One of the most special things you can do at the Hotel Concorde in Berlin, is the extensive selection of teas.
Just this week, I met with Daniel one of the hotel’s “tea masters” to learn all about the different types of teas on offer and exactly what it takes to become a tea master.
Daniel told me that the hotel features over 50 teas from all around the world, supplied by internationally renowned Ronnefeldt. Whether it be a typical tea like Earl Grey or English breakfast or a more exotic one like a white tea flavored with peach, there’s something for everyone.
Your tea master will be there help you select a tea. If you already have a preferred tea in mind, the tea master will provide more information on the tea itself and explain how it’s best prepared. If you’re adventurous and would like to discover something new, the tea master can inform you about the available teas and help you narrow down your choice.
When Daniel asked me which type of tea I preferred, I immediately told him I wanted a chai tea. After allowing the tea to steep in the water for 2-3 minutes, I added some milk and 2 small cubes of white sugar. My colleague tried a green leaf tea complimented with 2 cubes of white sugar. We were happy with our selections as both teas were quite good!
I asked Daniel what teas ranked among his favorites. One of them is an oolong milky tea, which is neither green nor black and is made from tea leaves steamed with milk. Another favorite is the smoked china, a strong black tea produced through a unique pinewood smoke drying process.
Now to answer your burning question – just what is a tea master? Daniel filled me in and I was surprised to learn about how hard it is to become a tea master.
There are two types of tea master certifications – silver and gold.
In order to get a silver level, a person must attend an intensive three day training course. A great deal or study is required in advance of the course and you need to pass a tough examination at the conclusion of the course.
For the gold level, you have to spend 8 days in Sri Lanka soaking up everything and anything tea related. You visit a tea museum, observe harvest in action and attend seminars. Again, you need to pass a tough examination to receive the designation.
You can be rest assured when you experience tea time that you’ll be in good hands, as the hotel has two gold tea masters and one silver, Daniel.