Distilling nearly forty years of experience drinking the second most consumed beverage in the world, Jürgen Wasim Frembgen’s travelogue, A Thousand Cups of Tea, is a journey through the production, preparation, and consumption of tea from North Africa to South Asia. With deep insights into diverse habits, customs, preferences, and traditions surrounding this practise, the author delves into painting a cross-cultural panorama of a simple activity through detailed vignettes and historical anecdotes based on personal observations and thorough ethnographic research. Woven amongst a combination of both culinary and cultural literature, this simple, accessible knowledge allows the reader to explore the brewing herbs not only as a mixture of hot refreshment, but also as a social custom. This book is of interest to a diverse readership—ranging from anthropology students, casual readers, and tea connoisseurs. It is concurrently an important reference material and valuable addition to the literature on the anthropology of food.
Dr Jürgen Wasim Frembgen is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. He has taught Anthropology and Islamic Studies at various universities in Germany and Austria. He has written extensively on the cultures of the Eastern Muslim world between Iran and India, focusing primarily on Pakistan. Since 1981 he has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the Karakoram, Indus Kohistan, Punjab, and Sindh. In addition, he has been a visiting professor at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad (National Institute of Pakistan Studies); National College of Arts in Lahore; and Ohio State University in Columbus, USA. He recently retired from his position as Senior Curator at the Museum Fünf Kontinente in Munich.
Dr Frembgen has more than 130 English and German language publications to his credit. Many of his books and articles deal with Islam, Sufi traditions, veneration of Muslim saints, arts and material culture, anthropology of the body, social outsiders, and facets of popular culture. He has also curated numerous exhibitions dealing with the cultures in the Muslim world. In 2011, he was awarded the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan for his distinguished merits in the field of science and literature.