The Tea Party: How to do high tea in Paris

Sep 29, 2011

by RITA ERLICH

Paris caters particularly well for tea drinkers and visitors are encouraged to try the selection at Le Palais des Ths (located throught the city).They havedozens and dozens on display, mostly available as samples of leaves for looking at and smelling but there’s always a tea of the day to sample.

Tea-ophiles looking to experience some of the city's more historialheavyweights shouldhead toDammann, which opened in 1925, and the old firm of Kusmi Tea, begun by Pavel Kusmichoff in 1917. Mariage Freresat 13 rue des Grands Augustinsis the city's oldest tea shop, dating back to 1854. Housed ina simple corner buildingthat disguises the treasures inside,Mariage Freres still maintains a romantic 19th century energy complete with rich wooden floors and shelves stocked floor to ceiling with mysterious black canisters. Don'tjust ask for Darjeeling as there are dozens of choices, from different estates and from different seasons and pickings. Some of the most prized sell for 420EUR a kilo but the more modestly priced Ratnapura Orange Pekoe is a fine Ceylon that costs only 9.50EUR for a 100g tin.

Brunch at Mariage Freres is quite a feast. Le Classique (29EUR) features toasted brioche with tea jams, and a big square platter that holds scrambled eggs dusted with green tea salt in a coloured glass bowl, a fat roll of smoked salmon, four prawns, and a little green salad. Then comes a choice of patisserie, all of whichcome served withtea included. The chocolate tart includes Earl Grey, the fruit tart comes with a red tea glaze.


Late-rising visitorsshouldtrek to The Meurice, where Salvator Dali lived for a while. The hotel turns on an afternoon tea (count on 30 euros) daily, throwing in a choice of 13choices that extends to white, green, black, red, and includesPu-erh (the aged Chinese tea) for good measure.

The teas of Les Comptoirs Richard show up in many restaurants and cafes – at the bakery of Eric Kayser, for example – but for those wanting to taste through at least some of the range, head for the store in the rue de Cherche-Midi.

Those looking for a more afordable hit shouldhead torestaurant L’Assiette, where afine Darjeelingsells for only4EUR for a small pot and blackboards list a variety of cheese.

Food & Drink

Grand Epicerie
38 Rue de Sevres
Paris, 75007
+33 1 4439 8000

Mariage Freres
13 rue des Grands-Augustins
Paris, 75006.
+33 1 4051 8250
mariagefreres.com

Dammann Freres
15 Place des Vosges
Paris, 75004.
+33 1 4804 9935
dammann.fr

Le Crillon
10 place de la Concorde
Paris, 75008.

Hotel Meurice
228 rue de Rivoli
Paris, 75001.

L’Assiette
181 rue du Chateau
Paris, 75014.
+33 1 4322 6486
restaurant-lassiette.com


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