And Paris was oh-so-perfect for that reason alone. We turned into every tea shop we could find, never leaving without something, no matter how small. First there was Dammann Frères along place des Vosges. High ceilings, dark walls lined in tea, loose leaves and packaged, just calling for attention. It’s a love affair for both the tea and the packaging, and I admit that I could not fall for one without the other. In NYC I order Dammann Frères online (they have the best Peppermint) or walk to Salumè in Soho where they sell brewed tea by the cup. But here, just look at all the options available within arms reach. I wanted to pick up the contents of the shop and move it straight into my apartment.
A short walk led us to Kusmi Tea…hello Prince Vladimir and Four Red Fruits! Kusmi Tea actually has a retail shop on 3rd Ave that opened early 2010, though I frequently purchase their teas at the Soho Dean & Deluca’s near my apartment.
We just may never return to coffee after this
There was more tea with every turn…Le Palais des Thés around the next corner (NYC’s Tea & Honey carries a small selection of Le Palais des Thés, including the popular Thé du Hammam)…
It was here we settled into the bright and airy salon – complete in colonial decor, for an afternoon respite. Waiters dressed head to toe in white linens, skylights above, rattan chairs, and potted palms.
A menu of over 500 teas, a sweet and savoury food selection, most of which is tea-inspired. Hot teas are served in an insulated white porcelain pot, milk and sugar on the side, presentation is everything. Teas are brewed to order, with the flannel filters removed prior to serving, ensuring that your tea is never too strong. Marco Polo for me and Lapsang Souchong Impèrial for him.
Directly across the street Mariage Frères has a shop where one may purchase loose leaf teas and tea-related products. There’s even a tea museum upstairs. I went straight for the Tea Jelly, offered in select flavors including Earl Grey and Marco Polo. I had eyes lusting for the Darjeeling Impèrial. Finally! A jar of my own.
Back in NYC. A fresh Sullivan Street Bakery striato, smears of soft butter and the musky and sweet darjeeling jelly. It’s a frigid 30F outside today, and I’m staying in all day long with this breakfast…and hot tea of course.