Archive for Travels category

One day in Berlin

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Last month I spent a weekend in Berlin to visit some friends and enjoy the city. Berlin is one of my favorite cities in Germany. There are so many things to do and explore and it’s a truly vibrant and inspiring city. What I mostly love doing when being there is to stroll around through some of the neighborhoods like Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and check out little unique cafés and stores. I really do not get tired of doing that and would like to share some of those discoveries with you.

Neighborhood Wedding – maybe not the most popular neighborhood yet, but it’s getting more and more popular these days. There is this café called „Göttlich“ which not only has great coffee and antipasti, but is also a more relaxing place compared to the busy ones in Prenzlauer Berg. The staff is very friendly and the people going there are not as much „hippster-crazy“ as in other parts of the city.


Neighborhood Kreuzberg – in case it is your first time in this area and you haven’t had breakfast or lunch yet, go and explore the „Marheineke Markthalle“ which is a nice and smaller market hall where you can find all different kinds of food. In addition, the vegan supermarket chain „Veganz“ has a shop on the first floor.

Chapter One is a very popular coffee place which is more focused in the newer trend of Third Wave coffee than on Italian style espresso. Really worth to have a sip while being in Kreuzberg! And it is located very close to the market hall and the Marheinekeplatz.

If you then still feel like going shopping for a little bit, take the road „Bergmannstrasse“ to check out some small shops there. There you can also find a nice shop for organic cosmetics called „Bella Donna“ which offers a wide range of organic brands such as Oliveda, Martina Gebhardt, Dr. Hauschka, Bioturm and khadi.

Tea Tasting No. 9

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Tea type: green tea

Tea name: Kukicha

Origin: Japan

Harvest: 2016

Bought: through Tomotcha monthly tea subscription 

Impression: this tea has a very smooth taste which I can best describe as freshly baked cookies coming out of the oven. This is really the association I had when I had my first sip. The tea is stronger in flavor than a sencha tea and does contain a slightly stronger astringency. I can recommend up to three steepings, although the first two are the best ones. Water should be around 60-70 C, not higher.

A day in Hamburg

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Two weeks ago I spent a couple of days in Hamburg. Although I have never been a huge fan of the city – who knows for which reason – I really loved the days I spent there. It was such a nice trip and in addition, the weather was just amazing. I found some cool spots and places and had a great time exploring the city.

Where I stayed: Schanzenviertel through airbnb. I can highly recommend to stay in this area if you are looking for a vibrant neighborhood with lots of nice cafés, bars, individual little shops and conveniently located when going for further sightseeing in Hamburg. 

Coffee places I liked: Nord Coast Coffee Roastery is located at the Speicherstadt and the barista was super helpful when I had to choose between the different coffee varieties they offer. The café less political is much smaller and a cosy little place for coffee in a more quiet area in the Schanzenviertel. Both cafés offer a great space for sitting outside to relax and enjoy the sun. If you are as lucky enough to get some!

Nord Coast Coffee

Nord Coast Coffee

 

less political coffee shop

Food I liked: Bok Restaurant is an Asian style restaurant which only uses fresh ingredients and without using any glutamates. They have several locations througout Hamburg, but two already at the Schanzenviertel. I went there twice while I was there because I really liked it! You can also get the food to go if you want.
The shop I liked most: Amara Ajai – a cute little shop with unique pieces. You can find everything from jewellery to fashion and home deco. I found this wonderful and unique watch from the German brand called Kerbholz which creates high quality watches made out of wood.

my newly bought watch from Kerbholz

China travels – August 2016

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I just came back from two weeks of business travel in China. This time, our schedule was super tide and I still felt the jetlag from my previous trip to Chicago for a little while.

So after hitting the Qingdao Beer Festival (the little brother of the German Oktoberfest!) right after my arrival, I was ready to appreciate the few quiet moments and quiet places which we discovered along our trip through China.

Tiny breakfast place in Qingdao

Bayannoer Hotel in Inner Mongolia


After a few days in Qingdao, we traveled through Shandong province before going to the Gansu province and to Inner Mongolia.

And visiting the fields and the countryside is always a very great way for me personally to get an authentic and true feeling of a country or an area I’m visiting.


One day in Chicago

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It’s August and I have been really busy traveling. 

Three weeks ago, I traveled to Chicago for business to attend the IFT fair. It was actually my first time in Chicago and I was lucky enough to have a full day of leasure time and was able to discover some nice parts of the city. Surely, I have to come back once again to further discover this nice city. 

For now, have a look at my favorite pic(k)s!

I started the morning at one of the Lake Michigan city beaches


Went shopping on Michigan Avenue (also known as the Magnificent Mile) and discovered shops as the „Space519“ for unique fashion and beauty (e.g. beauty brand rms)

Enjoyed some fresh fruits at the Farmers Market, close to Michigan Avenue and open every Tuesday.

Was lucky enough to be invited to the „Chicago Yacht Club“, enjoyed some cocktails and a great sunset.

