Crooked House

A country life in France

A nice cup of tea

There are some expats in France who cling determinedly to their Britishness and their British habits, especially the dietary ones. Do not let the title of this post mislead you, I am not becoming one of those.

Like many people, when I think of France I think very much of coffee (or café) and café culture. The French are a nation of coffee drinkers after all. Or are they?

It turns out that the French love their tea at least as much as we do and perhaps more so. Everywhere you go, you may find a Salon du Thé – there is even one in tiny little Bussière-Poitevine – and they sell an astonishing array of different real teas, flavoured and non-flavoured, alongside herbal infusion teas and, of course, coffee.  I doubt that the average person française sits down with a teapot to enjoy a brew of Yorkshire Tea with milk and sugar but they certainly have many ways of taking their tea, including iced.

Iced tea is fabulous in hot weather and I have noticed many French people walking along with a bottle of tea in hand instead of bottled water. I picked some up in the supermarket recently, just to try it out and it was simply delicious (Pêche flavour, by Lipton), very refreshing and certainly not overly sweet as I had feared that it might be. Even Mr L likes it, and he doesn’t drink tea.

The supermarket shelves are just as richly stacked with teas as are the Salons, so what with having enjoyed the iced tea and all, I was tempted to buy these

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though somewhat disappointed to find that Pêche was not one of the included flavours.

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Also, I am not sure that I shall enjoy the Caramel flavour but we shall have to see. So far I can give approval to the Agrume, Menthe and 5 Fruits Rouges flavours though the latter was not my favourite.

Rather over-packaged in their sturdy coffret (I am trying to think of some crafty reuse for that) and individual sachets but they do look rather attractive in one of the Le Parfait jars that recently came my way.

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Can I confess to some amusement, to be buying Lipton’s tea, in France. It takes me back to when I was first wed and the Lipton’s van came door to door on the council estate where I lived in Stockton-on-Tees – and you can not get more British than that!

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