Posts Tagged ‘Tea’

New teashop – Le Palais des Thés

Ireland is a tea drinking nation. For a while, we were even the reigning champion of tea drinking, consuming some 4-6 cups of tea per person per day, and only rather recently Japan overtook this country in the race for the title of Number 1 Tea Drinker in the World. The usual brands that a typical Irish household would stock are Bewley’s, Barry’s, Lyons and Twinnings (although this is an English brand).

A few years back, ordering tea would mean getting a pot of black tea, served with sugar and milk. I don’t know what happened to push forward a tea revolution in Ireland, but within the last couple of years, there is a shift for larger tea selection, to include green teas, infusions and even special blends of fruity and aromatic teas. And most of these new found favourites are best served without milk, with some even better served cold than hot.

With such an advent, it’s not surprising to find specialist tea shops in the city, selling loose teas and various tea-related gadgets and gift sets. Just earlier this year, Matchabar Tea Emporium opens its door at the Powerscourt Centre, boasting a selection of over 150 teas and tea blends to tea lovers. And just yesterday, a French tea company set up some competition by opening Le Palais des Thés on Wicklow Street, just about 5 minutes stroll away from Powerscourt Centre.

As I was passing by, I went in to have a peek in this new tea shop to see what they have to offer. A brightly lit shop with a spacious feel to it, the tins and packets of teas are neatly arranged along the walls of the premises. There were also a couple of “tea tasting stations” in different parts of the shop, where the friendly shop assistants cheerfully organise for a tasting of the tea that you would like to check out before purchasing.

This tea company boasts over its selection of some 250 different teas, that are categorised into the following “tea families” : Asian (China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia), Asian (Japan), Asian (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh), Middle East (from the Black Sea to Caspian Sea), African, South American, Blends and flavours, and Organically Grown Teas.

I am no tea connaisseur but I walked around the shop rather giddily at the thought of a whole world of tea possibilities! When I was offered an opportunity to squeeze in some tasting, I asked the shop assistant for a recommendation of something aromatic and light, of green tea variety (black tea gives me headache) and she brought me some Thé du Hammam. The tea blend smells amazingly delicious and fruity, as this is green tea flavoured with the pulp of green dates, orange blossom, rose and red fruits. I liked what I tasted, for the delicate taste to it while still carrying the unforgettable bouquet. I was sold, and I bought a 50g bag of it!

In fact, I’m liking the scent so much I am considering sewing some muslin bags to pack the tea mix in, and use them as fragrant pouches.

Drop by the next time you’re in town, and have a look at the place and try some tea for yourself. If you have friends who are tea lovers, this would be a good place to pick up some Christmas presents too, with beautifully packaged selections of teas and tea sets.

Ps: to my lovely friends in Paris, they have a few shops around but a couple of notable locations are St Germain (rue du Cherche-Midi) and Marais (rue Vieille-du-Temple). ;-)

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