You might not know it yet, but Berlin has a pretty decent tea scene. Of course, it being Berlin, coffee will always be the no. 1 warm beverage here – but if you know where to look, there are plenty of cosy establishments offering a fragrant brew or two. From cleansing herbal blends to a good old fashioned Darjeeling, here’s our guide to the best tea shops in Berlin.
BONUS: We’ve also included a few ceramic specialists – in case you’re in need of some dainty new cups to drink from.
Paper & Tea
Here, just watching is relaxing. When Jens de Gruyter makes tea, he hands out sachets of fragrant tea leaves for guests to smell and lines up small porcelain bowls for the various infusions. De Gruyter discovered his love of tea relatively late, after working in the media for several years. Today, he runs the most sophisticated and charismatic tea shops in Germany, two of which can be found in Berlin.
Bleibtreustr. 4, Charlottenburg, Mon-Sat 11am-7pm | Alte Schönhauser Str. 50, Mitte, Mon-Sat 11.30am-7.30pm | Tel. 55 57 98 080 | www.paperandtea.de
…is actually called Companion Coffee. It was under this name that Shawn Barber opened his coffee shop four years ago, as part of the Voo concept store on Kreuzberg’s Oranienstrasse. But the barista’s greater passion has since become tea, which he imports from as far afield as India and Nepal. Several times a year he travels to the countries in which his tea is grown, nurturing relationships with producers and tea-farming families. Last year, Companion opened its own café on Weserstraße, Neukölln.
Oranienstr. 24, Kreuzberg (in the Voo Store), Kottbusser Tor | Mon-Sat 10am-7pm | www.companioncoffee.com
Nan Yi Tee
If cultural scientists are to be believed, we’ve been brewing tea for millennia. This shop in Wilmersdorf has been going almost as long – well, since 1982. It’s a great spot for those who wish to sample traditional Asian teas, with a large selection of authentic Chinese blends served in delicate ceramic bowls. The place for high quality classics, away from contemporary trends and fads.
Westfälische Str. 66, Wilmersdorf, Halensee | Tue–Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 11am–2pm | Tel: 030 8917275 | www.nan-yi-tee.de
Previously located in central Mitte, this established tea shop was forced to make way for a hip new burger joint. But even after the move to Stuttgarter Platz in the old West, this little place still offers the same refined tea experience. Knowledgeable without being snobbish, the staff ensure their guests a thoroughly pleasant visit.
Stuttgarter Platz 15, Charlottenburg | Mon-Fri 12-7pm, Sat 12-4pm | Tel: 030 28040660 | www.berliner-teesalon.de
It was while travelling through Asia on a much-needed career break that Manuel Kamar discovered his love of tea, and the culture and craftsmanship behind it. Back in Germany, he missed these flavours and set about founding his own little tea factory. In addition to imported Ceylon or Darjeeling, he produces delectable Kombucha-based ‘lemonades’ – perfect for the sweltering Berlin summer.
Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44a, Kreuzberg | List of stockists available at: www.manuteefaktur.com
Werner Schmitt knows a lot about tea. In fact, what he doesn’t know, no-one needs to know. A real expert who lives and loves his product, he stocks around 200 tea varieties from places like Kenya, as well as old favourites India, China and Sri Lanka. When you leave this legendary tea institution, you have the feeling you’ve actually learned something.
Kurfürstendamm 66, Charlottenburg | Mon-Sat 10am-7pm | Tel: 030 8837059 | www.kingsteagarden.de
Clearer, cleaner, cooler – the aesthetics surrounding tea and its presentation have changed radically. Not here. Benjowski is a gem of a tea shop in which the experienced staff will guide you through their traditional blends and beautifully unusual Japanese ceramics.
Danziger Str. 3, Prenzlauer Berg | Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-2pm | Tel. 030 44037571 | www.benjowskitea.de
Is tea the new hipster drink? Well, Bikini Berlin already has the perfect shop to match the trend, with exquisite ceramics, teapots and kimonos galore. But if you stay for a cuppa – served on beautiful trays and at reasonable prices – you’ll see that the young team know exactly what they’re doing and that this cafe is no lukewarm infusion (sorry). Regular tea seminars are also held here.
Budapester Str. 38-50, (part of Bikini Berlin, 2nd floor), Charlottenburg | Mon-Sat 10am-8pm |
Tel: 030 26390839 | www.chaya.de
The charmingly jam-packed Daruma is actually a Japanese corner shop with an attached daytime restaurant. Those on the lookout for an authentic barley tea (Mugi-Cha) should make their way to Uhlandstraße – and definitely stay for lunch. There’s also a small selection of ceramics and some very good green teas.
Uhlandstr. 61, Wilmersdorf | Tue-Fri 12-8pm, Sat 12-6pm | Tel: 030 8736131 | Facebook: Daruma Berlin
Tee Tea Thé
This tea shop presents itself in classic style with an imposing rosewood counter and serious coffee machine. The focus, however, is very much on tea – as you might already have gleaned from the name. More than 250 varieties, mainly from well-known importers, are available, alongside a pleasing selection of pastries and snacks. Everything brewed on site can also be taken home.
Goltzstr. 2, Schöneberg | Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-7pm | Tel: 030 21752240 | www.teeteathe.de
This compact and charming booth in Kreuzberg’s Markthalle Neun is stocked with imported Japanese ceramics from small independent suppliers. Don’t miss the quirky teapots with handles offset by 90 degrees.
Eisenbahnstr. 42/43, in Markthalle Neun, Kreuzberg | Tue & Fri 12-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm | www.akindo.de
Studio Galerie Berlin
An important gallery for ceramics during GDR times, this studio on Frankfurter Allee is today a fine spot for collector’s items, many of which are vintage and second-hand. Don’t come here for actual tea, though – this place is all about the receptacles from which to drink the tea when you get home.
Frankfurter Allee 36a, Friedrichshain | Tel: 030 2910850 | Tue-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-4pm | www.studio-galerie-berlin.de
If 10 years in a Zen monastery doesn’t give you an appreciation for the finer things in life, we don’t know what will. German-born Dirk Alecksic spent an enlightening decade as a Buddhist monk in Japan before returning with a new passion for minimalist ceramics. He now has a workshop in Berlin, producing cups, plates and bowls inspired by Scandinavian purism and Japanese tradition.
Neumager Str. 25, Weißensee | Tel: 0151-41 63 95 50 | www.dirkaleksic.de