I’ve had a long love affair with Palais des Thés after gleefully discovering it many years ago in my Paris hotel room on the Left Bank. I recall fingering the delicate muslin tea satchel and taking in the deep, sweet, and herbal aroma of a finely crafted tea. Since then, I’ve found some way of bringing loads of it back from Paris, as I can’t imagine going for any period of time without it. As you can imagine, I was overjoyed when Palais des Thés opened their first boutiques in New York. My love was renewed this spring with their new collection of herbal teas, which defy any notion of tea I’ve held in the past. Spring is synonymous with blooms, sun, fresh fruit, and the essence is captured beautifully in the bright orange tins. Upon opening the tops of the floral and fruity Jardins collection, the colorful dried fruits mingling with tea enchanted me with eyebrow-raising aroma. I’ve tried three well-rounded flavors so far, and have found each to have its own personality and can fit into and enhance the mood of the day.
The Tropical Garden takes me straight to the French Riviera and sparkling blue water, with a fruity blend of apple, pear, papaya, pineapple, mango, and peach. It steals a touch of tartness from rosehip peel, lemongrass, and cornflower petals (which are a gorgeous electric blue wisp). The English Garden blend is refined and elegant, embodying British afternoon tea with a refreshing twist. It is still fruit forward, but the highlights are spearmint, lemongrass, and yellow fruit (pineapple and mango). The lemongrass has not only an aromatic component, but work as a natural anti-inflammatory and tummy-calmer. Of all the teas, this is the most soothing to my senses, and seems to dissolve stress with each sip. Rose petals add such beauty to this blend, and elevate it to a tea worthy of the royals.
Last but definitely not least, the Hanging Garden is a bright and fruity tea that I happen to love chilled. The apple and orange peel carry a warmth and joy that is lovely for waking up in the morning or taking a break from the heat in the afternoon. My mom and I had a conversation over soothing cups of Palais des Thés one afternoon when we both had a few rare moments, and it was priceless. I love giving my mother tea as a gift, it’s something she really appreciates and loves drinking for both health benefits and taste. One day, I hope to share my stories of Palais des Thés and a quiet moment of serenity with my own daughter.