Friday, 20 September 2013

Tea & Sympathy

After last week's sad sad Friday the 13th (maybe I should've taken the ominous date as a hint that no good could come), this week's Friday is a lot better. In the meantime I have managed to find a place to live, ordered a futon mattress, bought a knife and two mattress covers at Ikea and made bobotie and malva pudding. Both dishes were a bit disappointing in that I couldn't find all the ingredients and that thus they only tasted like 3/4 of home. 

However, I did visit an interesting tea shop last week. It isn't really a tea shop, more of a tea-experience. The Tadshikische Teestube  is almost 40 years old and the interiors were originally a gift by the Soviets to the Society for German-Soviet friendship after they were exhibited at a fair in Leipzig in 1974. If I understand correctly, the tearoom used to be located elsewhere and recently moved to its current location in the Oranienburger Stra├če.

I am used to rooibos tea in a pot. Here, it was a different experience all together: you sit on the floor and then order which kind of tea you'd like. We went for the Russian tea ceremony, where you get what I would call a tea-espresso (as in a lot of tea in a little water) on top of a silver urn that contains hot water, which I think is called a samovar. You then dilute the tea with a chosen amount of hot water (we went for 1:3) and sweeten you tea. The options were: sugar cubes, orange/lemon fondant, candied lemon and orange peel, strawberry/rhubarb jam, rum raisins and various types of sugar candy. There was also a bowl with different cookies, although they all looked as though they came out of a packet and weren't baked by the Teestube.  

It was a lot of fun trying out the different types of sweetening methods. Oh, and I forgot: there was a shot of vodka as well. Hot damn, my alcohol tolerance had really become weak. One shot of vodka and I was a bit too glad that we were lounging on the ground: there was no way to fall. All the sweeteners were interesting, although the only one I'd use at home again was the addition of jam to tea. That was quite cool. 

We also had borscht and solyanka because at the moment Germany is a cloudy cold mess and soup alleviates the lack of sunshine a little bit. I really miss the sun. Yesterday I laughed out in the S-Bahn because my mom had said that when Europeans are in SA and have time to sit in the sun, they look like a rabbit does when headlights flash onto it: paralyzed but looking straight at the light. Now I understand why. 

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