4 Tasting Notes

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From the Wikipedia entry on East Frisia:

In an otherwise coffee drinking country, East Frisia is noted for its consumption of tea and its tea culture. Strong black tea is served whenever there are visitors to an East Frisian home or other gathering, as well as with breakfast, mid-afternoon, and mid-evening. Tea is sweetened with kluntjes, a rock candy sugar that melts slowly, allowing multiple cups to be sweetened.2 Heavy cream is also used to flavor the tea. The tea is generally served in traditional small cups, with little cookies during the week and cake during special occasions or on weekends as a special treat. Brown rum, mixed with kluntjes and left for several months, is also added to black tea in the winter. The tea is alleged to cure headaches, stomach problems, and stress, among many other ailments."

As for me, I had a pot of it this morning with breakfast: it is an ideal blend for that time of day. But I couldn’t abide sweetener or cream, so I had it black. It was delicious! Perhaps if I ever travel to Ostfriesland, I shall try it the traditional way

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
albgardis

Hello, I am a new member here and searched for Friesentea on this site. I am actually from northwest Germany (but a little south from Friesland), and I am having my Friesentea several times a day. Until today I have not found a decent tea store in the US, so I am still having my traditional blends sent by an importer from Bremen twice a year (who is also the blender himself). I cannot imagine drinking Friesentea black and unsweetened, it is too bitter in my opinion.

If you have any questions about Friesen blends or traditions, you can ask me. I am not quite familiar with this site yet, since I only joined a few hours ago. Hopefully that will change.

Arnold Zeman

(Apologies for German that follows) Hallo, vielen Dank für Ihren Kommentar. Was Friesentee betrifft, bin ich kein Fachmann. Natürlich hat die viele Länder wo Tee getrunken ist, ihre eigene Teekultur. Ich ziehe den Schwartztee, sogar die Mischungen, z.B. Friesentee, ohne Zusätze vor. Aber ich lasse den Ten nur für drei Minuten ziehen. Ich bezahlen diese Mischung vom Tea Haus in London, Ontario, Kanada (http://www.theteahaus.com/), aber ich kann nicht diese mit anderen Mischungen vergleichen, weil diese den einzigen Friesentee, den ich jemals probieren habe. Können Sie mir Informationen über den Bremensimporteur geben? Hat er eine Webseite usw? Tschüß!

albgardis

Ja, die Familie Biel hat eine Webseite:
http://www.teekontor-nf.de/

Bisher hatte ich meine Teebestellungen immer an meine Schwester in Deutschland schicken lassen, und die hat mir dann den Tee (mit anderen Dingen zusammen) aus Deutschland zugeschickt. Aber manchmal dauerte das einfach zu lange, deshalb habe ich dieses Jahr den Tee direkt von der Firma Biel (per Post) senden lassen. Es hat sehr gut geklappt, das Paket war in 10 Tagen bei uns.

Das “Paeckchen” (Achtung, different sort of package, lower price with different handling) took 7 weeks to get to us. So I decided that was not worth it. The Paeckchen is only half the postage, but 4 times the length, so I will go with the parcel next time again.

The website might not be too easy to navigate, they are clearly newbies in that sector. They have 7 stores in Northwest Germany, and the website is only an additional feature. For people like myself, who left the country and cannot travel to their stores anymore. You can pay with a creditcard, which is not normal in Germany. Very often a purchase (elsewhere) cannot be done, because the merchant cannot process our Visacard. They want a bank transmission, the traditional inner-german way, but from abroad that is insanely expensive (fees).

Biels have all kinds of teas, my personal favourites are their Friesenblends (with and without aroma). Herr Biel is going to India himself regularly and buys directly from plantations, and back at home, he makes his own blends in his warehouse!

I found his business back in 1996, when I was trying all kinds of tea merchants in Germany and their blends. Many of them sold just wholesale-bought blends from some bigger company, and that led to the weird fact that in every northern city you would find the same teas in the stores. They all had ordered from that same big wholesale corporation, and it only looked nice when they would fill your personal, individual portion into a bag. It was not “homemade”, so to speak.

When I found Biel, I found out he really did it all himself, and in my opinion that really makes the difference. Usually in blends you will find inferiour teas. Not so in his.

Here some tips how to get to through the menue: click on “online shop”, then you see a menue on the left side. there you go for “Schwarzer Tee” (for example), and then the undergroups (Darjeeling, Assam, Friesentee-Spezialitaeten etc) will open. That can be a bit confusing, that is why I am mentioning that.

His famous Friesenblends you will find under Friesentee-Spezialitaeten (under Schwarzer Tee!).

Now here a tip: avoid names like “our best blend” or “the pound value bargain” etc! Not that these teas would be bad, but they are NOT their best. They are cheaper and only average in the quality. The really good ones are those with local names (Pellwormer, Hamburger Hallig, Flensburger, Husumer etc). Their minimum size is officially 100 g, but I am sure you can get samples of 50 g each when you say I led you there (No, I am not affiliated and I will not be paid or rewarded otherwise if you would order anything there!).

If you like aromateas, you can also order a sampler set (by their choice, though). Look on the menue for Muster-Sortimente. I like their aromateas seasonally, but only certain blends. They have good, great and also mediocre ones, probably like everyone. If you need help, let me know.

I guess I can put their data up on this site, I will do that in the next days. I am a very loyal customer to them, as they have really good quality products, and companies like that are getting rare nowadays. Corporations taking over and selling crap to people who don’t know better.

They (Biels) also sell homemade candy (loose by weight) and homemade jams and marmelades (though not made by them but by another family I also happen to know). I am usually going for those varieties made of fruits that are unknown in Amerika. (Sanddorn, Hagebutte, Holunder etc).

Now I am really sounding like an affiliate, sorry.

Have a look around. I will look on the canadian teahouse website and see, what they have.

Arnold Zeman

Many thanks for your reply & very useful information indeed. I’ve had a look around the Biel website; very impressive for the variety offered. I had no idea of the extent of Friesian tea blends! So, if I wanted to order say three 50 g samples of blends with local names, how would I go about doing that? I see their online order form does have a space for comments to mention I was referred by ‘albgardis’ but this is after placing an order in at least 100 g quantities. Any recommendations which three of the locally-named blends I should try first? I prefer tea without any additional flavouring (except for occasional Earl Grey) so I would not be looking at aromatees or herbal teas. Many thanks again for your help.

Alles gute,
-Arnold

Kiger01

Growing up in Germany and having a set of grandparents in East Friesland, I grew up savoring this tea in its originality. Kluntjes and heavy cream are an absolute must, otherwise you will not get “the flower of Friesland”, which is part of the tea ceremony. Contrary to what I have been reading here, it is not only a breakfast tea. My grandmother’s tea pot was full all day until evening. Buenting Tee, one of the most common Friesentees has a website, where you can order the tea and Kluntjes, the rock candy sugar. A few shops in the US, one in Madison Wisconsin, also sells these goodies. I still enjoy a pot every evening with my mom.

Arnold Zeman

Schönen dank! BüntingTee site though doesn’t seem to ship outside EU, and I’m in Canada.

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100

Love the fresh musk flavour!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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83
As for me, I prefer it clear (w/o milk). This tea gives the lie to Orwell’s claim that China tea isn’t as brisk, refreshing or bracing as India or Ceylon tea. (Duh, it was originally used to blend English Breakfast Tea; no longer, I suppose because there are way less expensive teas available.)
Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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