Tea, and a little coffee

Posted on February 17, 2010


I am English therefore I love tea. It’s true. Yes it’s a stereo type, but I think it’s a fair one. In the UK, most offices that I have worked in do tea rounds and people may have moved on from PG tips and Tetleys (aka builders tea) to green and herbal teas but nonetheless, tea still plays a factor in every day.

And then in Paris I discovered tea shops – not like the UK’s Whittard, which has its benefits especially for presents from abroad, who sell many different tea bags and packaged goods – but real tea shops where you smell tea in big containers before choosing which you would like to purchase. Tea is usually sold by 100gms and is around 7euros give or take for each type of tea and shop you are in. I have a great teapot (thanks Vicky) that is cast iron and so keeps the tea warm. It looks pretty too.

So here are my favourite tea shops in Paris and Madrid:


  • Marriage Freres was my favourite tea shop in Paris. There are several shops dotted around, some with cafes, and they now have shops in Germany and Japan.
  • Palais du The has shops in Paris and the rest of France, plus now in Ireland, Japan, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia.


  • Les Comptoirs in Plaza Olavide, Chamberi is by far my favourite. The owner is knowledgable and listens to your preferences to choose teas that she thinks you will like. My favourite is Feng Shui.
  • The Tea Shop has several locations in Madrid and usually has free samples which are welcome, particularly in the winter
  • Bomec just south of Tribunal carries Marriages  Freres and Palais du The as above and is probably better known for its relaxing bar.

And coffee. I have just discovered Ethiopian Coffee – it is smooth and has a chocolate aftertaste. It is smoother than South American coffee that really packs a punch. Les Comptoirs in Madrid gives great advice and as I taste more teas, I’ll update this with my finds.

My last  tips is this: the secret of good coffee in the stove top cafetière’s is not to pack the coffee – just pour in the powder until you have enough and then screw the lid on and heat it up.