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EAT + DRINK: L’Âge de Thé Tea Salon

L’Âge de Thé, a web-based tea company slated to open their first NYC salon later this month, will tempt even the most avid coffee drinkers with their hand-selected, one-of-a-kind tea blends and their fantastic beverage creations such as the Matcha Green Tea Latte.

L’Âge de Thé was founded by yoga friends Nicky Dawda and Kiley Holliday. They soon discovered they shared a love of tea, with Kiley being the youngest female Tea Master in the United States, and founded the company in March 2009. L’Âge de Thé treats tea like an art form, with special attention paid to every detail. Kiley and Nicky have visited many tea estates and are familiar with the various growing and roasting techniques.

Blends offered on the site range from Jasmine Green to 2nd Flush Darjeeling – Soom. I tasted both of these teas, and learned exactly what 2nd Flush means (it refers to when the leaves are harvested). The Darjeeling, a rich, robust tea (and a nice choice for anyone who enjoys black tea) was served paired with a dark chocolate truffle, which was a nice addition that complemented the flavor well, offering a pleasant contradiction. The Jasmine Green was a light, aromatic green tea that would also make for a great floral potpourri.

Almond Cookie Roobios is the highlight of their teas. Roobios is a naturally decaffeinated tea brewed out of the leaves of a bush in South Africa. Red in color, the tea has a high concentration of minerals, including magnesium and zinc, and is also a good source of anti-oxidants. Although Roobios is traditionally served with milk and sugar, L’Âge de Thé Almond Cookie requires no additions, as it is blended with almonds, vanilla, caramel and a dash of pink sugar hearts sprinkles. This tea makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Also a good V-Day gift choice is the Love Tea blend (a black tea featuring rose petals, chocolate and strawberries). Both teas are offered together with macaroons in the Valentine’s Gift Basket.

While we will have to wait just a bit longer for the salon to open at 10 Morton Street, I asked Kiley to show how to make the perfect cup of tea at home and learned that NYC tap water is perfect for brewing tea due to its mineral makeup. Kylie recommends never using bag tea, as it can sit on the shelf for years, so choose a loose-leaf tea and add a heaping teaspoon to a diffuser. If making green tea, let the water sit for one minute once boiling before using. Green tea should steep for up to three minutes, but not over. If using black tea, pour the water directly in once hot, and let steep for up to four and a half minutes, but once again, not over.

Even with the secret revealed to making the perfect cup of tea at home, I eagerly await the opening of the salon, which will pair tea with pastries and offer the aforementioned Green Tea Matcha.

Elizabeth Sorrell

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