An Introduction to French Tea

French tea
At notable tea salons such as Angelina (left), Ladurée (right), afternoon tea is treated as a refined art form.

Text and Photography by Bruce Richardson

Paris is a city that never disappoints me. Every arrondissement is a treasure chest waiting to be opened, sniffed, consumed, and remembered. I gaze longingly into boulangerie windows, wander through outdoor markets, and relish the daily menus hastily chalked onto boards posted outside cafés.

Fortunately, it’s an easy city to walk. If you’re like me, you’ll need to burn off those decadent calories you consume while satisfying your hunger for the most delicious city in the world. The long climb up Montmartre from the Moulin Rouge to the cathedral Sacré-Coeur is one of the best workouts for shedding those buttery excesses.

For those of us addicted to the leaf of the Camellia sinensis, the great consolation is that we are never more than a short stroll from a salon de thé filled with enticing pâtisseries to be sampled—a gâteau of this, a tarte of that, a croissant with honey, another madeleine, a dozen boxed meringues to take home, or a pain au chocolat to leave a sweet taste on the tongue.


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