There is something sumptuously luxurious about spending an hour or two chatting with friends and lingering over a hot cup of tea. It's a delightful decadence of Parisian culture we still enjoy today. According to "Tea Muse," a monthly newsletter dedicated to all things tea, tea arrived in Paris in 1636, almost 20 years before tea made its way to England. And although the tea plant originates from China and the tea cultures of China and Japan predate Europe, when tea got to Paris, it was all the rage for the fashionable aristocracy.
A fun read is delving into the 17th century letters of famous French aristocrat Madame de Sevigne. She wrote deliciously juicy details of life in Paris' tea salons under King Louis XIV's reign where people reportedly drank up to 12 cups of tea per day.
What's to love about tea? The variety of flavors as well as all the health benefits. Of course, there are all the gorgeous tea rooms in which to enjoy it.
I discovered this great little French tearoom in historic downtown Orange, California called Paris in a Cup. The owners were inspired by Paris' tea rooms such as LaDuree and Angelina's. From the furnishings, tableware and of course gourmet goodies. Love it! They even made the Good Day LA's Hot List.
And of course, if you're ever in Paris, stop by Kusmi Teas in fashionable Saint Germain des Pres on Rue de Seine. They sell a wonderful assortment of teas and have a great little tea room upstairs. Kusmi was started in Russia, as an official supplier to the Russian czars but after the revolution in 1917, moved its headquarters to Paris. Love their new "Sweet Love," which is black China tea with liquorice, guarana seed and pink pepper. Another favorite is Spicy Chocolate. You can purchase their teas online.
Tea Muse monthly newsletter - click on Tea Maps link for a directory of tea rooms all over the U.S.