Wednesday, 19 January 2011

a general sense of well-being

Because of the harbours in the northern cities of Hamburg and Bremen, tea companies/importers and tea houses are in abundance. Southern Germans certainly drink tea, but the tea culture is smaller. Having said all that, people do drink tea down here, and it seems those people are becoming more visible.

Part of that is because several tea shops and tea houses have opened in Munich in the last year or so. I've written about a few of them, but might spend some time going over them again.

Have talked in rather intricate detail about brewing tea and pouring it into a thermos, so I can have it on the go. I do that almost anytime I travel, whether I'm gone for several days or only the afternoon. As convenient as it is to slurp my best tea en route from here to there, the experience of sitting down in a tea house is unquestionably different.

So I had an hour or so between appointments today, and I treated myself to a trip to the Tushita Teehouse in the Glockenbachviertel near the Frauenhofer Straße U-Bahn station.

I'll go into much more detail about this place in another blogpost, because I'd like to focus on something else. Sometimes when you really slow down and take the time to enjoy the tea, an overwhelming feeling of calmness can result. I had a moment after the three infusions of the their Kukicha, where I was practically glowing. I didn't force myself to get up and do something else. I didn't rush off to catch the next train. I simply sat there and enjoyed that peaceful feeling that sometimes results from drinking tea.

I don't want to get esoteric here. There are plenty of times I drink a cuppa while working or while I'm on the run. It's not possible for me to always take this kind of time to slow down. But when I do...when I really put down my newspaper, turn off my phone, set aside whatever's going on outside in the street or in the world, I can appreciate the tea in an entirely other way.

If you're into tea, I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. On another visit, I'll have my notebook and describe each infusion and the cup colour and whether I tasted something nutty or grassy...I do like that sort of thing. But this time I decided to experience all of those things but focus on the overall effect of the whole session. The way several cups of tea today really enhanced my general sense of well-being.

Here's a photo of the Kukicha leaves (this is a teablog, after all):


  1. Oh man...that looks like a very twiggy kukicha. I love them like that. Often, when I buy kukicha, it contains a lot of leaf, and I don't like that: it makes it taste too similar to sencha and bancha. I love the characteristic aroma and flavor produced by the stems and I'd always prefer more of it.

    I wonder if some companies deliberately include more leaf because it makes for a more familiar taste and higher caffeine content.

    But I always love the mostly-stem ones when I can get them.

  2. That's something I always thought was the main difference between tea and coffee drinkers: taking the time to simply and for a "long" period of time enjoy the cup of tea.

  3. I know you're not putting your focus on the "Teehaus" in this blog post, but my curiosity about it was instantly aroused. What kind of place was it? I found it here:

    Of course once again I"m envious that you have such easy access to such a nice place. You'd never want to see a pic of the dull cafes we are forced to go to. Not one of them is a dedicated "Tea House" for sure.

    As to your blog message; agreed - not analyzing every single sensation, or leaf when you sip it is a pleasant, relaxing experience. Just enjoying the tea for what it is, is wonderful!