The chemistry is right here. Following their Berlin origins, the LAB series from KPM Berlin and the trendy tea label P & T also combine a love of craftsmanship and a commitment to the highest level of enjoyment. An interview with Paper & Tea from our WEISS customer magazine No. 5...

KPM Berlin and the pioneers of modern tea culture Paper & Tea have been cooperating since 2020. Like working with porcelain, the skill of tea mixing is a creative process and a traditional art.

What should you pay attention to when preparing and serving tea?

Five things: water quality, temperature, time, quantity of tea and space to develop. Water quality is important and we would always recommend filtered water, as hard tap water often has residues that affect the taste. If you want to go a step further, black teas and fermented pu-erh teas can handle a little more minerals in the water very well. Just try brewing the same tea with different water. While some types of tea release their flavors very easily into the water, others require a much more intense infusion to develop their full potential. That's why we give our customers temperature and time recommendations for each tea. The amount of tea also plays a big role: the more tea leaves, the more intense the taste. More tea also allows for multiple, shorter infusions and therefore a wide variety of flavor profiles across the infusions. Last but not least, the tea should have enough space in the pot to rehydrate and develop its full flavor. Give your tea the space it deserves and don't confine it in narrow tea infusers.

What do many people do wrong?

Most people prepare all teas - regardless of the degree of oxidation - in the same way. Each type of tea needs its own individual preparation method in order to show its best taste profile. For example, if you pour boiling water into delicate green tea like our Japanese Daikoku N°317, you will burn it. Black tea, on the other hand, often tastes too strong and bitter if it is steeped for too long.

The LAB collection

What should you keep in mind when storing?

You should definitely keep tea away from its five “archenemies”: oxygen, moisture, heat, light and strong aromas. Store your tea in airtight containers, ideally away from the spice cabinet. A little insider tip: Our finest green teas, and especially the limited harvests, always stay in the fridge to maintain their special freshness.

What do people often not know about tea?

Colloquially, we refer to many things as “tea” that are not actually tea at all, such as peppermint, chamomile or fruit tea. All real teas are made from a single plant, the Camellia Sinensis. This simple bush is the most complex plant in the world, with over 700 different ingredients that vary in strength depending on the production. All six types of real tea come from this one plant: white, green, yellow, oolong, black tea and fermented dark tea. They only differ in the way they are manufactured and dried. Within these six tea families we find 3,000 to 5,000 different variations of pure tea.

What myths about tea persist?

A myth is that green tea is healthier than other teas. Tea is generally said to have many health-promoting properties: It strengthens the immune system and not only has a positive effect on our stress levels, but also lowers cholesterol levels and the risk of cancer. Green tea is sung as the fountain of youth, and of course it is actually healthy - just like all other teas that also come from the same plant. Another myth: Many tea drinkers think that black tea contains the most caffeine - if they even know that teas also contain caffeine, and not the colloquial German term Teein. Caffeine in tea was first discovered in 1827 and called teain. The soon-following realization that tea and caffeine were chemically identical led to the dropping of this old name and actually the uniform name caffeine. Although black tea has the highest degree of oxidation, it does not necessarily have the highest caffeine content. The rule of thumb is: the stronger a tea tastes, the more caffeine it has. By the way: If you are looking for lower caffeine tea, choose large leaf tea that grows lower on the plant, such as some oolongs, Japanese Kukicha - like our Kumano N°313 - or Houjicha - like our Daily Toast N°318.

Which varieties can you surprise guests with?

Most people only know black and green teas, so we recommend delighting guests with the sweetness of delicate white teas, the floral notes of an oolong, or the complex flavors in pu-erhs for a completely new tea experience. Another surprise is how good a high-quality chamomile or hibiscus infusion can taste. Our herbal mixtures are made from such high-quality herbs and plants that they have little in common with conventional herbal and fruit teas from the supermarket.

What trends in tea enjoyment are emerging?

One of the biggest trends over the last few years is and remains matcha. In addition to its sophisticated taste and aroma, the very special green tea powder is also the heart of the Japanese tea ceremony. In addition, matcha is full of antioxidants and caffeine: both are very popular these days. The discovery of this ancient tradition in its modern interpretation makes matcha the new espresso.

An ideal tea for beginners?

If you have never tried any of our teas, you must try Golden Earl N°514. We are incredibly proud of this perfection of an Earl Grey. We don't want to brag, but the high quality of our ingredients makes this tea unique, because we only use the finest Chinese black tea and Italian bergamot oil: no additives, no perfume, just pure enjoyment.

KPM Berlin and Paper & Tea have been working together since 2020: What connects the two companies?

The contemporary design of the LAB series is perfect for our teas. It is inspired by the aesthetics of an elegant chemistry laboratory and basically, good tea making is nothing other than pure chemistry. A perfect match, so to speak. Water slowly rehydrates the tea leaves and releases the ingredients within them until we perceive the different pigments, aromas, flavors and textures. That's why we have dedicated a highly oxidized oolong to the LAB series, an ode to nature that has already been highly valued by queens and kings: Our LAB OOLONG - available from October at KPM Berlin and Paper & Tea - only gets its incomparable quality with the help of small grasshoppers Taste. The small Jacobiasca formosana nibble on the tea leaves and trigger a chemical defense mechanism within the tea plant, which in turn gives this tea its incredibly deep flavors.

Text: Sandra Djajadisastra