Four months ago my daughter and fellow tea bud, Holly, and I embarked on a whirlwind trip to Europe. Our 12 night, 3 country, 4 city, travel by train adventure included Amsterdam, Utrecht, Bruges and Paris. It was exhilarating and exhausting. There were standouts and let downs. Most of all, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that created heartwarming memories and gratitude for the ability to explore together. TEA, of course, was tops on my list of what I wanted to experience. It was so interesting to see how tea was served in the various cafes. Happy to report that with a few exceptions, the quality of tea was very good. Attention paid to how it was presented as well as the grade. Loose leaf was much more available but even the bagged tea was done thoughtfully and sourced well. Sencha was the most prevalent green tea used in blends. Lemon and/or lemongrass the most common accents. I’ll be sharing more tea info along with highlights in a series of posts. First up: Amsterdam!
Het Kleinste Huis – Amsterdam. Set in ‘the smallest house’ (built in 1738) and staffed by its owners, this was a warm and welcoming experience. The host, Niels, eagerly shared the fascinating history of the house while serving tea, smiles and fresh baked apple pie. The community table and close quarters added to the charm. Plenty of tea options to choose from including house blends. At just a little over 6′ wide, this place packs a lot into a tiny space. But it’s done right. The first level is dedicated to retail with a private table on the 2nd level and a community table on the 3rd level. Navigating the steep steps is a bit tricky but SO worth the climb! My tea pic: Van Gogh Melange – a green blend of sencha, lemongrass, rose and cornflower. A light and aromatic brew with no aftertaste. Located within walking distance of Dam Square on Oude Hoogstraat, being there is the best thing but until then, you can find The Smallest House on their website, Facebook and Instagram. Next Up: Utrecht!