Tea in Copenhagen

I spent some days in Copenhagen this week and took the opportunity to explore some cafés and their serving of tea. For me the tea break is a needed rest from the hustle of the city.

What I need is: drinkable tea and a newspaper that I enjoy to read.

Café Moccador, Falkonér Allé, Frederiksberg.
The café is situated next to the Frederiksberg Center and offers a nice classical café with diner-like red seats in 3 half-levels on a busy street.
One of the cheapest cups of tea around: 22 kr. My choice this day was camomille.
The tea arrived as a glass of hot water infused with a fairtrade tea bag (Rioba) with lemon and a small chocolate. No soy milk. Politiken.
www.cafemoccador.com
cafe moccador teacafe moccador frederiksberg

Nørreport (former Café Fokus)
Next to the metro entrance at Nørreport station, Frederiksborggade 20. A large modern café with a very cool look and painted in grey colours. I have often found it quite empty and I enjoy the feeling of having the spacious place almost for myself. A breathing space In one of Copenhagens most crowded spots. I like the bright light that comes in through the large windows. Different levels enhance the feeling of spaciousness.

Tea selection from famous Copenhagen tea Cafe Nørreportshop Perchs: earl grey, quince, jasmine and green tea with ginger and lemon. 38 kr for tea. Newspapers: Politiken and Berlingske.
I chose the earl grey and a little soy milk. The tea was served in a rather small glass, the tea leaves in a metal tea ball. It tasted all right but not more than that. With the soy milk. However the croissant I had was delicious.
At another visit I had the green tea with ginger and lemon and found it extremely uninteresting.
What a pity that the good tea is not served in a way that gives it justice.
Nørreport teaNørreport

 

Kaffeplantagen,  Sankt Hans Torv, Nørrebro
Crowded and cosy little coffee shop. I got the chai latte because it was made on tea and spices (and not from powder). They have 3 kinds of soy milk! A good selection of news- Kaffeplantagen chai lattepapers: Politiken, Weekendavisen, Berlingske. I had the chai latte made with soy milk. It was slightly bitter from the tea.
Mostly I find chai latte too weak or sweet and wish the spices would get more flavour like real indian chai, but that seems to be a different story. This was not the best chai latte I have had, but not the worst either.
www.kaffeplantagen.dk

Floras Kaffebar, Blågårdsgade
A nice cafe, slightly dark though? This time I didn’t stay there because they didn’t meet my needs at that moment: Newspapers and chai. They make the chai from the powder that I find too sweet and weak. They do offer soy milk or rice milk and also green tea and keemun (black) tea. No newspapers.
www.floraskaffebar.dk

Wilders Café, ChristianshavnCafe Wilder Tea
A classic cosy café in a lovely neighbourhood. Selection of teas: earl grey, assam, green, white, chai latte. I had a cup of green tea that was simply a cup of hot water and a tea bag of green tea (Emeyu). The green tea had a sligth perfume. It turned cold quickly. 26 kr.
www.cafewilder.dk

Café Victor
Café Victor is a beautiful classic french-Cafe Victor tealooking café that has existed since 1981. It is also a restaurant. They have a wide selection of newspapers and also a lot of magazines.
Selection of teas from Perch’s: earl grey, quince, green tea, mint, white temple tea. I was happy to see it served in a small metal teapot. Finally someone who shows a little interest and care for the tea. The chai latte is made from powder. They have soy or rice milk. Tea or chai latte, both 38 kr.
www.cafevictor.dk

Café Det Elektriske Hjørne
A large popular cafe opposite Café Victor on Det elektriske hjørne teaStore Regnegade. I ordered earl grey tea. It was served in a huge glass with a large tea strainer containing enough tea for many cups. I took out the strainer qiuckly to avoid it getting too strong or bitter. It was a mediocre tea experience. I enjoyed reading Politiken which was the only newspaper I saw this day. No soy milk. Tea 28 kr.
www.elhjoernet.dk

next time in Cph I want to visit:
www.perchstearoom.dk

See other posts in The Tea Drinker’s Café Guide.

Sage

I was allowed to harvest a lot of sage in my friends allotment garden late august. Got home with a huge bunch of it. Dried one part and made a kind of simple pesto with the rest.sage leaf

A few times I have eaten a wonderful simple pasta dish in italian restaurants with I think just butter and fresh sage leaves.
Now I experimented making this sage pesto to keep in a glass in the fridge through the year to be able to hopefully produce magical pasta dishes now and then. And add a little extra to meats and perhaps certain vegetables. Sage has a strong taste and needs to be balanced.
I still have to experiment but I imagine the dried sage will make a stimulating tea (good for colds I heard) and I expect to use it in simmering casseroles, stews etc.

picking sage leaves

If you only want a small amount of pesto I think it gets better when using a mortar and pestle. However I had harvested a large amount so I made it in a food processor.
Pesto:
sage leaves, picked and sorted
a little salt
good olive oil

sage salt and oil

Mix the sage together with salt in the food processor, add some oil later and continue till you get a rather smooth looking paste.
Put into a clean jar. I left the jar on the kitchen table for a day to ‘set’, added a little more oil to cover and then stored it in the fridge.

sage pestoUse just a little of the pesto at a time (it is powerful stuff) mix it with more oil, and add some crushed garlic or/and lemon.
With such a mix and a lot of roasted pine nuts we enjoyed a nice pasta meal.

