Friday, March 18, 2016

The German Way of Tea

Tea made its way to Germany around 1610, via East Frisia and the Dutch East India Company. Like many countries when tea is first introduced, it was considered medicinal. Despite some issues in the late 1700s, where attempts were made to curtail tea consumption, the prohibition was lifted. Tea is as big as coffee in Germany, and they are rather particular about it.

Loose tea and tea glasses are preferred to tea bags and tea cups.

Tea is consumed anywhere from two to four or more times a day, usually three glasses at a sitting. It is offered to every visitor to the home. Cream is added using a special spoon, a Rohmlepel, to the side of the glass, causing a cloud like shape to form on top of the tea. The cream is not stirred into the tea. It is considered bad manners to drink less than three cups, but once finished, turning the cup upside down signals one is done.

Tea is sweetened with kluntjes, which is a type of rock sugar candy. The sugar makes a crackling sound as the hot tea is poured over it.

I don't have any tea from Germany. I'm going to make do with a green tea with plum and passionfruit.

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