A little (very) late, but better late than never, right? Here are my impressions of a short visit to Maastricht this summer.
My great passion for tea could get quite expensive quite quickly – something that I realized (also rather quickly) upon entering Paper & Tea in Berlin for the first time.
The store is all that I could wish for: fantastic quality tea, a serene and welcoming atmosphere, amazing interior architecture and displays full of tea and tea ware, complete gongfu style.
I dislike coffe, which is why I have loved drinking tea my entire life.
It wasn't until about half a year ago that I started to really get into tea though, and I ain't talking about the different brands and teabag types you get at any random supermarket. No, I am amazed by the traditional brewing and drinking methods – from the Chinese to the Japanese and the Korean, which are all quite different I might add and differ according to tea type.
The starting point for my fascination was during a phase of me being quite stressed and fundamentally exhausted, both physically as well as mentally. As I already admired good tea, mostly loose leaf green and white, it somehow came naturally that I started to read a lot about the different preparation methods, the different styles of tea and the very many nuances (sometimes extremely obvious, other times very subtle) of all the different kinds of tea, which amazingly all originate from the same plant.
Preparing tea and taking my time to do so is now helping me to find some quiet time and it does bring me lots of happiness and calm, however basic this might sound. I am so interested in everything that is tea. Which is why I stopped by this lovely store while in Berlin for my master thesis project.
Paper & Tea offers very nice, well – tea, and a small selection of paper. Their tea caddies are actually encased with their signature paper, which is of very high quality and has a special, thick texture and gives the tea caddies a wonderful elegant, simple yet profound appearance.
I have tried quite a lot of their tea by now and am continuously amazed by it. Although most of their teas do not come cheap, they offer small sized bags of it which, depending on the type, is definitely fair. Another thing to add concerning the price tags of some of the teas, keep in mind that good quality tea can and definitely should be brewed several times (not just once), which is what the traditional tea ceremonies are all about. Each cup tells a different story. And so does each kind of tea.
I would probably stop by daily if I could, but the distance makes it difficult. They have a great online presence thought.
I have tried and can recommend: their green tea Anji Bai Cha, which is extremely great for calming the mind and de-stressing (which is just my cup of tea – excuse the lame pun); the Chang-E Oolong tea from the Fujian Area in China; the Shangri-La white tea from Ilam, Nepal; and the Karigane green tea, which was a completely new type of green tea for me, but one that I now treasure deeply.
I currently only have a small gaiwan to experiment and prepare my different teas with (they are actually great for beginners such as myself, as most teas can be prepared gongfu style (traditional tea ceremony) with a gaiwan and it brings out the different aromas and tastes perfectly.)
Do you have a thing for tea? I would love to hear about some other tea stories and which ones you prefer. And maybe any other great and worthy tea stores? Do let me know!
NAMES AND NUMBERS
– PAPER AND TEA in Berlin | www.paperandtea.com | Bleibtreustraße 4, Berlin Charlottenburg | amazing interior and design, tea and tea ware is exquisite and beautifully presented | white, yellow, green, oolong, black and one puerh tea and a good variety of traditional gongfu style brewing and drinking ceremony devices