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John Talbott

Tea in Paris - Favorite teashops and teasalons

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Ptipois, I was sorry to read of your dislike of the service at Trois Thés. A year or so ago I had a wonderful experience there. I went in with some tea samples about which I knew little. A friend had brought them back from a trip to China. She said they were sold to her as high-end teas and she got them for me as a gift.

I had brought small quantities in baggies, as well as photocopies of the original packaging. The first salesperson couldn`t help me, but asked Maître Tseng to come out. She spent nearly 20 minutes with me discussing my samples. This was even though (1) I had degraded them by bring them in baggies and (2) the packaging was not descriptive, i.e., it was poems, etc.

Maître Tseng examined two of my samples and said they were very cheap teas, as well as being stale. The third one she said was in decent shape and then she brewed it. It was nothing special, although it was at least drinkable.

This was my first visit to Trois Thés and I felt incredibly well treated by the owner herself, particularly since I was not even in the process of buying something.

I do agree with you about Mariage Frères. I've never been impressed with them.

Randy,

I do not wish to be too explicit concerning the serious flaws of La Maison des Trois Thés. I am merely going to point out that, however well you were treated and how much time was devoted to your samples, I see no proof of tea expertise there. It does not take any particularly skill or competence to spend twenty minutes on bagged teas and telling someone they are not top quality.

None of the tea experts of my acquaintance that have been in contact with La Maison des Trois Thés, including my own Cantonese tea masters, have acknowledged it as a serious reference.

Mariage is quite a different matter, I have no reason to criticize them except their way of overflavoring average-grade teas with essential oils, but this is the contemporary French way with tea and it has to be enjoyed such as it is, or not at all.

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Ptipois, I accept and appreciate your comments. I am really not knowledgable about teas and spoke only of the service I received. It was loose tea, by the way, not tea bags; putting the samples in plastic was my own error.

Incidentally, speaking of flavoring teas, the one I mentioned that Maître Tseng said was drinkable she also criticized for being flavored. She said flowers had been added but that a much better quality of the same type tea would have achieved its flovor without adding the flowers.

Do you have any more information about the new tea house near Hôtel de Ville that you mentioned a while back? The apartment I am in is off rue St. Paul, an easy walk to there.

Thanks.


Edited by RandyB (log)

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I just walked by a new, at least I think it's new, tea vendor in the 1st. It's called Terre de Chine and it's at 49 Quincampoix just west of the Pompidou Center. I didn't have time to stop in, but it looked like they had an incredible array of both teas and tea making accessories. I think there is a website, but I didn't have time to write it down. There is also a great beer store two doors down that specializes in artisanal French beer.


"When planning big social gatherings at our home, I wait until the last minute to tell my wife. I figure she is going to worry either way, so I let her worry for two days rather than two weeks."
-EW

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Do you have any more information about the new tea house near Hôtel de Ville that you mentioned a while back? The apartment I am in is off rue St. Paul, an easy walk to there.

Thanks.

Randy, sorry I'm replying so late. The tea house I'm referring to is right at the corner of rue de la Coutellerie and rue de la Tacherie, where they merge into avenue Victoria. It is between the Hotel de Ville and the Tour Saint-Jacques. I have only passed by while riding buses, and have never had the opportunity to stop there. I intend to do that soon, I am curious to know whether they make, or provide the means for, a proper gongfu cha.

Braden, Terre de Chine has been around for some time now. I haven't been there yet though. I'll take a look, thanks for reminding me.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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Knowing that everyone doesn't always check the Digest, here's today's news:

This week, in Figaroscope’s Dossier, the team listed and described Tea Salons:

Russian

Kusmi tea

Shop Food

Bonpoint

Film lovers

Salon du Pantheon

Boudoir

The cool

Institution

Carette

Garden side

Café Medicis

Neo T

Charming tea time places

Musee de la Vie Romantique, La Cocotte, 1728 + Les Ombres.

Francois Simon in his Hache Menu went to the 1T Scribe, 1, rue Scribe in the 9th, 01.44.71.24.24, open 7/7 where he spent 54 € on tea plus a Caesar salad, éclair and “fingerfood.” He said go if you’re nearby but don’t go far.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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In today's JDD the following are suggested:

La Maison des Trois Thes for waking up the senses

Jugetsudo for a Japanese break

La Maison de la Chine for a celestial breakfast

l'Ecole du the du Palais des Thes to learn how

l'Empire des Thes to switch gears.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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