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Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

Paris, France
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Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

Someone asked for this, so I'll start the ball rolling. Bear in mind that I only drink tea when I have a bad cold...and am no expert! This is a list of things that you will find in an average cafe. Trips to tea salons are a little different, and I will leave that the experts.

"Un the nature" ( uhh tay nah-TOOR) = plain tea, no milk.

"Un the au citron" (uhh tay oh see-TROH) = the same, with a slice of lemon.

"Un the au lait" (uhh tay oh LAY) = plain tea, milk on the side.

Tea is served one of two ways, in my experiece - either the bag is on the side, or loose leaves are in the pot, with a strainer.

A small pitcher of hot water is on the side, and you can ask for a refill =

"un peu plus d'eau chaud" (uhh puh ploos dough show)

Usually, in a cafe, there is a small choice of tea - Earl Grey, Oolong, Green Tea = "The VERR" (tay verr).

A nice thing to try is "The a la Menthe Fraiche" (tay ah lah mont FRESH) = Fresh Mint Leaf Tea. The "Fraiche" part is important. This is really nice when it is served in little Moroccan tea pots, meant to be drunk from hand-painted glasses. The little potholders that usually come with this are "la cerise sur le gateau" - that little something special. La Favorite on rue St Antoine and Le Regis on Ile St Louis serve it this way, just to name two places.

Finally, for the last lesson of the day, a good thing to try when you are caffeine'd out or need a restorative is "Une Tisane" (oon tee ZAHN) = herbal tea. The usual ones I have encountered in cafes are "Tilleul" (tee YUHL) = linden flower tea and "Verveine" (verr VENN) = verbena. There is a large array of herbal teas available in health food stores - where they claim to cure any ailment - and herbal-green tea mixes can be found in any supermarkets. If you take any medications, or have any medical conditions, be careful about using herbal teas, as they can have negative consequences, for which I do not wish to be held responsible...

So - let's hear from some real tea experts!

Broadford, Australia
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1. Re: Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

Ah. Tea.

The thing is, the water needs to be boiling for your English style black tea.

In Paris cafes I have found one gets a glass of hot water, a tea bag, more hot water and milk.

It is marginally better than a cup of tea on an airline. The tea bag should not float on top of the water.

The problem is coffee, apparently the beverage of choice in a Café (go figure huh?) should not be made with boiling water, so the coffee machines are never going to get water hot enough for tea.

I will now only drink wine, pastis or coffee in Paris. Probably in that order.

My son and his wife go to the lengths of having a kettle with 4 different levels of "boil" for green, white, oolong and black tea. I feel this is a bit over the top.

Great threads, Patty In Paris, thanks!

Cheers,

UF

Paris, France
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2. Re: Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

Almost forgot..."The Glace" (tay glah-SAY) = iced tea. I have only seen this in the form of bottled or canned tea, usually sweetened and/or with fruit flavoring. Wait till you get back home and make your own - this stuff is vile!

Paris, France
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3. Re: Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

As a number of other posters, I'll keep recommanding going to one of the Mariage Frères tea salons (especially the Grands Augustins one, near Saint André des Arts, on the upper floor), to be able to enjoy a really great tea in Paris.

They have a staggering amount of teas, to enjoy on site or take away in various satchel sizes, from the most common to the most expensive white teas to flavoured options. Plus their staff is usually extremely knowledgeable and proud of their products. And their pastries array to enjoy with the teas is not bad at all.

http://www.mariagefreres.com/

They also have some seasonal, limited editions for Easter as well as Christmas

Gold Coast
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4. Re: Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

Thanks, PattyinParis.

That's really useful information for all tea drinkers.

PARIS
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5. Re: Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

Nice thread!

Bedfordshire...
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6. Re: Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

Tips for ordering tea in Paris?

Don't.

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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7. Re: Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

<<"un peu plus d'eau chaud" (uhh puh ploos dough show)>>

Not that it makes any difference at all but water is feminine in French (along with peau, but all other eau words are masculine).

"un peu plus d'eau chaude" (uhh puh ploos dough showd)

_____

Any tea lover who has never been to either Mariage Frères (actually a company started by two brothers named Mariage) should make a beeline to their nearest boutique. I am not a big tea drinker but the Mariage Frères teas are simply divine.

Richmond, Virginia
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8. Re: Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

Very helpful, Patty. Thanks!

Williams-Sonoma here in the US carries a very few varieties of Mariage Frerès tea, which are fantastic. The MF shop on the Grands Augustins is on my short list to visit this October.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

Not quite in the league of M-F in terms of elegance, but Kusmi has great teas. Love their "Detox" tea. They have little shops all over France. But none with the fabulous tea rooms and the array of accessories of M-F.

Tacoma, Washington
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10. Re: Tips for ordering tea in Paris...

I'm not a big tea drinker, but a Japanese friend gave me a Kusmi tea sampler as a gift...heavenly. I'm still rationing so I don't use them all up too quickly. I'll definitely check out Mariage Freres when I get back to Paris.