Just pour some boiling water over dried leaves, right? Wrong. Two shops in Berlin show what teatime really means.
Sure, you could just toss a bag of »Spanish Orange« in your cup and pour some water over it. But it would be a shame to reduce teatime to nothing more than hot water and teabags. On the one hand, because tea culture is an age-old tradition. No one knows exactly when people first came up with the idea of boiling leaves and drinking the concoction. One of the earliest historical references to tea is a tax under the Qin Dynasty in China in the year 221 BC. On the other hand, you should take some more time for this brewed beverage because so many people put so much of their time, knowledge and effort into teas that not only look good, but also taste better than the scented muck that we sometimes pour down our gullets.
© Paper & Tea / Press
One of these people is Manu Kumar. Kumar, the son of an Indian physician and an East Prussian mother, is the founder of ManuTeeFaktur in Berlin. On offer is a large selection of green teas as well as a lemongrass iced tea and exotic kombucha mushroom teas. All ingredients are local, vegan and organic – and bear the label »truly man-made«. Though this is more of a philosophy than a label: The ingredients are authentic, just like the people whose manual labour goes into it all. So it makes sense when Manu Kumar says: »Tea is more for body and soul and less for the head.«
© Daniel Farò / ManuTeeFaktur
Exquisite teas for body and soul can also be found at the shops of Paper & Tea. The first P & T Concept Store opened in Berlin-Charlottenburg in 2012. The second shop followed in the late summer of 2014 in Berlin-Mitte. As the name says, the shops also sell stationery as well as tea cans and cups. The focus, however, is on fine herbal infusions. Samples are available in small glass bowls with little informational cards about the variety, country of origin and history of the tea. The salespersons call themselves »teaists«, customers are invited to tastings, seminars are also part of the offer. Also not unimportant: the sign in front of the shop in Charlottenburg. In large black letters on a white background, it says: »YOU DRINK COFFEE I DRINK TEA MY DEAR.« That, of course, is another way of reducing this hot infused beverage with its age-old tradition.
Brewing green tea
Bring one litre of water, preferably soft water, to the boil. Let cool to somewhere between 80° and 90° Celsius, 70° for sencha. A thermometer can help.
Add about 8 to 12 grams – depending on the desired taste – of loose green tea to a can and infuse with 1 litre of 70° to 90° hot water. Let steep for 2 minutes.
Pour the tea through a tea filter into another can.
Good to know
Quality tea can be infused 2 to 3 times. Each infusion will have its own separate character.
© Paper & Tea / Press
ENJOY & SHOP
Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44a, 10999 Berlin
PAPER & TEA
Alte Schönhauser Straße 50, 10119 Berlin
Bleibtreustraße 4, 10623 Berlin
Time for breakfast
If you only drink coffee in the morning, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Without a doubt, the five o’clock tea is a ritual part of British culture. When it isn’t consumed in the drawing room in the afternoon, but in bed in the morning, it is called early morning tea. Perhaps tea is best enjoyed in the morning because it needs time to steep and so becomes stronger – and that’s a wonderful motto for the day, isn’t it? If you prefer to get up for your tea, and aren’t a fan of crumbs in your bed, Vienna House Easy serves a bakery-style breakfast. That includes a buttery croissant, an OJ, or a sweet piece of cake. Here’s to a good start to your day!