After the I don’t know how many reference to Tea a Magazine I decided that I was interested in trying it. Hmmm, international postage is almost twice the price of a subscription in the US. Could take a digital subscription, but I don’t like reading on my PC. There goes nothing above the smell of paper besides my cup of tea. Well, nature proofs me wrong on that point from time to time, but that would spoil a reference.
So, is there a place nearby where they sell it? According to the website there are only 2 places outside the U.S. and Canada. One is in Shanghai. Would be nice to go there but it is not around the corner. The other one is in Copenhagen. Much closer, but a ticket is still more than a subscription and their postage is still more than the price of the magazine.
But wait, on my trip to Stockholm I will have a 2.5 hour window in Copenhagen. Where are they from the station? 600m and 1km walking distance according to Google maps. That should be doable. And they have a tearoom, so I might be able to get a refill of my flask there.
But first my trip to Hamburg. Oh, someone from Copenhagen at the conference. Lets ask him where to spend my 2.5 hours when I’m there. Ah, Tivoli park, city hall and that area, just on the other site of Central station.
Dilemma, go left to refill-station Tante T or right to an interesting part of Copenhagen.
But first: sleep. What is that light? Ah the stationlights of Hannover. Someone did not close the curtain well when coming back into the coupé. Try to sleep again. Wake again, standing still, where are we? Hannover. Waiting for a train. Ok, that’s normal on this nightline isn’t it. Again attempting to get some sleep. What was that? Where are we? Hannover. Ah, we are leaving.
Sleep, wake up again. Where are we now?
Hamburg. Been there, seen that, but wait. Shouldn’t we have come through Hamburg somewhere around four? It is now somewhere around eight. Ok, a four hour delay. That means no refill at Tante T and no next train to Stockholm. Oh and why want people to lie on the beds till noon instead of putting things up so we can sit properly?
After a long wait in line for a free change of ticket my next train left in 10 minutes. So no second change this time. I arrived in my hotel only slightly more than 2 hours delayed. Luckily I choose one with a reception.
The way back
The train from Stockholm was a bit less uncomfortable. Probably due to better sleep and breakfast and of course fresh tea. With only a few minutes delay, which seems to be miraculous low on this line, we arrive at Copenhagen.
So I have a new version of my old dilemma. Will I go to Tante T or not. I have a little more than 50 minutes before my next train leaves.
Ah, what it is only 600 meter and I have some frustration left from last time. So walk fast with 2 backpacks and 2 large bags. Those last 2 mostly filled with tea, but that is another story. And there it is: the Tante T closest to the station.
This shop is more a teasalon than a teashop. They have a lot of loose tea for sale and some nice looking teaware and of course tables inside and outside and what comes with them. The entrance part of the store is a bit small with teaware against the wall and I’m fully packed, so I did not go in very deep to get a proper look at the teas and what was around the corner. Instead I asked the girl behind the counter about the magazine. She did not know the magazine…
But her colleague did. She told me that they only sold it in their teastore. The one further away. Darn, and I do have a train to catch. Missing it costs more than an international subscription.
About 35 minutes left. The first shop was only a slightly deviation from the route to the second. What the heck, let frustration put some more speed in my legs. Up to the second shop. And after several corners and another 600 meter there it was: the Tante T teashop.
This is a teashop and not a salon. So no place to drink tea. Buying on the other hand… The shop is in an area with other shops and what look like warehouses and offices. The shop has a large window. Of course with teaware behind it. The shop is a large rectangular room (and of course something behind another door for people that work there only). You enter in one corner. The wall to the left and opposite the entrance are filled with teaware. The wall at the entrance side is the mentioned window. Before the wall at the far right there is a counter spanning almost the entire width of the shop and filled with all kind of teastuff and what can be eaten with tea. The wall behind it is filled with a lot of tea in the large containers that you can see in most teashops. In the middle of the room there are a few low tables with more teastuff.
Close to the entrance at the left there was a rack with books and there it was: the latest issue of Tea Magazine (July/August 2012). I took a quick look in the nice books and at the teaware and teas. Just at the moment I wanted to go to the person by the counter someone had entered and I had to wait. So I looked around a bit more. Though what I saw did not really stick to my memory. But they have a website to remedy that.
After what felt like ages, but was probably not more than a couple of minutes it was my turn. My question was simple: did they have back issues of the magazine. She went into the back of the shop and came back with a pile of issues. Quickly I turned them over one by one and picked out copies of each different issue. I probably missed one, just like I had two of one issue. After removing the double copy there were 13 different issues left.
I browsed through the issues, but felt the time running. So considering the time, the fact that I would probably never be here again, the trouble I went through to get here at all, it were only 13 and not 71 and the fact that I already spend too much money on tea in Hamburg and Stockholm, I decided to buy them all.
So with an extra bag, filled with magazines I stepped outside. Time to get back to the station and fast. Less than 20 minutes left on the clock and 1km to go. Should be enough if I don’t linger.
Ah, there is the side entrance of the station, but wait that clock. It is on my departure time. I did not walk that slow did I? Was my watch telling me the right time? Quick inside, maybe it leaves late. Oh, and I should have checked the platform before I left the station. So, almost running, with 2 backpacks and three bags I entered the station and fast speed tried to avoid the many people in it. I did not feel anything, so that seems to have gone well. Quick to the platform and there it was:
my train. With 6 minutes left on the clock. Which means the clock on the outside of the station… I still had more than enough time to use the platform to walk to the front of the train where my place was. I did not have to go through the train with my luggage and I did not run the risk of getting stuck in the wrong car and end my trip in Moscow, Prague or the south of Germany.
Was it worth it?
Well, considering that I made it, the experience and the story it makes made it it was. There was some time left but I needed some time pressure to walk with the proper speed to make it. That means I also had a welcome workout of about 2.1km between two long train trips. And the magazine was new to me, so that experience increases the worthiness of the magazine too.
By now I have read 6 of the magazines. And they are nice. I think they are certainly worth the price I paid in the shop (~€5,- each). A litlebit more would not be a problem too. Unfortunately international postage more than doubles the price, pushing it beyond what I think it is worth to me. Yes, there is also the option of a digital subscription. So for those that have an e-reader or a tablet or like to read from a screen that is a serious option. However for me personally, other experiences with reading digital documents and sitting a lot behind a computer at work makes this a no go for now. Maybe someday in the future, when I have something like an e-reader or so.
Unfortunately and surprisingly there was only one issue from after the big change of this year. So I can not say more than that there was clearly a fresh Tea Magazine brewing.
* Sorry for the quality of some of the photo’s. For some obvious reason I did not take much time to take them.
* Tante T