A cup of tea makes everything better and you can never get a cup large enough to satisfy your monsoon tea cravings.
What’s better than sipping on a solid cup of chiya and watching the world go by? After the news of delayed monsoon this year, it has finally arrived, and how! The season of kids and poets is back, and who doesn’t love a good story?
“Being soaked alone is cold. Being soaked with your best friend is an adventure.”
-Emily Wing Smith, Back When You Were Easier to Love
From sharing umbrellas to going on long rides, this season being out romance in everyone. It drenches everyone and everything without bias. The smell of the earth after the first rains is probably what heaven smells like. Time comes to a standstill when you sip a cup of tea, while watching the rain droplets fall on the windowsill.
Strolling around in Kathmandu Durbar Square at Basantapur, there was an interesting café that I walked towards. ZY’s interior was a combination of modern and traditional design in an earthen theme. The floor of this single room was covered in a mosaic like pattern; the walls were of white painted bricks. The most interesting and beautiful part of ZY was the ceiling. Wooden bars held up the roof, and on them were personalized clay cups, matkis, which decorated and brought the café to life. There was just the one small bench to accommodate only six people. At the entrance was a small section with ethnic dari mats for seating. Instagram junkies—this place should definitely be on your list. The cafe looks like a mood-uplifting place, with the latest music playing softly in the background.
The setting of this café, a world heritage site, is now in ruins due to the earthquake of April 2015. Also known as Hanuman Dhoka, it is crowded early in the mornings and evenings. The true feeling of being in ancient Nepal can be experienced here, with elaborately carved wooden windows and traditional houses all around. You can come here for an evening walk, buy souvenirs, and interact with the locals.
ZY's menu is limited to matka tea, coffee, and non-vegetarian biryani. I sampled their matka tea that early evening, it was served steaming, and was so creamy. It was a small cup of six sips that cost me fifty rupees. You could be of the opinion that it’s over-priced, but to be served such creamy tea, it was completely worth it, and also, the appalling rise in the price of milk didn’t make me regret paying as much. They use Tokla tealeaves, which are made in Nepal.
Talking about ZY, the owner Enayat Shah says, “The feedback we’ve got from the people is overwhelming. The idea behind ZY cafe came from the love for tea people in Nepal have. Eighty-five percent of us are regular tea drinkers. Introducing cold tea beverages is on the line, but for now, we are going to be limited to our original menu."
It is almost impossible to create an organic sense of intimacy and place that makes a café special to begin with. This five-month-old café has gained raging popularity because of its special matka chiya. The ZY team has done a zealous job of sprinkling some of the old- fashioned magic fairy dust around the set of this populist production.
Nothing tastes better on a rainy day than a cup of steaming chiya. In the area of Basantapur with less hustle bustle, amazing weather and bearable humidity ZY makes for a perfect spot for this monsoon. So let your hair down and get drenched in the rain with a hot cup of chiya this season and soak in the charm of this beautiful city.