After spending most of the week before last hunting down tea shops and tearooms in Hamburg, I was pleased to find a little shop here in my backyard that I'd only heard about.
It's essentially a spice shop. But the guy prepares his own spices. It felt like walking into a nineteenth century apothecary. The first thing I liked was that he said he doesn't aromatize any of his tea. Or anything he makes, for that matter. He assured me that he throws weird concoctions of things together, but actually adding aroma to something goes against his code, or something. He was talking Bavarian. I didn't catch all of it.
In Hamburg there was a similar shop that seemed to specialize in spices, but was much more interested in the esoteric/Yogi tea market. This shop is nothing like that. At all. If anything, I think the whole vibe of the place is the opposite. He seems to be a throwback to when people made their own ointments and health concoctions.
He showed me different herbs in bulk and how he would use them for different recipes. If you don't see how this relates to tea, then let me just say I'm becoming more and more intrigued my the medicinal value of tea. One of the shop owners I talked with in Hamburg spoke of how we instinctually reach for tea when we don't feel well. That our body almost tells us, 'You need tea.' Even for people who don't normally drink tea.
There are much better places you can read about the chemical properties and effects than here, but suffice it to say I'm going to try to learn more about this and pass it on to you in a digestible manner. It seems like every time I turn around there's an article in the newspaper about the benefits of tea. This week in the Münchner Merkur, I read about the health advantages of drinking green tea. Certainly not a new idea, but it just seems to be coming at me from so many directions.