Enjoy!
the allotment garden
My friend’s allotment garden, where the sage grew.

The tea drinker’s café guide # 2

Café Stardust, Århus

A had been curious about this combined café and cosy record shop for long. Today I got my friend to join me for some tea. We were early and got one of the attractive tables on the street in the sun. Cafe Stardust chai teas

 

We were both in the mood for chai, so we had a chai latte and a chai tea in a teapot. Both with soy milk. The chai latte was served with a little portion of honey and a small cookie. My friend had a delicious croissant with it.
We enjoyed a couple of hours talking in the warm august sun. The café have the newspaper Weekendavisen. I will return for more another day.
stardustcafe.dk

Related posts: The Tea Drinker’s Café Guide

The tea drinker’s café guide # 1- Englen

When I lived in Paris and Vienna I loved the break that the cafés and Kaffeehaüser offered and the fact that all types of people meet there for a cup. A space for everybody, multicultural you could say. The neatly dressed elderly ladies next to the youth with a punk look and a dirty workman coming from a building site.

I still enjoy going to a café on my own to have a cup of tea – and especially: read the newspaper. As I have my picky preferences I am researching which cafés are best at meeting my needs. This post serves as documenting some of this research.

Today I went to Café Englen (the Angel) in Århus.
When I in my twenties was studying architecture in Århus, Englen was the the place to hang out. I still find it is one of the nicest classic cafés in Århus. There are a few seats out in front in the street and a lovely courtyard in the back .
Cafe Englen table and bar
‘We don’t have soy milk but I am willing to heat it when bringing it yourself’ the friendly waitress responded to my question about soy milk. I guess this is a service, but I am not walking around with a bottle of soy, rice or oat milk.
I am a fan of teapots so I was very pleased to get the darjeeling tea served in a japanese cast iron teapot. Shortly after arrival I removed the tea leaves from the pot. The tea was all right, but I am sad to say that it got bitter after a while. No chocolate or cookie with the tea.

Café Englen also have have green tea, wifi, and I think I saw a croissant on the counter. Newspapers: Politiken (my favorite) and possibly Børsen and Berlingske.
Tea: 40 kr

Cafe Englen
Studsgade 3
8000 Århus C
http://www.cafe-englen.dk/
Cafe Englen front

Other Århus cafés tested recently:

  • Simply Tea: Great tea. No coffee. A tea specialist and shop. Serves a luxurious Afternoon tea with cake, scones and sandwiches. http://simplytea.dk/
  • Emmerys: didn’t have Politiken when I was there last. Opens at 7 in the morning. Tea served in a glass. Newspapers: Århus Stiftstidene
  • Lynfabrikken makes a nice chai tea and has soy milk. I have seen no newspapers. It serves as a workplace for a bunck of creative people with laptops. http://www.lynfabrikken.dk/cafe/
  • Baresso: Politiken and nice croissants and chocolate croissants. Tea is served in a glass. Politiken and more newspapers.
  • Café Jorden: Politiken and other newspapers.
  • Café Smagløs: nice, unformal, lively almost noisy
  • Altura: no black or green tea without flavouring. I don’t like tea with berries or flowers, which they have. I have had both good and bad experiences with the chai tea. There is  soy milk. I haven’t seen newspapers there.

Djursland summer house

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For years I have been longing to explore the landscapes of Djursland. Living in Århus it is so close, but difficult to get to without a car.
The landscape is beautifully curvy because of the meltwater origin and at places quite exotic with rare geology and vegetation. I found a great landscape map link here.

This summer I got invited to stay with a friend and her children in their family holiday cottage on Helgenæs, the southernmost peninsula tip of ‘Jutlands nose’. A little green paradise by the stone beach.

The south part of Djursland, Mols Bjerge meaning ‘Mols Mountains’, has an attractive sound to it. Maybe that’s what made me curious in the first place. I would still like to explore more around there, probably need my own vehicle for that…
Read more about the nature on Djursland on this link to the Danish Nature Agency (in danish). And a tourist link in english.

Japan : Beauty

Japan has swept me off my feet. I am blown away by the infinite beauty I sense everywhere.

