Tea and fashion is quickly becoming the preferred way for trendsetters who already know the beauty and health benefits of fine tea. Euromonitor International reports, consumption in the US for ‘tea is projected to increase by 10% in on-trade volume terms over the forecast period, growing to 37,727 tonnes by 2017.’
We recently visited ‘Le Palais des Thés’, the US flagship store in Soho and the second of its kind in New York, known for its high quality and unique world of tea blends. This French tea company is the second NYC store to open in Manhattan and is well respected in France for its Tea School. Customers are greeted by a cup of tea just as we did, and President of Le Palais des Thés, Aurelie Bessière, gave us a tour of the ‘Tea Wall’ with more than 100 tea varieties stored in large metal canisters. You can smell and learn about teas, such as the Fleur de Geisha; which has a delicate scent of Cherry blossoms from Kyoto (an iconic tourist destination in Japan).
I was hypnotized by the Jasmine Pearls; a very rare and available very sporadically which are produced using the best quality green tea leaves. They are rolled by hand into tiny round balls. By being folded in the leaf, preserves the delicate fragrance of the jasmine flower with which it was scented. This spectacular tea produces a beverage of the highest quality and the softness of the green tea, is the perfect complement to the subtlety of the jasmine. The roundness and the smoothness of the beverage feels like a pearl of tea to the palate. A jasmine tea is a must!
There’s also a tea gifts area, that include decorative tea canisters, sample packs and elegant gift boxes of handmade muslin tea bags which make a perfect gift for any tea aficionado. There are also tea accessories which include exclusively designed tea pots and cups. My favorite is the Sekitei teapot (pictured below), that features a stylized design based on the patterns left in the sand and gravel by the gardener’s rake and inspired by the Japanese Zen Garden.
Beauty and fashion lovers certainly know the health benefits of drinking tea, with its rich antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals. Health experts have been telling us for years, that these naturally occurring particles in the body are associated with accelerated ageing and an increased risk of major diseases and drinking tea can help. So if you’re a tea aficionado or want to learn more about the beauty of fine teas, Le Palais des Thés is your new mecca.