Freitag, 24. Mai 2013

What about a Tajik tea?

My Thursday cup of tea
I tried to have a tea at the Tajik teahouse at least twice: once it was too early and once it was too crowded, on an Sunday early winter afternoon. All I saw then were some blonde kids running around in socks, around the long line of people waiting. I don't like to wait for food/drinks so I went away. The Tajik teahouse was mentioned several times in the conversations with my friends when thinking about a place to meet, but I was able to really make the 'adventure' of visiting the place and tasting the tea only yesterday afternoon.
It reminded me of an old book about Marco Polo
Meanwhile, the teahouse moved from the old location, near the Humbold University, at the Festungsgraben Palais, to the Kulturhof, a hidden interior place at Oranienburgerstrasse, where there are many galeries and even a cookies machine (out-of-order at the time of my visit).
Compared with my earlier memories about the place, it looked to quiet so before pushing the knob to enter I asked some people building up some tent if it is open and entered only when I received 2 serious nods that it is.
The attractions of the place
The first thing you should do by entering is to leave your shoes. The next is wait to be guided for a place to stay: either normal tables with chairs or cushions near the low tables. I tried the second exotic variant but as in the case of my experiences in Japan, after 20 minutes your may feel your feet a bit tensed. There were not too many people and there were at least 2 free cushions' spots. 
On the cusion or on the chair, you decide
The place was looking like in the pictures illustrating the articles about it. Colourful cushions, wooden columns, traditional paintings on the wall. The interior was presented at a trade fair in the 1970s in Leipzig - at the time GDR - and offered as a present from the Soviet Republic of Tajikistan - member of the Soviet Union - to the brothers in arms from Berlin. I don't know too much about Tajik teas, but I did not see anything that may remind it on the menu. The offer starts with several Russian teas, including a Russian tea ceremony, where you are offered for around 8.50 some cookies and a pint of Moskovskaya. Lommonossow tea looks like a sweet memory from the time of the Soviet, introduced as 'light and smoth tea from the Eastern banks of the Black Sea', and including jam and rum raisins. I also found tempting the Beduinen Tee, that offers for 4.90 Euro: Assam tea and peppermint tea with peppermint liqueur. 
A reminded that I should buy a samovar one day
If you decide to take your children with at the tea, be sure that you buy them a herbal mix with fennel that will make them sleepy soon. Each cup of tea is served with some small cookies, but if you want more pastry, there are many variants of Russian cuisine, among others piroggen, bliny, pelmen. 
As for me, I preferred to take a cherry blossom Japanese tea, light and delicious also because of the candy black sugar. For almost 2 hours I enjoyed a nice conversation while smelling the flavour of the teacup. I would like to come back from some more tea testing and cozy chatting with my girlfriends. 

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