From the Louvre, you can set out for a day or part of one to explore some of the best tea bars in Paris. Most of them happen to be centrally located between St. Germaine and Marais.
STOP 1: YAM’TCHA and BOUTIQUE YAM’TCHA
Walk 5 minutes north of the Louvre to find the popular, beautiful and charming Yam’tcha and Boutique Yam’tcha (located around the corner with a walk-up take-away window). These Franco-Chinese fusion dim sum restaurants are the stars of the Paris tea scene. They have steamed bao buns (stilton and cherry, Sichuan pepper beef, mushroom and chocolate among others), perfectly prepared Shou pu-erh in Yixing teaware and long lines. Book a month in advance for Yam’Tcha and go with plenty of time on your hands to Boutique Yam’tcha. This is a lovely place to tuck into for a long, late afternoon lunch.
Yam’tcha: 121 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001. Open for lunch and dinner until 9:30 every day but Sunday and Monday
Boutique Yam’tcha: Around the corner from Yam’tcha at 4 Rue Sauval, 75001 Paris, France. Open 12-8 every day but Sunday and Monday
STOP 2: KODOMA TEA BAR
Walk another 10 minutes along Rue Montorgueil north to Kodoma tea bar. You will pass LOV Organic Teas, Kusmi Tea’s 6 year old, Scandinavian-inspired organic tea shop with classic Parisian flavored and flowery blends. There are plenty of incredible pastry shops and cafes along the way as well.
Kodoma is a quiet and inviting space, thoughtfully created by its proprietor, Martin. They have daily cold-brewed infusions as well as a long list of fresh, pure leaf teas and blends. I had a beautiful hojicha that was steeped with low-mineral mountain spring water at the proper temperature. I took it to go so that I could enjoy it with a macaron and a cream puff across the street from Odette.
30 Rue Tiquetonne, 75002. Open Tuesday- Friday 8:30 AM- 6:30 PM and on the weekends from 11 AM-7 PM
Stop 3:UMAMI MATCHA CAFE
About a fifteen minute walk northeast from Kodoma, Umami Matcha Cafe is a full-service matcha bar and cafe serving delicious, healthy fare from breakfast until dinner. The menu and accompanying Japanese specialty shop are full of yuzu, black sesame, activated charcoal, drinking vinegars and the likes– refreshing after any amount of time eating in Paris. However, it is Paris, so you can still get well prepared eggs, pancakes (okonomiyaki), matcha glazed cakes, pastries and tarts as well. I bought a long-handled matcha whisk (brilliant!) and a bag of sesame sencha- beautifully packaged, of course. If you told me I was in Kyoto, I would have believed you.
Umami Details:22 Rue Béranger, 75003. Open Tuesday- Saturday 9 AM- 7 PM and Sunday 10 AM- 7 PM.
Stop 4: ARTEFACT
Walk another fifteen minutes from Umami Matcha Cafe south towards the Marias to Artéfact, a new (C. 2015) tea, coffee and art bar. Owned and run by Fidel, a Mariage Freres ex manager, it will impress any true tea (or coffee or art) aficionado. My pictures do not do it justice! Fidel and I share a soft spot for East African specialty teas and he direct-sources teas from there and the rest of the world. I had a sweet and full bodied tea fresh off of the boat from Satemwa Estate in Malawi. Filling the high quality/ fresh tea niche for quality coffee distributors in the area, he is positioned to improve the offering of tea around Paris and beyond!
Artéfact Details: 23 Rue des Blancs Manteaux, 75004. Open 10 AM-6 PM every day during the week and 11 AM-6 PM on the weekends.
Stop 5: MARIAGE FRÈRES
Continue another 3 minutes south from Artéfact to Mariage Frères, the iconic and original French tea purveyor. They offer artistic blends as well a highly curated collection of pure leaf teas. I have always loved seeing what Marriage Frères has on offer- typically some unforgettable teas.
Mariage Frères details: 30 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 4e. Open daily from 10:30 AM- 7:30 PM offering brunch, afternoon tea and dessert.
Stop 6: T’CHA Maison de The
You might want to Uber down to this spot (it’s a 25 minute walk from the Marais) or skip it all together, but I should mention this quiet, traditional Chinese spot tucked away in St. Germaine. T’CHA is alluring with incense burning, walls of tea and privacy screens separating the tea shop from the restaurant. We didn’t have time to stay for a meal and the reviews we read saying that the proprietor was a bit grumpy rang true, but I would have loved to spend more time here regardless. It is a unique spot in a fun area of town to wander the narrow streets. A good Sunday afternoon stop.
T’CHA Details: 6 Rue du Pont de Lodi, 75006. Open Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday 12- 7 PM