We have traveled through the country from town to town, saving the big cities Tokyo and Kyoto for the last part of the trip. When finally arriving in Kyoto it was the culmination of everything and beauty especially. Aesthetics and visual arts are definitely worth studying in Japan, however they are not my primary focus in this post. Watch the slideshow at the bottom of the post or go directly to the flickr set (in progress).Itsukushima-jinja

I feel the japanese culture is permeated with what in essence is beauty. Beauty in the shape of loving care, consideration and attentive humbleness, flowing through everything. Like a thread from the spirituality of the countless temples and shrines all through to the careful way money is exchanged in a shop.

Our purpose of the trip to Japan is to experience Sakura, the blossoming of cherry trees, and the festive Hanami when all japanese go and sit in the parks under the cherry blossoms.
In lack of language we quickly learned the word for thank you ‘Arigato’ and used it repeatedly in all situations, in an almost excusing way to cover our rude western behavior and missing knowledge of japanese culture and manners.

The Shinkansen train being one of our first japanese experiences, we were affected by the respectful bows of the train crew each time they entered and left the train carriage. Continuing on our trip I soon tried to incorporate little respectful bows myself when moving around and interacting amongst people in Japan.
See also post Shining Shinkansen

And then we were introduced to the phenomenon of Wabi-Sabi.
In short this speaks about the beauty in the imperfection and impermanence of all things. An example is about a tea cup that has gotten a little crack. In stead of throwing the cup away, a little gold is added to the crack, enhancing the flaw and making the whole cup more beautiful. Wauw!

This made the beauty of Japan make sense in another inexplicable way. And adding another little brick of understanding the intriguing japanese culture.
It was confirming my feeling of beauty interweaved with a deeper universal meaning.
Beauty with a spiritual dimension, sensing the spirit that permeates through the japanese culture, and the deep respect and care for people, the world and all actions.
All adding to the beautiful whole.

The spirit of beauty. Full of meaning. Very beautiful.
[ultimate-photo source=”flickr” type=”set” set=”72157631053447928″ uid=”70387739@N00″ display_link=”1″ size=”640″ style=”slideshow” num=”20″ slideshow_style=”2″ fixed_height=”1″ remove_np=”1″ align=”center” ]

Shining Shinkansen

Japan.
First impressions: A fine and strange country. We have only been here a few days on a trip lasting several weeks. One of our first encounters with japanese life was the bullet train Shinkansen. It came quietly rolling in at the platform and I loved it immediately. The cool shiny appearance and beautifully shaped long white nose made my heart beat faster. Certainly different from the flat-nosed or rather nose-less danish trains.
These photos are from our second Shinkansen trip, at the train station in Okayama on the way to Hiroshima.
Okayama Shinkansen platformAbove: Getting the last snacks and provisions for the trip.
Below: See how perfectly the japanese line up in an orderly row in good time before the train arrives.

Then at the end of the trip I had a little incident leaving the train. Because of our big luggage and not yet understanding the ‘rules’ for getting on and off the train, we didn’t make it getting out in time with the rest of the descending passengers. People started entering, making it impossible for us to move closer to the exit with our large suitcases.

When we finally arrived at the door, it was about to close. We hurried out but my suitcase got stuck in the door after I just managed to get out. I pulled the suitcase as hard as I could and pushed on the door.
A western couple behind me inside the train also wanted to get out and together we somehow forced the train doors open. Phew! I got my suitcase and they got out

We learned a lesson: to prepare and be ready to get off the train before the other passengers. Because when all passengers have boarded the train, the doors close!

But it IS beautiful: Just look at that nose ♥

Friendly streets

Midtbyen, which translates into ‘Middle town’ is a common name for the centre of Århus, Denmarks second largest town. The equivalent word used for the Copenhagen centre is Indre by; ‘Inner city’. I find that the word ‘Midtbyen’ has a round and down to earth feel about it in contrast to the more sharp ‘Indre by’. Pronouncing the two terms with a respectively Århus- or Copenhagen dialect will underline this.

One of the big advantages of Århus is that it is so small, so you always run into someone you know in the street. It has a great feeling of relaxed community about it, which I love. The streets in the Latin Quarter and The Island Quarter, Øgaderne, are idyllic and cute. Next to one another, the neighbourhoods complement each other, the first full of cafés and little shops and the second a housing area.

On this sunny early spring day I went for a walk from Øgaderne where I live, to stroll around the Latin Quarter streets and get some atmosphere and impressions for this post. And of course I bumped into a couple of friends, Josva and Thomas.

In 2011 the City of Aarhus decided to change the spelling of the name Århus back to the old form Aarhus, which was also used untill 1948.
Everyone except the City employees is free to use the Å-spelling though. I am happy about that because I like the characteristic danish letters and the way they look graphically.

Dansk Sprognævn (in danish) about the changement of the name Århus to Aarhus
Wikipedia in english to more details about Århus and Midtbyen