● Ashiq has learnt various tea recipes from Facebook and YouTube
● At least 500 cups of tea are sold here daily
● He earns Tk1.5 lakh per month selling tea
● People from different areas come to have his tea
Ashiqur Rahman Ashiq, a youth in Brahmanbaria, is planning to expand his tea stall as he finds it tough to manage the huge crowd which gathers to savour 210 types of tea he serves in his stall by the Dhaka Sylhet Highway.
The fame of Ashiq's chocolate almond tea, strawberry almond tea, malai tea, to name a few, has even surpassed the popularity of Sreemangal's seven-coloured tea, and tea lovers from different parts of the country come every day to have sips at his stall at the Shahbazpur Bus Stand.
"Regular black tea and milk tea are available in all tea shops. I always planned to offer something exceptional to customers. So, I started watching tea-related videos on Facebook and YouTube. Then, I tried those myself. When I became successful, I introduced those to the customers," said Ashiq.
Ashik told The Business Standard that malai tea, shahi almond tea, chocolate almond tea, lemon and masala tea are the most popular. Apart from these, bachelor raw tea is also on the list of young people. The tea stall bustles with customers from 9 am to noon and he earns around Tk1.5 lakh a month by selling tea.
He uses various ingredients in tea including cow milk, milk powder, Cadbury chocolate, strawberry, almond, Horlicks, Maltova, prunes, Naga Morich, green pepper, fenugreek, garlic, tamarind, lemon, cardamom and cinnamon.
A cup of tea costs Tk5-Tk100. On average, 500-600 cups of tea are sold in his shop every day, and excluding all expenses, he earns Tk4,000-5,000 daily.
NGO official Narendranath Jayadhar, who comes to Ashik's shop regularly for tea, said, "I come here a few times every day to have tea. Malai and lemon tea are my favourites. He [Ashiq] makes the tea very carefully and the tea tastes better than others."
Md Emon, a young man from the Sarail-Bishwa Road area of Brahmanbaria, said a friend brought him to have tea one day. As he liked the tea, he along with his friends, comes here regularly.
Shahbazpur village resident Mohammad Ujjal said people from different parts of the country come here and the reputation of the area is spreading. Aashiq has achieved this fame through perseverance and hard work.
Ashik is the fourth of seven siblings. After the death of his father in 2003, he took the responsibilities of the family and had to stop his education when he was in the eighth grade.
In 2006, he set up a small tea stall at the Shahbazpur Bus Stand near his house. Initially, only ordinary raw tea and milk tea were sold in the shop. However, out of his interest in different-flavoured tea available in different countries, including in Saudi
Arabia, the UAE, India and Iran, he learnt how to make those by watching tutorials on the Internet.
"When people appreciate my tea, I feel encouraged. I look forward to expanding the shop to accommodate more customers as many have to take tea standing outside the stall. I am also working on some new recipes," said Ashiq.
Rajib Ahmed, chairman of Shahbazpur Union Parishad, said, "Many senior government officials also came to Ashiq's shop, which brings joy and pride for us. We support Ashik in any need."