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Date Person in charge
6.4.2023 Niklas
13.4.2023 Virginie
4.5.2023 Lukas
Meme credits: Nicolas Dupré

General information

Tea break takes place in the Tea Room on Thursdays between the Forschungsseminar and the Oberseminar from 16:15 to 16:45, and involves tea/coffee-drinking, snack-eating and social mingling between the professors, post-docs, doctoral students and the Oberseminar guest. Each Thursday a different doctoral student will take care of preparing this, as detailed below. A tea break takes place on all Thursdays of the lecture period (not including federal, state or university-mandated holidays) regardless of whether there is an Oberseminar talk or whether the Oberseminar talk is online. This policy is subject to change due to, among other things, pandemic-related developments.

All doctoral students are kindly asked to sign up for one of the days above. Those who have a good excuse (e.g. graduating this term) may get a pass on this. You can sign up by editing this page, for which you will need to log in with your ESAGA account. If there are empty slots on April 7, these will be assigned randomly to non-volunteers.

Please mark any further changes in the schedule on this page. It is perfectly fine to swap slots, but this should be indicated here in order to avoid confusion.

Preparing tea: checklist

  1. Check the (green and black) tea, coffee, milk pod and snack supplies a few days before. If anything is missing, you are supposed to procure it. Please coordinate with the people in the weeks after you, and do the shopping for multiple weeks in advance; this makes reimbursement easier (see below). Make sure to check that most plates and mugs are clean, and if not, start the dishwasher with the dirty bits.
  2. On the day of your tea break, do the following before the tea break:
    • Prepare one pot of caffeinated (black/green) and one pot of non-caffeinated (herbal/fruit/other) tea. The pots are (supposed to be) labelled.
    • Prepare two jugs of coffee. Tastes vary on strength; use your best judgement.
    • Put all the snacks in plates, and please always try to include something vegan on a separate plate.
    • Take the above to the Tea Room, together with sugar lumps, saccharine, spoons, these-white-plastic-things-one-uses-to-stir-coffee, napkins and many, many mugs. One trayful of mugs is usually not enough. You can (and should) use the white carts in the kitchenette to carry everything.
    This should be ready by 16:15. Some people can get annoyed if they don't get their dose of neurostimulant on time. You can expect the preparation to take 20–25 mins (your mileage may vary; best to play it safe and start preparing things right after the end of the Forschungsseminar – maybe don't stay for questions that day). It is typical to ask someone for assistance, often one of your office mates, though some people manage alone. In terms of numbers, you should expect around 30 people to show up, but this also varies from week to week.
  3. During the actual tea break, make sure everyone has everything they need (within the realm of possibility) and they seem pleased. The point being simply that sometimes napkins run out too quickly or someone forgets to bring sugar, and people are completely helpless and miserable.
  4. At the end of the break, lock the Tea Room, and go listen to the Oberseminar talk.
  5. After the Oberseminar, bring everything back to the kitchenette, and start the dishwasher with all the dirty crockery and utensils. Rinse the teapots and coffee jugs. Clean the coffee machine. Place everything back to its place in the cupboards.
  6. Check back the next morning to empty the dishwasher. (This is not essential, but please do it if you happen to be in the department anyway.)

If you are up for it, you should feel free (but not pressured) to serve home-made sweets instead of store-bought ones. What better way to earn brownie points than by baking actual brownies?

Shopping and reimbursement

Shopping is reimbursed in full, just make sure to keep the receipt, and that there are no personal items on it. Reimbursement is conducted by Ms Striebeck: besides the receipt, she will need some personal data on you (the name of your bank, your IBAN, your tax office (Finanzamt), your tax number (Steuernummer), and your tax identification number (Steuer-ID) or your date of birth). Since this means a lot of paperwork, it is kindly requested to minimise the number of shopping trips. Coordinate with the people after you in the schedule and plan ahead.

The supermarket closest to the department is a Rewe on the underground floor of Limbecker Platz, and it usually has all that we need for our tea breaks.


The text above is partially based upon e-mails sent out by Antonio Mejías Gil during his tenure as tea coordinator.