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Location: Vienna, Austria, Austria

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

German for Weirdos 2: Jäger-Tee

If you ever go skiing in Austria's mountains, or maybe go there on a walking tour in late autumn, you may be sure that the local innkeeper will offer you some Jägertee ("hunter's tea", mostly pronounced, and even written, as "Jagatee"). If you take one, don't imagine it's tea. There is some tea in it, black tea - but rather more of it will be rum, or fruit schnapps, or both, with maybe some orange or lemon juice, and sometimes some spices added, such as cloves, nutmeg or anise.
Supposedly hunters, and lumbermen, and other people who had to spend much time outdoors in cold weather, used to drink this stuff in the good old times, to keep themselves warm. It certainly does keep you warm, but it also gets you blasted drunk; when drunk by skiers, it accounts for the behaviour of the so-called Pistensau ("slope-pig").

And then there is this other kind of Jägertee: a little teashop in the heart of Vienna, presumably belonging to someone whose family name is Jäger. They calmly put the inscription "Jäger-Tee" over the door of their shop - fully conscious of the implications, obviously.
It's a very noble tea shop, offering a rich sortiment of Japanese green teas. They also sell spices, and Jamaica rum (!), and some very fine works of art from East Asia - fancy teapots, and little Buddha statues, and Chinese lions made of porcelaine. Also, their windows reflect the facade of the Vienna State Opera. Pure beauty.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Jägertee! I once drank it after a day of skiing. I didn't eat anything that day, so after my first Jägertee I was drunk. A day later someone said hi to me, I asked "Do I know you?". He said: "We had a long conversation yesterday, but I think you were drunk." ..I was a little emberassad when I heard that. :)

1:43 AM  
Blogger caru said...

yeah, that's the way the stuff works... but i bet you weren't cold that day.

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's true, it gives you a nice warm feeling inside. :)

5:07 AM  

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