The alternative Kathmandu
If this is your second visit to Kathmandu you may be in need of a few thoughts to explore the city further, understand it more, so you don’t just have a quick stay before shooting off to Pokhara, Solu Kumbhu etc. If this is your first visit then we hope to help you get more out of your trip and get out of the mainstream rather than following the hordes every day to Swayambhu, Pashpatinath or Durbar Square.
#4 The Tea Shop
Would you like to go into a shop in Kathmandu and be treated as if you were a local? No inflated price just because you are a foreigner, where the shopkeeper treats you as a valued customer, speaking English, and buying something you actually want?
Then pay a visit to The Himalaya Tea Corner run by my Newari friends Bivek Maharjan and his wife Neeru.
Situated in Dharmapath just a 2min walk away from Basantapur or Durbar Square, Bivek stocks some of the world’s finest teas AND let’s you taste them! When were you last in a shop selling leaf tea (not tea bags!) and you got a brew? Just go to the end of New Road to Basantapur and turn left, the opposite way from #1 in this series.
Teas from Nepal, India and China dominate so you will find different grades of Ilam, Assam, Darjeeling and Puerah as well as leaf differences in black tea, white tea, green tea, silver tips and golden tips. You will also find single estate teas, just like buying wine from a single chateau in France instead of merely a regional wine!
My personal favourites are Dankhuta Nepal Tea and the Golden Tips tea also from Nepal.
The shop also sells many herbal teas and mixtures for various ailments, together with a variety of teapots and cups. Local honey is on sale too.
There will be a stream of local residents buying huge bags of Nepali tea during your visit because Nepal is a BIG tea drinking nation. But Bivek and Neeru are a very friendly couple who will be very glad to see you despite their flow of customers. Just tell them Dr B from the UK sent you and you are assured of an extra warm welcome.