"It's tea o'clock", 4.30 p.m. - at Romantik Hotel de Orangerie in Bruges it's time for "Afternoon Tea", a small snack taken in the afternoon. However, to reduce it to the mere intake of food would not do Tea Time justice. Rather, it is a ceremony to slow down everyday life. "You drink tea so that you forget the noise of the world," says Manon Vermast, who runs the hotel in a former 15th century convent together with her sister Julie and her father Jan.
Just as in the Romantik Hotel in the historic heart of Bruges, the Romantik Hotels Zum Rosenhof and the Parkhotel Wasserburg Anholt also offer such tea specialities. A special highlight are the tea pairing events organised by the Brune family at the Parkhotel Wasserburg Anholt, which have the motto "tea meets cheese" or "tea meets chocolate".
We asked Bernhard-Maria Lotz, head of the TeaAcademy at the renowned Ronnefeldt tea house: How do you prepare tea properly? "That depends on the type of tea. Green tea should be brewed with water heated to about 80 degrees. For black tea, we recommend bubbling hot water and a brewing time of 2 to 4 minutes. It is important that the tea leaves can fully develop in the water, e.g. in large strainers and paper filters. With the classic tea bag, you should look for larger flow nets, quality and branded products."
Either way, tea is a special drink: it dampens high spirits, calms the mind and stimulates the thoughts, says Chinese wisdom.
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