Normally Elke Werner drinks her tea freshly brewed every morning in the Dresdner Heide, for us she makes a small exception today. We meet in front of her shop "Teerausch" directly in the Kunsthofpassage of the Neustadt and make ourselves comfortable with a cup of Matcha.
It is warm, much too warm, the weather forecast shows 34°C for today. Actually not a good day for a cup of tea, but we are quickly taught a better one. Elke fills a big pot with water and ice cubes, beats the Matcha in a small bowl until it is frothy and serves the cool drink.
For her these are moments of peace and quiet, moments when she sits in the middle of the riverbed of the Prießnitz or under the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, can simply switch off and drink her tea in all comfort. She always has a second cup in her luggage, she reveals later with a wink if someone wants to sit with her.
Her nickname is Tee-Elke, and he hits the nail right on the head. She lives for the drink and runs her own tea shop full of dedication. She opened it shortly after her studies 7 years ago and a lot has happened since then.
In the shop itself, her preference for Japanese specialities is evident. Elke travels regularly to her tea farmers and takes a closer look at the cultivation and harvesting on site. It is important to her to know where the tea comes from - she wants to be able to trace the path from cultivation to harvest. She has close contact to the Japanese families, sometimes they even come to Germany and take a look at the shop themselves.
Her eyes light up when she talks about her time in Japan and her experiences in the tea fields, about the different stages of cultivation and the smell of tea in the air.
Every tea farmer has his own signature, she says, every soil has its own characteristics. This is exactly why trustful cooperation is so important to her. She has a decisive influence on the quality of the tea.
Insights into her travels can also be found in the reports that she later publishes in her own online magazine to infect even more people with her own fascination. It soon becomes clear that the history of tea goes far beyond the tea bag and, especially for many Japanese, means something spiritual.
You can find out more about this, for example, in Elke's workshops - this is exactly how we got to know her, by the way. She has made it her business to pass on her vision - and her enthusiasm is contagious!
She is primarily concerned with quality and attentiveness, but the world of tea is much more complex. When Elke talks about the different types of infusion, the individual tea varieties or their origins, one simply wants to listen and learn more.
It is admirable how the founder goes her own way and does not let herself be distracted - perhaps she finds her balance mainly through the ritual of a warm tea. We would like to meet her more often over a cup of tea in the middle of the greenery and philosophize with her about the world and the culture of her favorite drink. She often shares the locations for this on her Instagram channel; it's definitely worth taking a look at her collection.
So a good tea does not only accompany us to cuddle up on the sofa on cold winter days, it can do much more. We are curious to learn more about it soon, what do you say? Where do you like to enjoy your tea best?