One day in Lisbon

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Last month, I had one day in Lisboa, coming back from some wonderful relaxing days at the Portoguese ocean side. It was my second time in the city, so I wanted to take it a little more slow this time. Therefore, my priority was on finding some nice tea or coffee place and spending some quality time at a relaxing spot with a bit of sunshine. I think I did pretty well, but get a picture for yourself!

Hotel pick: Check-in Guesthouse – very cosy, comfortable and clean guesthouse, equipped with a big kitchen in case you feel like cooking. Located in the southwest of the city, close to the district Bairro Alto.

Place for tea: Tease – I discovered this cute and cosy café just by incident while I was in search of the Copenhagen Coffee Lab, as it is located across the street. The staff was super friendly and the atmosphere very calm and relaxed.  You can only get great tea, but also great cake and coffee.

Tease Café


Place for coffee: Copenhagen Coffee Lab – looking at the other side of the street, you then have  more great coffee to pick from. I did not have coffee here as I had tea at Tease, but I had a look inside. It has a very clean design with lots of whites and wooden colors.


And here are two more places for a quiet, relaxing break: two parks that I can really recommend are „Praça das Flores“ and „Praça do Principe Real“. The first one is really close to „Tease“ and the „Copenhagen Coffee Lab“. The second one is opposite of the indoor market I talk about in one of my former posts. Bigger than the first one, they both have their own wonderful atmosphere where you can grab a coffee, grab a book and relax.

Dachi Tea – a startup company from Taiwan

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Browsing through the internet one day, I found this amazing tea startup company called Dachi Tea.
I really like their company story and their idea behind the brand Dachi Tea. The idea was to firstly find the best raw material tea leaves and secondly, finding the best tea makers from all over Taiwan to create very unique oolong teas from the raw tea leaves provided. And that is exactly what Dachi Tea did! When you look at their website, you can choose between different tea subscription plans. 

For more great tea recommendations and especially the one on Dachi Tea, please also read Max Falkowitz’s article on „Where to buy amazing tea online„. A great and really helpful read!

Tea Tasting No. 4

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Tea type: green tea
Tea name: Sencha Shoike-no-o
Origin: Japan
Bought at: the Ippodo tea shop in NYC. You can also purchase their tea through their website and they do ship international.

first Infusion


First Impression: very nice weedy smell and sweet in flavor. I can recommend three steepings, but not more as the tea then gets astringent even with low water temperatures. 

Compared to the sencha tea I mentioned in my post Tea Tasting No. 2 from the Bellocq Atelier, I prefer this one from Ippodo. To me it seems a little stronger in aroma. However, both teas are of really good quality and fine taste.

Indoor Market Concept – Lisbon

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When I was in Lisbon, I discovered this indoor market opposite of the Praça do Principe Real. It is located on a big sales floor with various smaller Portuguese brands presenting and selling their products. Really similar to a big department store with different selling brands. It is a great and inspiring shopping experience and a concept I really like. It is especially great for smaller brands which do not have the financing power for their own shop, especially at such an exposed location.
I found a super nice cotton plait for my bed from a Northern Portuguese brand called „by Stro„. 

Plait by Stor


I love, love, love it and was actually looking for such a plait forever. The quality, color and pattern is just lovely.

NYC – shops you shouldn’t miss out on

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A personal pick of a few spots I really loved while being in NYC.

Jennifer’s Way Bakery – very cute bakery in the East Village which is offering glutenfree, allergy-friendly, peanut-free baked goods. I tried a small chocolate muffin which was the most delicious thing I had in a very long time.

Jennifer’s Way Bakery

Tu-Lu’s Bakery – another bakery which is offering glutenfree, milkfree and also eggfree baked goods. I tried a glutenfree, milkfree, eggfree chocolate chip cookie which was very nice. In terms of atmosphere and presentation of goods I would however suggest Jennifer’s Way.

Brodo – watch out for the orange colored sign and look for a small window. Brodo is selling healthy bone broth in a cup to go. The idea is to create some slow simmering soothing healthy bone broth on the go. I had the classic bone broth which was very delicious. Especially in winter time I can imagine it to be a great soothing drink on the go. And in general I just love the idea to get something great and so healthy for your body without needing to stay in your kitchen for hours to prepare it.

 

Stanley’s Pharmacy – Stanley is a pharmacy with a twist to it. Once you walk inside, Stanley will ask you how you feel and will prepare you a drink according to your needs.

Stanley’s Pharmacy at the Lower East Side


Roast Kitchen & Hu Kitchen – all over the city, creating your own bowl for lunch (or dinner as well) seems to be the thing to do. It was especially great for me, as I could pick exactly those ingredients that work for me.

Whole Foods – a supermarket chain which is specialized in healthy & organic foods and organic beauty products. Furthermore, it’s a great spot for a healthy lunch where you can select from a broad range of warm and cold dishes (also to go).