Bremen holds a special place in my heart, both for personal reasons (the most important ones) and for tea ones.
This is why I was delighted to learn that the first German Tea Festival was being held in this town.
But first things first.
Bremen is a Hanseatic (yes me and the Hansa…) town in Northwest Germany, alongside the river Wesser and together with its “advanced” port Bremerhaven, they form the city-state of Bremen.
To be honest, Bremen is a nice “old” town with several typical things (Bremen Roland, the Town Musicians, Böttcherstraße, the Schnoor), but Bremerhaven is a bit too modern when compared to its sister town (that was my personal point of view on this matter).
After this few tourist lines, let’s go back to what really matters to you (or you wouldn’t read this blog): the German Tea Festival and tea.
I was there for the “opening” of the Tea Festival and a presentation by a German Tea Master.
He gave a lot of explanations on Japanese tea and on the Japanese tea ceremony, some of them I knew but some I didn’t (you can always learn something).
What I found quite interesting was his way to give me some foods for thoughts by linking the different tea ceremonies (including the Frisian one) together as a way of taking time to be with each other, to interact with these people and somehow to respect.
He was unable to perform the tea ceremony for the Bremen Mayor as this one was late and he had also a problem with his hand. However his son performed a tea ceremony that you will see below.
Filming this ceremony also helped me find out that my camera only makes films under 8 minutes: tea teaches you a lot of things
After that, I climbed the stairs to the first floor and went to the Tea Festival per se.
The first steps led me to the tepiano stand where they were demonstrating and selling a tea Thermos made of glass but not a normal one, one where you could steep your tea either directly or through a filter.
Interesting stuff to see
Next to them was the stand of midori t, a German company specialising in Japanese teas and teawares.
I even saw some teas from the Palais des Thés.
A few steps later, two stands were selling their teas (Darjeeling for one and various teas for the other) but they were shadowed by a Samurai passing by and speaking in German.
The next two stands belonged to the German tea master from before and I spoke a bit with him about the different Japanese teas (this is one of these moments when you really want to speak a little more of a foreign language) before he offered a Matcha that had a slight spinach and nuts taste.
A small stand was standing here and this is where I found a book on tea but one in German.
It is from an editor called Umschau that specialise in books on food.
I read a few pages and found it was quite complete (they even mentioned the tea produced in Switzerland).
I am sure you have probably guessed it but I will still tell you: I bought it.
The last stand was from another company that sells a lot of fruit teas with real fruits.
I tried one of their teas but as usual, I had an headache after drinking it.
The last look before leaving the German Tea Festival was for the collection of tea related pictures.
Was it an enjoyable experience? Yes.
Was it a memorable one? No.
The next step was a trip back to my favourite tea salon in Bremen, the one located in the Schnoor.
This tea house is located in a small street and is in a small two floors shop with nice little tables with candles.
Their teas are from Ronnefeldt and they have a “small” tea (and wine) card but with enough choice.
I took a Badamtam 1st Flush and a Superior Fancy Oolong together with a nice typical German pastry.
And they were quite good.