Tea Triumph is a very cosy new tea lounge that's popped up on the busy hub that is Marine Drive. It's a new lounge, but their tea factory Embilmeegama has been around since 1940. The range here is a treat for genuine tea lovers (they only do tea, no snacks), and the lounge is a lovely quiet space to unwind.
Our photographs were taken by Aamina Nizar.
We saw a lot of tourists walking in here, because these guys have affordable, quality samples of what Sri Lanka is famous for. Generally you can get a big tin carton like in the picture above for Rs. 1500, or 25 teabags for Rs. 250. Locals get some great discounts, and the best part these days is that if you buy a packet or two of tea, they sometimes wave off the bill for the tea you have at the lounge (a cup of tea is for about Rs. 150 - 250).
The tea is brought freshly brewn, leaves and all, and poured into your cup. We were told their tea is as pure as it gets, totally unprocessed. We tried a whole bunch: my personal favourites were the mint (very fresh and strong, but I'm generally biased towards mint), the spices flavour (a subtle mix of local spices - smelled a lot like Indian chai), and the mango flavoured tea.
The lounge is very cosy and has an old school charm to it - with crafted furniture, framed old photographs and mellow colours. It was raining on the day we were there, and that's actually an idyllic time to be here with a hot cup of tea, with a view of the passing trains and the sky.
The manager of the lounge was super friendly during our visit, making us our teas (mixing mine with milk because I suck at that), and telling us all about the brewing process. Apparently the finer the tea is ground and the longer it's brewn - 5 minutes being the maximum - the stronger the aroma and flavour. Since it's a small space, it's easy for the staff to keep a one on one rapport with their customers.
We asked him why they don't do snacks to go with the tea, and he asked us why we would want to diminish the taste of the tea with food - so you can tell these guys take their tea pretty seriously.
If you really enjoy your tea, this is a very good place to go relax. It's a simple, understated version of the posher tea lounges in town, and they've got a happy variety of quality flavours to pick from, for good prices.
Providing the city with crispy white hoppers and tongue…
Garden Cafe is an awesome little tea lounge hiding behind…