I remember the first time I found this tea, I was in the Mariage Frères on the Place de La Madeleine, it’s a funny little shop without the full tea room as you would find (for example) in Rue Bourg Tibourg in the 4th, no this was in an area surrounded by the exclusive epiceries of Hédiard and Fauchon. Thus, though they did not have a tea room (why bother when you are competing with Laduree too?) they carried quite an extensive range of teas, not to mention a complete selection of the paraphanalia of tea: everything from sables au the (Tea flavoured biscuits!) to mousselines de coton (muslin tea bags, either filled with your tea or empty) to théières (tea pots sounds much more profound in French!) and all sorts of items.
Thus, the sight of this tea on my shelf in it’s bag, and even the handwriting of the lovely man who sold it to me, still make me think of the discovery of this wonderful tea – why? Because it reminded me that it’s not all the same, not every tea is the same.
And how, is this “fruit green tea blend” (how boring sounding??) so different?
Well, firstly, from the first wiff when you open it, you are hit in the face by Lavender – uniquely, it has not just the flowers but, I remember the Mariage Frères assistant pointing out, the oil of lavender and rose in it – so it’s quite unique because lavender is not used that often in blends of tea, because it can be overpowering.
In amongst the flowers, there are herbs like rosemary and thyme, which also feature strongly in the scent, and touch on the taste too. Amongt the herbs, you can subtlely taste the flowers (rose, violet) and the fruits (lemon, orange, berries).
The other thing i love about this tea, is after transporting me to Paris on looking at it and deciding to grab it off the shelf, when I open it I am then transported to Provence: over a month spent walking the hills of Venasque (nr Avignon), smelling the lillies, the lavender, walking through “le voie des cerises” – the avenue of cherries, and finally spending hours carefully tending vineyards in the early spring to get them ready to bud and grow all summer.
All of that, in a tea, not sure how that is possible, but it does remind me of it!
I would definitely use 1.5 desert spoons for a 6 cup pot, and use water off the boil, and brew very quickly with this particular tea – the colour comes out a very awesome bright green, and is super refreshing, like drinking a valley full of flowers and trees.
I can recommend it any time of day, but I think the lavender definitely gives it an aspect of unwinding, so perhaps evening is better.
Just an lovely tea, exceptionally well blended – I gave the man in the shop a description of what I was looking for: not a black tea, something a bit outside the box, with unusual flavourings that blend well with a lighter tea and he pondered for a while, and found me 3 different teas (including this one) and I think I bought all three!