Last night marked the opening of the second NYC shop for French tea company Le Palais des Thés. The small SoHo store packs wall-to-wall tea in every flavor and variety that one could imagine including many black, green, oolong, and white teas as well as limited edition, single estate teas. One hundred huge canisters of loose tea line the back walls of the store.
Le Palais des Thés is known worldwide for its commitment to tea education and the sheer variety of its offerings. Knowledgeable and extremely friendly tea sommeliers are ready to share a wealth of information on where the tea comes from, its flavors, and just about anything else you might want to know. This is great because with so many choices it can be a bit overwhelming. The SoHo boutique will also be conducting tea classes in the next few months. Tea tasting similar to wine is an art and a honed craft. An expert can describe the plant, growing region, and more. The store hopes to teach students the best ways to select and brew a perfect cup.
There are tons of gift options here with boxes packed with different varieties, several teapots, tea cups, books, and even tea-scented candles. Let your nose lead you around the store as each varietal has a covered dish in front where you can smell the tea before buying.
If the grand opening is any indication than New Yorkers are clearly ready for tea time as the store was bustling with people learning about tea and purchasing lots to try at home.
Here is some information from their Press Release:
Since 1990, the company has also created all-natural flavored teas, “Les Créations.” Each is inspired by a
moment of pleasure: a hot bath in Istanbul (Thé du Hammam), the delicate scent of cherry trees in Kyoto (Fleur de Geisha) or the serenity of a Tibetan monastery (Thé des Moines), for example. Tea prices range from $6 to $130 for 3.5 oz of loose tea; tea gift items range from $23 for 4.4 oz of loose tea in a colorful metal canister to $75 for the limited edition “Origins of Tea” three canister set; and accessory prices range from $16 for washi paper covered refillable tea tins to $275 for an exclusive design cast iron tea pot from Japan.
At both the SoHo and Columbus Avenue stores, customers will enjoy many facets of tea and its culture
• A striking "Tea Wall" with more than 100 tea varieties in large metal canisters at the SoHo location, for a
full-service experience where customers can smell and learn about teas from sales associates and find the
'perfect' brew for their preferences. More than 80 teas are featured at the Columbus Avenue boutique.
• A tea gifts area showcasing Le Palais des Thés’ colorfully-packaged tea gifts including decorative canisters
of loose tea, sampler sets, and elegant gift boxes of handmade muslin tea bags, as well as tea accessories
– exclusively designed tea pots, tea cups, and tea-scented candles to complete the atmosphere.
• A self-service area where customers can smell popular teas and select pre-packaged products, perfect for
those in a hurry or who prefer to shop without assistance.
• Large color photos to transport shoppers to the world’s most legendary tea regions.
In addition to the new boutiques, Le Palais des Thés teas can be enjoyed at several noteworthy venues around New York City:
• A modern new take on afternoon tea Upstairs at The Lamb’s Club at the Chatwal Hotel (132 West 44th
Street), where 15 Le Palais des Thés teas including two ‘Grand Crus’ (Jukro from Korea and Darjeeling
Mission Hill) are paired with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s signature sweet and savory small plates.
• About 250 events per year at the James Beard House, (167 West 12th Street), where Le Palais des Thés is the house tea purveyor.
• A selection of signature teas are brewed daily to stay or to go at Tribeca’s Kaffe 1668 (275 Greenwich
Street), Greenwich Village’s Mille-Feuille Bakery and Café (552 Laguardia Place), and at the Upper West
Side’s Gastronomie 491 (491 Columbus Avenue).
SoHo: 156 Prince Street (between West Broadway & Thompson Sts). Opening Hours: Mon-Sat. 9am-8pm, Sun. 10am-7pm. Phone: (646) 513 4369.
Upper West Side: 194 Columbus Avenue (between 68th & 69th Sts). Opening Hours: Mon-Sat. 10am-8pm, Sun. 11am-7pm. Phone: (646) 664 1902.
I would like to thank Anthony for covering the opening in Soho and Le Palais des Thés for inviting NYC, Style and a little Cannoli to such a wonderful event.
Please be sure to follow Anthony’s travels and dining adventures on Twitter: @losanno
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