Welcome to the latest issue of The Right Tea Newsletter!
This summer our tea adventures took us to Leer, a town in Lower Saxony, northern Germany.
There we found that people not only enjoy their cup of tea, but they brew it in a very special way.
Come and join us!
This last September we decided to go on a train journey from Hamburg in northern Germany all the way to Vienna in Austria.
On the way we spent a day in Leer, a town in East Frisia, a region in northern Germany next to the Netherlands. Taking a train from the city of Bremen, we were in Leer in just under an hour.
The Tea Museum
The Bünting Tea Museum is halfway along this long pedestrian street that goes from the train station all the way to the town hall.
The tickets are very cheap (particularly compared to regular museum prices in the rest of Germany), just 3EUR at the time of writing this, so it is worth the quick visit.
All the displays are in German explaining all the history of tea in this region, the story of Bünting himself, collections of the typical East Frisian tea ware among other items.
It was in 1815 that Bünting created the J. Bünting & Comp. that still exists today and produces the tea blend that carries the Bünting name.
At the end of the visit we got to taste a cup of Bünting tea served in East Frisian way by the friendly staff:
East Frisian tea is probably the only tea that does not taste the same from the first sip to the last.
First, you get a taste of the cream still sitting on top of the tea, then the strong and delicious flavor of a tea made mostly of Assam black tea leaves and then slowly the tea will get creamier and sweeter as you reach the bottom of the cup.
If you are interested, there are workshops every Tuesday that last 1 hour where you can take part in a full East Frisian tea ceremony. However, it is recommended that you speak German fairly well to be able to fully benefit from the workshop.
Tea in a local tea room
We chose to go back to the museum and sit in tea shop next to it. The shop is gorgeous and very inviting. It is split into a shop area for your tea purchases and a tea room area where you can sit and enjoy a cup of tea.
You can buy not only East Frisian tea blends, but also other teas. There are also numerous varieties of the rock sugar used to prepare this tea as well as the typical East Frisian tea sets for purchase.
In the tea room you can choose between drinking a strong or mild East Frisian tea. We chose the strong tea, which I would recommend, as a milder tea would fade out when the cream is added.
We followed the steps as instructed: first the rock of sugar in the empty cup, then pouring of the tea and finally pouring the tiniest amount of cream in a circular motion. Once the clouds of cream begin to form, you take a sip.
Let me just tell you, it is harder than you’d think! The circular motion seemed so natural when the lady in the museum did it, but it is hard to a hold a tiny spoon and have it pour cream evenly out without it spilling everywhere.
I believe that by the third cup we were starting to get a hang of it. While we were certainly no masters, it was certainly a lot of fun.
This is the great thing about the East Frisian tea cups being small, you get to have many cups of tea and go through the motions again and again and each time will result in a different cup of tea.
Even if you have sworn off milk or cream in your tea, you need to give this way of drinking tea a try. The way the cream, tea and sugar create an evolving flavor in a small cup of tea is truly amazing and worth your attention.
Find out more about East Frisia and why this tea tastes so amazing here:
Discover this amazing way of drinking tea!
More articles about tea are coming, so keep on the lookout for the next issue of our newsletter. While you wait, look around our website and learn more about tea and its health benefits.
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