There are many lovely tea establishments in Paris, even way more chic than the many romantic sidewalk cafés on every block. Choosing to take tea in Paris is considered to be a very upscale move, as opposed to how it’s viewed in London, where tea in the afternoon is what’s expected. Anything the Parisians set out to make classy, they make very, very classy. It’s just natural in the city of lights. Tea and over the top pastries are astonishingly over-the-top here, where culinary endeavors are taken most seriously. It also shows in the tea. You’d be hard-pressed to find poor quality tea in Paris. This may be the only place in the world outside Asia where that’s the case. It’s ironic, in fact, that just across the English Channel the per capita consumption is so much higher, but the average quality is often mediocre.
The French have made their tea their own. It’s a little like perusing a perfume shop, but the teas are generally very high quality, often blended with beautiful florals and essences. If you’re not OK with scented teas, you can still find some great single-origin teas. But it’s fun to indulge in what the hottest local tea trends are, and in Paris, that’s generally trending with the latest developments in Chanel and Dior. When you take tea in Paris, it’s best to pretend that pastry can’t affect you when you’re eating it there... France has one of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world. Tea can’t take all the credit for that... don’t forget their red wine and dark chocolate, savored during long, leisurely dinners while watching the Eiffel Tower twinkling!
Adapted from “Cancer Hates Tea”, by Maria Uspenski, 2016, Page Street Publishing Co.