German Language Blog

The History of German Tea Posted by on Jun 29, 2021 in Culture, Language

When you think of Germany, the first thing that pops into your head is most certainly not tea, it might be Bier (beer) or Kaffee (coffee) but do Germans actually drink tea too? Well the answer is yes, quite a lot of people here do! Schwarztee (black tea) is the most popular tea in Germany, however Kräutertee (herbal tea) and Früchtetee (fruit tea) are often drunk too, for their various health benefits.


How Did Tea Come About?

The first tea was imported from China into Ostfriesland (East Frisia, located in Niedersachsen) in the 1700s. Tea was cheaper than beer and it became popular very quickly, it was even surprisingly consumed more often than beer. However, King Friedrich II was not happy as too much money was leaving the country to pay for the tea, so he tried to stop people from drinking it. This led to tea smuggling and after two years of trying, he gave up.


What is a Tea Ceremony?

Ostfriesland is the only place in Germany to have its very own tea ceremony. The traditional tea is a mix of Assam tea (black tea) and is drunk with a dollop of cream and Kandiszucker (rock candy). Although there is sugar and cream in the tea, you are not meant to stir it. Instead, the tea turns into creamy clouds of white and, as you drink, the flavors slowly mix together. As you drink more of the tea, it becomes sweeter and the flavors change.

In one tea ceremony sitting it is common to drink at least three cups of tea. Any less and it is considered rude. This is also practical because the rock candy will not melt after just one cup, so you can re-use it for further cups of tea.

Kandiszucker – Image by Teddy33 on Pixabay. CCO

Tea Vocabulary

der Tee                                the tea

der Schwarztee                the black tea

der Früchtetee                 the fruit tea

der Kräutertee                 the herbal tea

die Sahne                           the cream

der Kandiszucker           the rock candy

die Tee Schmuggelei      the tea smuggling

die Tee Zeremonie         the tea ceremony

die Tasse                            the cup

das Teesieb                       the tea strainer

rühren                                to stir

das Aroma                        the flavor


I personally love tea, although I haven’t tried the traditional Teezeremonie yet. My favorite tea is Schwarztee and it is how I start my day every morning. Do you drink tea? If so let me know in the comments below what your favouritefavorite tea is!

Thank you for reading,


Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Keep learning German with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Larissa

Hello I'm Larissa. I live in Germany and I am half German and half English. I love sharing my passion for Germany with you through my posts! Apart from writing posts I teach fitness classes in Munich.


  1. Ruby:

    Vielen dank Larissa. Ich trinke gern auch Schwarztee

    • Larissa:

      @Ruby Sehr gerne!!

  2. Brian:

    My favorite tea is Lapsang Souchong, a Chinese black tea in which the leaves are dried over smoky pine fires, truly giving the tea a smoky flavor. I put in 3-4 ml of chile-infused honey to give a “sweet-heat” and this revives me in the afternoon.

    • Larissa:

      @Brian Wow that sounds amazing! This is inspiring me to try new teas 🙂


    Danke, dein Blog ist sehr hilfreich.

  4. Joseph T Madawela:

    I love tea! I am from Sri Lanka and when I was younger would consume it at leastthree times a day. Now I live in the US and switched to Sencha green tea .

    • Larissa:

      @Joseph T Madawela Oh I love green tea too! I need to start drinking it again.
      Thanks for reading the post 🙂