, or even fruity concoctions paired with jellies or fresh fruit for added texture.
Where to try: Check out a fruity twist on the bubble tea craze at Bubble Station, a small kiosk on the first floor of Al Wahda Mall. In addition to traditional tapioca pearls, they also offer flavoured varieties such as mango and pineapple.
Al Wahda Mall, Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi, daily 10am to 10pm, Dhs16 to Dhs19. Tel: (052) 9679911. Taxi: Al Wahda Mall. alwahda-mall.com
Moroccan mint tea
A cup of this refreshing tea is made infinitely more enjoyable when your server streams the golden liquid out from their outstretched arm into your tiny serving glass, often a few feet above your cup. Made with green tea, fresh mint leaves and sugar, the elaborate process of preparing the tea is as important as the hospitality with which it is served.
Where to try: For added atmosphere visit Almaz By Momo in The Galleria. The funky and colourfully tiled Moroccan restaurant serves up this traditional tea in a beautiful silver teapot.
The Galleria, Abu Dhabi Global Market Square, Abu Dhabi, daily 10am to 10pm, Dhs30 for an individual pot. Tel: (02) 6767702. Taxi: Galleria on Maryah Island. momoresto.com
One of the most expensive spices in the world, saffron isn’t just meant to flavour your dinner. The delicate, handpicked red-orange strands have been used in a variety of traditional medicines throughout history. A cup of saffron infused tea, also known as ‘liquid sunshine’, is said to boost your mood and help fight depression.
Where to try: Visit Leopold’s Of London’s tea library for a cup of Royal Saffron. Using Kemun black tea from China, Iranian saffron and green cardamom is then blended into the mixture by hand. You can also pick up a 90g gift bottle for Dhs460.
Nation Galleria, Al Khubeirah, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 7.30am to 11pm, Thur to Sat 7.30am to midnight, Dhs100 per pot. Tel: (02) 6654776. Taxi: Nation Galleria Mall on Corniche. leopoldsoflondon.com
Chinese tea ceremony
Learn more about the traditional Chinese tea ceremony Gong Fu Cha at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi. Translated as “tea with great skill”, this 20-minute ritual at the hotel’s lobby lounge, Alba, will teach you more about the process and history behind brewing tea in China. Prior reservations are required.
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta’a, Abu Dhabi, 8am to 11pm daily, Dhs158 for two. Tel: (02) 8188282. Taxi: Ritz-Carlton. ritzcarlton.com