Tea Time! Last winter we discovered the wonderful teas from Palais des Thes, a Parisian tea company that recently opened its first two stores in New York City. And let us tell you this – we will never drink supermarket teas again. It would be like drinking Mateus (our favorite wine in the ‘70s) and thinking it’s a fine rose. And just this week, we visited the flagship store in SOHO in New York City for a private tea tasting with Justin our tea sommelier. Here’s what we learned: we actually like green tea and we’ve making tea wrong forever.
So first, about the teas. The shop offers over 130 different teas – you can buy them loose or in tea bags that are beautifully packaged in muslin. The teas are selected from around the world by the owner of the company – although “around the world” means Asia because that is where tea is grown. We had a chance to sample teas from India, China, Japan and Korea. All the plants are the same, the difference is in how they are processed. The blends are created in France.
Preparing teas: You should never use boiling water and steeping times vary. The reason many people do not like green teas is because they taste “bitter”. Well we learned that is because they should not be steeped in boiling water. We sampled several wonderful green teas with no bitter taste at all. All of the Palais teas list their proper water temperature and steeping times.
Our favorites: We love the chai with its blend of black tea and spices (ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and clove). We drank it all last winter and just added a little honey. And this summer they introduced the “Gardens” teas which are wonderful infusion made from fruit, flowers, and plants – you’ll see pieces of fruits and flowers in the tea. They are great hot but even better as iced tea (no sugar needed) and also make a wicked cocktail blend too.
The right tea accouterments.
So now that we’ve become tea snobs, we prefer to use loose tea (although the muslin bagged teas are wonderful too). Here are few items every tea loving tomato should have.
The KRUPS Personal Tea Kettle has an integrated infusion basket for loose tea leaves and tea bags, Amazon. $29.99
We fell in love with this Cherry Blossoms 24oz Ceramic Teapot with Tea Infuser, Loose Leaf Tea Steeping. Amazon. $25.00
Tea for 2. How adorable is this Tea Infuser set featuring Mr and Mrs Manatea for Loose Leaf Tea. Amazon. Just $14.97
You can also buy Palais des Thes at Amazon too. Click tea.