Sunday, 14 October 2012

Ostfriesischer Sonntagstee

What's that?

Ostfriesischer Sonntagstee?

Well, although Germany's primarily a coffee-drinking culture, there are pockets of the country that're are hotbeds of tea drinking. One of those places is the region in Germany on the northernmost part of the Dutch border called Ostfriesland.

I've talked about them before on this blog and I continue to find the tea that the people in Ostfriesland drink, as well as the way they drink it, to be fascinating. For example, there's an Ostfriesland Teezeremonie (tea ceremony) that really needs to be written about.

What a perfect opportunity for a teablogger such as yours truly. I'll write about that at some point in the future. Anyone interested in a German tea ceremony?

Ok, I'll get to that as soon as I'm able.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

tea with lemon and catching up with a good friend

First Annual International Tea Trade Convention summer 2011

Xavier and I haven't known one another for such a long time, but we're fast friends. Not sure where that term comes from, but I don't know of any faster friends.

We met last year in the summer when he came to Munich for the First Annual Tea Trade Convention, and I saw him at New Year's when he and Sabine came to Nice at the same time my wife and I were there.

I've documented all of this here on my teablog, but I thought I'd give you a quick synopsis of our backstory. Xavier and I have spent much of our time together either drinking or talking about tea. He's one of the many tea people I've found as a result of teablogging, and he quite possibly might be the most important.


He's just some French dude, right? Not exactly. He's one of the best teabloggers I know, because he does a niche thing that no-one does quite the way he does.

Xavier writes about tea and business. It's intriguing what he writes about. Every single time I read one of his posts, I learn something I'd never even considered before. Every. Single. Time.

If you don't know TeaConomics, you should.

What'd we drink when we met yesterday? Here:

I'll write about the tea another time, but I can tell you that it's going to be available soon. If you like the things that they do over at the Le Palais des Thés, you're going to love what I have to tell you soon. It's an entirely new line of tea blend. Four blends this year and then two more next year and two more the next. 

That means that by 2014, you can get one of eight exceptional tea blends from Le Palais des Thés. I'll review the four that're coming out this year as soon as they're available. 

Xavier and I had le Citron yesterday, and we both liked it quite a lot. More on that soon.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Hamburger Schietwetter

Upon arriving in Hamburg last week, it looked like it'd rain and rain for the entire trip. Luckily, the sun came out, but only for a little while.

One day the weather report said it'd be clear skies all day, so I didn't even bother taking any rain gear as I left the flat in the early morning sunlight. A decision for which I paid dearly when the skies opened up only half an hour later.

No-one's complaining, mind you. This is one of the most beautiful places in all of Germany and the best part of a day in Hamburg?

Unlike other parts of this coffee drinking land, people really drink tea here. It's a passion even.

One of my closest friends who I met through Tea Trade is coming to town tomorrow. Xavier and I spent time together at New Year's and now we're going to explore the world of norddeutschen Tee.

I assure you - blogging about out adventures is imminent.

Hamburger Schietwetter? Well, this is Plattdeutsch, which is an old form of German (heavily influenced by Dutch and English, even) that the northerners used to speak.

Many associate Platt with the sailors, as well. My mother-in-law used to teach me phrases in Platt. Wish I could remember some of it.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

mixing green and black tea

I'm not a tea blender, so for me that entire art is a kind of alchemy. The people who do it well have my respect and I often wonder if it's something I'll eventually get into.

For the longest time, I've been particularly fascinated with the blending of green and black tea. Perhaps because I brew the two sorts of tea at different temperatures and perhaps just because they have such distinct tastes, but the vegetal sometimes grassy taste of a green seems to be in conflict with the malty character of a good Assam. Or the smoky taste of a Yunnan.

That being said, when I'm in a tea shop and I see a blend of green and black tea, I almost always get it. With varying results to be fair. Often the green tea might as well not even be in the blend. The black tea overpowers whatever character the green had. Watered down black tea isn't my idea of a good time, so I'm often less than pleased at my recent purchase.

Why is it so difficult to blend green and black tea?

If it is so daunting, why do people continue to do it?

My favourite green/black tea blends?

Buen Dia from La Tetería and Michel Strogoff from Le Palais des Thés. How about you?