ISSUE 4  |  Chinese New Year

A Chinese Teahouse In Paris (with 125-Year-Old Tea)

January 31, 2014 2:00 PM

BY Meredith Swinehart

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La Maison des Trois Thés in Paris is presided over by Madame Yu Hui Tseng, a master of the Chinese tea ceremony and one of the world’s preeminent experts on tea (and the only woman among them). She also happens to be a descendant of a famous Chinese philosopher and student of Confucius.

Master Tseng established La Maison des Trois Thés in 1995 in the Fifth arrondissement of Paris. Her shop sells around a thousand varieties of tea, rare vintages among them that date back as far back as 1890. Some black teas, she says, improve with age. She also relies on the 3,000-year history of Chinese tea to create blends that would otherwise no longer be in existence. Next time you’re in Paris, consider stopping by for a rare (albeit pricey) cup.

Above: Covered in large Chinese characters, the teahouse stands out on an otherwise mundane Paris street. Photo via TripAdvisor.

Above L: Though the shop might seem intimidating, reviews cite that the staff is warm and welcoming, and explanations of the many varieties of tea are forthcoming. Photo via TripAdvisor. Above R: The right vessels and cups are a crucial part of the Chinese tea experience. Photo via Yelp.

Above: Around 1,000 blends of Chinese teas line the walls. Photo via Addicttea.

Above: Madame Yu Hui Tseng, a master of tea. Photo via Le Figaro.

Above: Chinese metal tea canisters. Photo via Un Livre, Un Thé Et Des Petits Gí¢teaux.

Above: The menu reads like an intimidating wine list, long and filled with rare and expensive varieties. Shown here, boxes of raw pu-erh from spring 2008. Photo via Artedelte.

Above: A variety of pu-erh teas from the Maison: sheng tea is raw pu-erh, and shu is ripe pu-erh. Photo via Vacuithé.

Above L: Loose green (xian xia cui lan) tea. Photo via Pu-Erh & Yixing. Above R: The interior features antique and contemporary Chinese furniture against a backdrop of Chinese calligraphy, an inspired take on wallpaper. Photo via Namasaya. To contact the teahouse, see La Maison des Trois Thés.

More tea? See 10 Easy Pieces: Classic Tea Kettles and Restaurant Visit: Bellocq Tea Atelier in Brooklyn.