Saturday, 15 October 2011

tea drinking in Weimar

What Goethe & Schiller need is a nice cup of tea
Spent several days in Weimar this week, and if you know anything about me and this blog, you know that my first question was, 'What sort of tea shops are there in this historically/artistically rich city?'

Well, I have good news for you.  For a city its size, there's quite a tea presence.  Nothing tea-related made the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but that certainly shouldn't keep you away.

Weimars Teehaus
The first place I found was Weimar Teehaus Jürgen Teuner.  Here's their site.  It's a shop filled with tea from Ronnefeldt among a few other tea brands, and it reminded me of my trip to Stuttgart last year where I wrote more about this brand: In defence of a brand of teabags

I've been positive about this brand, and I'd like to repeat that I've been impressed with the reliability of this company's tea.  They offer it in many hotels here in Germany, and I can see why it's so popular.  If you find one of their teas that you like, you can be rather certain that when you buy it again, it'll taste nearly or exactly the same.

If you're fascinated with the unique taste of a tea from a specific estate and how subtle the taste changes from year to year, then you're probably better off going to a specialty shop. Which is exactly where I went next.

Tee Boutique

Around the corner from the Schiller Haus is just such a shop.  It's called Tee Boutique, and I had a really enjoyable conversation with its owner Frank Krebs.  He's actually who I was referring to in my last post when I mentioned passionate tea sellers.  He's exactly that and more.

The selection of tea at the Tee Boutique was quite good (especially for a city this size) and his answers to tea questions I heard put to him while I was there were both succinct and comprehendible.  Not always the case in tea shops.  You can see more about this shop here.

But please dig a bit'll be glad you did.  If you look at the Fotogalerie and scroll all the way the down to the bottom, you'll see his mobile teapot.  He's added a handle and a spout to his car, and art car I'd happily drive.  I must say I was quite envious when I saw the photos.

Although I've mostly talked about these two tea shops, I was also pleasantly surprised at how nicely tea was served in numerous cafes I visited.  

Both the Frauentor and the ACC Cafe-Restaurant served loose-leaf tea in beautiful Japanese cast iron teapots with Kandis and plenty of water for multiple infusions.  Doesn't sound like something worth mentioning, does it?  But that's just the point.  There was thought put into the presentation.  As a tea drinker, I felt like these cafes had made a special effort.  As a result, in the few days I was in Weimar, I went back to them again and again.

There was an anecdote in a book I leafed through about whether Goethe preferred coffee or tea, but I'll leave that for another time.  Something for you to look forward to.  

proof that I sometimes put milk in my Ceylon

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