Tucked away on the second floor of a theater building in the center of Berlin, the Tajikiztan tea room is well hidden for those who are not looking for it.
Even if you do have a rough idea of where it is chances are you still won’t find it. Last summer we spent a good half hour looking for it without success.
That was the reason we did not want to give up this time. But when we finally entered the fancy theater building we were wondering if we had really found it, or just gotten lost again. It just didn’t seem to be a place for a tea room, and it was far to late for the usual afternoon tea.
But this tea house is very different from the English tea houses you’re used to.
Before entering the room you have to take your shoes off and leave them outside. Once you’re inside you sit down by one of the low tables surrounded by colorful cushions in different sizes.
It is almost impossible to sit on the cushions. Sooner or later you will find yourself half lying down, but that’s OK because everyone else is doing it too.
And once you get used to the idea, it is really cozy. In fact I have never been in a cafe where I have felt as much at home as in this odd place.
The atmosphere is relaxed, almost drowsy, and people sit and drink their tea for hours on end.
To give you an idea, at 11 pm after having been there for about two hours we basically forced ourselves to leave, and everyone who was there when we arrived was still there, ordering a second, third perhaps fourth refill.
The waiter brought us a thick menu of different teas to choose, and we picked a Russian smoked tea flavor, curious of how a tea can possibly taste of smoke?
Surprisingly, it tasted just like smoke. This tea was far from the fruity flavor of berries or the fresh mint teas you normally find. It was a strange but somehow still nice flavor similar to burned wood – strong and manly, and exactly the way I would have thought Russian tea would taste like.
In Tajikiztan women are not allowed in these tea rooms, they are strictly meant for men to meet with friends, drink tea and do business.
So I am glad that this place which was initially set up during the Soviet era for Tajikiztanian people/ soldiers? Was still there. When the Soviet era saw everything else falling down, the Tea room remained, and little has changed since.
So if you want to experience part of Berlin’s history but in a different way, this is a good place to visit.
It is right in the middle of Berlin’s Mitte – but once inside you feel like you’re a world away from all of it.
Which are some memorable café experiences you’ve had?