Friday, 7 May 2010
Tea drinking in Bamberg
Why in the world am I in Bamberg? Oh, yeah. Research for a travel article about this small Bavarian city that’s consistently stayed in American’s favor since the end of the war. I’ve wondered about this. Why Bamberg? Why do Yankees love this little city? It’s about an hour due north of Nuremburg and Fürth on the train or by car.
Why Bamberg? I’m sure there are other reasons, but I’m going to give you the two most obvious ones. Many soldiers have been stationed here over the years. Limitless GIs. They go back to their families and tell them about where they were stationed in the Fatherland. Everyone knows Munich (due to a little beer festival in late September) and often travelers make their way to Berlin or Garmisch-Partenkirchen or many other excellent destinations, but these former soldiers want their families to see where they were stationed. So years later they go back to Bamberg.
The other reason it stays on people’s travel lists is that, like Heidelberg, it wasn’t destroyed during the war (like so many other German cities). Not at all. All the landmark buildings you see are originals.
I’m here writing about the cathedral and the history of the Catholic church in Bavaria and where the best places to eat, sleep and explore are. It was a nice day, and I’d unquestionably rather be doing this than some boring, repetitive job. Nevertheless, I’m a bit worn out.
I’ve drunk all my tea, had two shots of espresso and I’m likely to need a third before too long. And that’s when it happens…and why I’m writing about it here. I’m really starting to curse the late afternoon. It’s cold. I’m coming down relatively hard from a caffeine high, I’m dehydrated from the espressos and can’t find a bottle of water.
And that’s when I see it: Schuster’s Tee/Kaffee. An oasis in the desert. But unlike an oasis, this is NOT an illusion.
I stumble in and order a second flush Darjeeling. I mumble to myself, ‘Make it a double, barkeep.’ And she brings my tea. Three and a half minutes later, I take out the tea filter and take a big sniff. Perfect.
I make the biggest slurp I can as I take the first sip…really good.
If you’re ever in Bamberg, go to Schuster's at Au Straße 31 and do what I did. You’ll be glad you did.