Mohammad Aslam of Al Taher Restaurant in Deira offers a hot cup of karak chai. To make karak chai, water is boiled and tea is added and boiled for two to three minutes. Then a little milk and sugar are added. The tea is ready when it starts boiling again after adding the milk. Image Credit: Javed Nawab/Gulf News Archive

Dubai: "Ek karak chai" (one strong tea) shouts Mohamamd Jasem in Hindi as he rolls down his car window in front of Modern Cafeteria, one of the most popular tea stalls in Hor Al Anz, Dubai.

The boy carrying a tray with at least a dozen disposable foam cups full of karak chai, rushed towards the car and handed over a cup of tea to Jasem who dropped Dh1 in his tray and drove off while the boy moved to the next car.

The scene definitely attracts attention of those who are new to the area as hundreds of cars stopped in front of this cafeteria everyday to have a sip of karak chai.

It is a two way single road and the traffic moves at a snail's pace on both sides as motorists stop, blocking the road to get their favourite tea. At least two to three young boys stand there from early morning until late at night to deliver tea in their cars.

"I have been drinking this karak chai for the last five years from the same cafeteria and I am now hooked to this. It seems I am addicted to this," Jasem, a UAE national told Gulf News.

He normally stops in the afternoon on his way back from office to his house.

Popular among Emiratis

"It is a very popular drink amongst Emiratis as all my friends like karak tea and the number increases every day," he said, adding that it is no doubt, the most popular drink in the country.

To make karak chai, water is boiled and then loose tea is added and boiled for two to three minutes. Then a little bit of milk and sugar are added. The tea is ready when it starts boiling again after adding the milk. Some cafeterias add the milk in the cup at the time of delivery.

"We sell around 5,000 cups of karak tea on any given day," said the tea delivery boy while holding a tray full of tea cups on the road in front of the cafeteria. "Apart from Asians, especially Indians and Pakistan, most of our customers are UAE nationals who love karak tea" he noted.

There are hundreds of cafeterias in Dubai and elsewhere in the UAE but there are some in every emirate which are very famous. One such cafeteria is in Al Mamzar area near Al Mamzar mosque.

"People come to this place from all over Dubai and even from other emirates," said the salesman, who was busy delivering tea in the cars on the tables spread all across the parking lot.

People from all nationalities go to this place just to have a cup of karak chai. "This tea sold here is amazing," said Sultan Ahmad, a Pakistani. He said that he, like any other Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi make karak chai at home but it is never so tasty.

"Our tea is tasty and famous because we mix at least four to five brands of loose tea and boil them together," said a salesman at the cafeteria in Hor Al Anz.