Mlesna Tea Centre.

We all know Mlesna, the go-to tea brand for gifting someone overseas or impressing a visitor. A hurried visit to a Mlesna boutique and we rely on their consistently beautiful packaging to do the rest. The sheer variety is also impressive – with over 100 kinds of tea, you are bound to enjoy at least one.

As a disclaimer, I am a coffee person- not by choice, but because it is relatively more helpful for reading through terribly dull dense textbooks (with tea, there is a tendency for the textbook to be resourcefully utilised as a pillow).

On weekends however, it is nice to not be wired as hell and I opt for tea, Mlesna’s caramel flavoured tea being my personal favourite.

The Mlesna tea store at Majestic City was recently revamped and it is cosier than ever, and is still predictably popular with tourists.

The staff – usually two ladies – know their tea and to their credit, refrained from laughing out loud when I asked them what ‘bop tea’ was (Its B.O.P tea – Broken Orange Pekoe tea). They also kept their composure despite a gaggle of tourists being very rude.

Apart from the tea itself, there are several other gift items. The ceramic/ brass/ steel teapots are lovely (also pricey) but the ceramic mugs adorned by a poor quality print are most certainly not worth Rs 1,600 each. There are also ceramic/ gold plated bull figurines for sale, and please correct me if I am wrong but I really don’t see the connection between bulls and tea, or bulls and Sri Lanka.

If (like myself) you are so hopeless at gift wrapping that the recipient of your hideously wrapped gift assumes you sat on it at some point, fret not, because the staff will gift wrap on request, or you could even purchase a Mlesna gift bag; very reasonably priced at around Rs 70 or so.

The hidden gems at this store are their decorative tiles which I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t lifted one of the teapots placed on top of them. One is just Rs 610 and each ready-to-hang tile bears a charming brightly hued illustration of a teashop; it is perfect for a cafe, pantry or kitchen. I wish this outlet featured these tiles more prominently as opposed to their underwhelming overpriced mugs.

I have only one complaint about the store ; the cashier’s counter. It is housed behind what appears to be glazed glass which separates the customer from the cashier. I feel like a bank robbery suspect when I slide my cash/card through the small opening.

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