Friday, 21 August 2009
Baltic Tea Heaven
So my amazement at the quality of tea in Germany continues. I am currently holidaying on the island of Usedom in the Baltic Sea: it's very beautiful and when the sun's out – which luckily it has been – the five mile beach of powdered sand is close to idyllic. But imagine my surprise yesterday when after a short bike ride to the town of Heringsdorf virtually the first thing I see is the speciality “Old Pomeranian Tea House”. Packed to the rafters with large caddies containing everything from fourteen types of green tea to around thirty “classic” black teas – it really was pretty astounding. They also stocked loads of flavoured and herbal teas, most of which had a few too many flavours and aromas to really take my fancy, although I was tempted by an interesting sounding Chai. As well as hundreds of teas the shop also sold loads of tins, teapots, cups and pretty much every other sort of tea accessory you could hope for. On the whole they were a little chintzy for my taste, but nonetheless there was no doubt that this was an impressive tea shop - and let's remember it's located in a tiny town on a small island in the Baltic. But here's the real shocker: a mile and a half cycle ride along the sea front is Ahlbeck, another little town with, wait for it, another tea shop! What is going on here? Have I stumbled into tea heaven? Although in truth I suspect that I would find a similar picture all over Germany – would that I could say the same for Britain. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to make the most of it while I'm here. I'll keep you posted about what other tea delights I stumble upon.