I used to be an English "tea snob". For years, I only drank English loose tea (OK a tea bag, now and then). Once my husband and I started travelling to the UK, I fell in love with the tradition of English tea and tea rooms. I loved finding new brands and new flavors of black teas whenever we travelled to England.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Well, my tea story changed after my second trip to Paris. On my first trip (my honeymoon) I stayed loyal to my English heritage and was not tempted by all the pretty tea caddies I saw in the Parisian department stores. After all, wasn't it the English that popularized tea? Well, their Duchess of Bedford may have invented their famous afternoon tea time but I discovered that in 1636, it was fashionable to drink tea in Paris, 22 years before tea even came to England.
I fell in love with French tea at a branch of Mariage Freres, in Paris. To this day, they are still my favorite tea purveyor in the entire world! They offer over 500 of the world's finest teas. (Oui, a future post.) On my last trip to Paris though, I decided to check out another famous French tea company, Le Palais Des The's, in the 3rd arrondisement of Paris.
If you are thinking you may have heard of Le Palais Des The's, you are probably right! Oprah Winfrey is a big fan of this tea company. Their tea sampler has made her "O" list. I am a big fan now, too!
Going into Le Palais Des The's was totally a different experience than stepping into an "old fashioned" Parisian Mariage Freres tea store. Le Palais Des The's store has a bright Chinese red exterior along with a very modern interior. There was a definite "hip" vibe with it's young Parisian staff.
I made Le Palais Des The's my destination for my the's vert (green tea) shopping list. I purchased Chinese Gunpowder Tea, Jasmin, Sencha Superieur and Fleur de Geisha from Japon (Japan). The tea clerk measured my tea and put them in modern, shiny silver packets with a vacuum seal. This wonderful packet keeps your tea fresh and safe from air and light.
I hope I have enticed you to try their wonderful teas. I know you won't be disappointed.
And, if you can't get to Paris you can shop online
(in your jammies with a cup of tea) at: Palais des Thes.