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Not your cup of tea? Try again: On the wonders of Burmese tea shops

Posted by on September 20, 2012
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Every country we’ve traveled to has given us various versions of snack time. There was the merienda in Buenos Aires, beer on the beach in Hawaii and condensed milk coffees in Vietnam.

In Myanmar, afternoon tea (either green or milky Indian style) or coffee is a staple of Burmese culture. It’s there that you’ll see friends talking politics, fathers with their children fresh from school and plenty of fried accompaniments to ruin your appetite for dinner. (Interestingly, it’s mostly just males convening.)

It’s maybe the best snack food we’ve had in traveling. It’s dirt cheap, very tasty and throws you deep into local life. It’s also the best, sweetest note to end on re:three weeks in Myanmar. Enjoy!


A roadside tea shop where we struck up conversation with a local lawyer (below, top) and the deaf owner (below, bottom) of the tea shop. He can read lips, so he was delighted to “see” us speak some Burmese.

Samosas, coconut puffs, parathas, coffee and tea at a Muslim cafe.


Love the donut-like pastries they “suggest” you try. This was a nondescript family cafe on the riverside strip.

This spread of samosas and other deeply, deeply fried goods in Mawlamyine’s center was all Eaman.

But our favorite by far was the Indian cafe in Mawlamyine that offered tandoori rotis and curry with their coffees, the true Indian style of coffee that’s transferred between two cups for frothy goodness. We’d also jet across the street to buy samosas from the lady across the street.

Goats are frequent customers. Oh, Myanmar.

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