Berlin pulsates to a design-led beat – even down to the tea. The über-chic emporium Paper & Tea is – as its name suggests – a site devoted to all things related to stylishly brewing and serving the perfect cup of black, white, green or oolong tea. From the rare blends to the sculptural Japanese stoneware for pouring them, a quick browse presents a quirky Zen break.
The robust tea section (second picture, from €12 for 20g) – from White Shangri-La tea (€3.50) to Green Rooibos (€2) – is categorised by both oxidation and country of origin, and accompanied by tasting notes, ingredients, histories and brewing tips. There is also the option to create custom blends (€1-€4.50): tweak a classic grey and jasmine by adding flower buds, aromatic oils or spices, and give it an eccentric moniker – Sacred Emily and Tai Lao Wu Xing set the tone.
Teapots, cups, bowls and serving trays have an elegant simplicity. Standouts are the Taiwanese Prosperity Pots (first picture, €98), in white, black or green, and traditional Japanese Banko Kyuso pots with built-in strainers (€64). Serenity Tasting Cups (€12) and natural Purion clay varieties in varying sizes (€8) promise to intensify the flavours of heavily oxidised black and pu-erh tea.
A final note on the “paper” aspect of the shop: the stylish notecards, pads and wrapping papers (€3 per sheet) are inspired by traditional Japanese patterns, while the bold graphics and vibrant colours of the greeting cards (third picture, from €4) would make fun vehicles for springtime missives.