Trip lit: Kali Bookstore

"Psychedelic bookstore and teahouse" Kali may be light on actual drugs, but the tea and books serve well enough to tune in and drop out while you're there.

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Photo by Ava Johnson

For a “psychedelic bookstore and teahouse”, Kali is in fact surprisingly light on drugs. Yes, the back room of this little Friedrichshain shop is painted floor-to-ceiling with kaleidoscopic patterns that would look great from an “enhanced” POV, and the toilet’s decorated with cartoon mushrooms spouting stoner wisdom like, “If the voice in your head is you, who is the one listening to it?” But the strongest substance you’re likely to find here is the organic Earl Grey, and only two of the 10-odd hand-built bookcases are dedicated to LSD, DMT and Timothy Leary.

The rest of the new German- and English-language fare is an esoteric grab bag chosen by Kali’s three owners – particularly founding guru Phoenix Kaspian, an Irish app developer turned consciousness explorer who’s just returned from sabbatical in California.

Beat poets and Indian philosophers share space with tomes on feminism, guerilla gardening, PTSD therapy, decluttering and cryptocurrency. Basically, your friend who won’t shut up about the time he tried San Pedro at Burning Man and learned all the secrets of the universe will want to live here, but you don’t need to be on that wavelength to settle into one of Kali’s cosy reading nooks with a marigold blossom infusion (€2.80). Should you find yourself ready to take on more holistic approaches to blowing your mind, head to a discussion like this month’s “Healing your depression with psychedelics” (Apr 17).