Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the products discussed here were provided to me for reviewing purposes at no cost.
As a frequent tea drinker, I was happy to be contacted regarding tea seller Le Palais Des Thés. Founded in 1987, this company with twenty-seven boutiques worldwide in cities like Tokyo, Paris, and Brussels, launched four new signature iced tea flavors in July 2012. Recently, they kindly allowed me to sample each one.
Each flavor in this signature collection brings together ingredients that not only work well in concert, but still manage to distinguish themselves from one another in an appreciable way. The Thé du Hammam blend, inspired by a Turkish recipe, combines aromatic hints of rose, green date, and orange flower water with Chinese green tea. On tasting it, I was surprised to find I could account for every single one of these. Thé des Alizés calls together essences of peach, watermelon, and kiwi. Here, the peach essence is immediate and pleasant. This blend is a pleaser that tastes like summers enjoyed without a care. In the Thé des Sources, the mild sweetness of bergamot harmonizes ably with petals of cornflower and rose, with cooling mint flavors on the back end. The Wu Long 7 Agrumes is an Oolong tea bursting with essences of lemon, lime, sweet and bitter orange, grapefruit, and more, and it is every bit as thirst-quenching and addictively tasty as it sounds.
All-natural, and never short on flavor, Les Palais teas deliver all that they promise and then manage to give tasters a bit more. The brewing process is more convenient here than I’ve seen with many other products, in that hot water is not required. Aside from the convenience, this cold steeping capability evokes childhood memories of “sun teas” (so-called because they too could be prepared in cold water, in pitchers left to brew bathed in warming summer sunlight) I enjoyed by the gallon in my grandmother’s backyard during the warmer months of the year. Each of these four signature blends brings a distinct and memorable experience to the palate and would serve as a complement to a variety of foods, from a snack of fruits, crusty breads, and soft cheeses to a meal of grilled meats, fish, and vegetables. Anyone seeking an upgrade from powdered supermarket iced tea, or perhaps an interesting gift for tea-drinking loved ones, is sure to be impressed. Sold in packages of six teabags or assortment boxes containing all four blends, each extra-large cotton muslin teabag yields 16 ounces of tea.