Photo by Marta Domínguez
You’re sitting in a dimly lit, white-walled room, perched atop a sleek metal stool while fragrant jasmine wafts from the Chinese tea ceremony in front of you.
German Chinese Jing Röttger swirls the tea in a small white pot before she pours a perfectly measured mouthful into a porcelain cup. You slowly sip the delicate brew, letting the subtle flavours tickle your palate. Relaxation overtakes you... until a heart-stopping “Hiiiii-YA!” bursts up the staircase from the room below.
Welcome to Chimosa, a new studio and tea shop near Oranienburger Tor. Eager to make martial arts more appealing to women, Röttger and Yi Chung Chen sought to combine modern combat sport training with yoga and meditation, infused with a flare of their own Chinese background. The result is an artistic mix of Zen philosophy, refined teas and vigorous workouts.
While the Tai Chi and meditation courses focus on controlled breathing and clear head space, those looking to get really physical can try the mixed martial arts class “Woo!Zen”, an intense workout with elements of kung fu, Muy Thai, and cardio set to upbeat dance music.
If relieving stress through a punching bag isn’t your thing, the aforementioned ceremony will allow you to sample high-quality teas before purchase. Prices range from €10 to €44 for 100g according to origin (China, India and Japan) and category (from “classic” to “treasured”). A small 25g satchel of Lagoon of the Cranes will set you back €13.50, but to hell with austerity when it comes to a beverage known in China as the “king of the golden teas”.
As for memberships, they’re not cheap (€75/month for six months or €70/month for 12 months) but they include unlimited classes, 10 percent off tea shop merchandise and a sense of community not felt at large, impersonal gyms.