Thursday, August 06, 2015

Thé, Café ou Chocolat, Tea Forté, Hotel Costes

Last month on a rainy afternoon I popped into the exhibit, THÉ, CAFÉ OU CHOCOLAT

At the musee Cognacq-Jay in the Marais 8, rue Elezivir 75004

Always dependable for intimate, informing exhibits

Beautifully presented and rarely overcrowded.

If you love fine Sevres or Meissen china or tea, coffee, or hot chocolate you'll be delighted.

Exquisite drawings of the earliest cups and tea pots. Loads of history on these exotic drinks we now take so for granted as a daily essential.

A perfect Chardin still life to remind you how precious the bean once was in the 18th century.

Quite the elegant pastime drinking tea and coffee once were

Though perhaps not here. Drinking coffee from the saucer? Pas bon bien sur.

Artist LOUIS CARMONTELLE's watercolor graces the exhibit poster. Famous for painting portraits (6,000 portrait of which over 480 reside at Chantilly) in two hours or less of the renown of his day, even Mozart at the piano was captured. A witty and astute eye.

Naturally I flipped for the craftsman cross-sectional diagrams of teapots

And teacups. Exquisite no?

Such a perfect cup to sip fine tea from...

The setting is lovely and airy in an open courtyard.

Speaking of exquisite, have you tried TEA FORTÉ? Vanilla Pear, Lemon Lavender, Orange Jasmine from their new Lotus group. The names are enough to get you dreaming. I was given a box to taste. The design is perfection with a tiny green leaf attached to a silken pyramid. They are in fact American but suit the French to a T... Do try.

My berry trifle at Costes 

Cost the same as this bouquet of roses from marché President Wilson.

Though no where near as luxe as Dani Costes Roses.

Luxe is the word for Costes if you're into deep Burgundy velvet

And low lighting.
The Cognacq-Jay exhibit is on till September 27.
If you can't make it, get THE FREE APP and a French leçon to boot in the spoken descriptions.
You will never look at your coffee or tea in the same way je te promets.


  1. I am a Tea Forté lover..have posted about them before as the leaf stole my heart many years ago..I just love everything about it..the little stands..the cups w/ the hole..♥
    the fine bag..
    I honestly thought you had painted that exquisite teaot!
    Until I read and saw etc..but..very you.
    I am sure I won't be the first to think that.

  2. Zut alors! I will just miss the expo as I arrive in Paris on Oct. 1! Thanks for the heads up about the app. I will be sure to download it.
    I encountered Tea Forté several years ago at The Winchester Inn in Ashland, OR. The teas and accessories are delightful!

    1. Such a pretty design and delicate flavors

  3. Carol, from your reporting I think that I would greatly enjoy that exhibit. Yes, the cross-section cup, saucer and teapot drawings are rather wonderful.

    I like your deep berry/burgundy color theme. I do marvel at the price of that trifle...hoping it was exceptional. The burgundy velvet room seems quite cosy for August, but looks a fine place for a winter's afternoon. Tea please. Love that little green leaf on the Forte tea. I was recently given some Tea of Life green tea in a variety of fruity flavors...its pyramid box packaging is very similar to Forte. Delicious, too.


  4. The one thing I remember of my English great grandfather is that he used to pour his tea into his saucer to cool it. I still have never actually seen anyone else do that but I have read that it was a working class habit of the last century that has died out. Now I have visual evidence that fancy ladies did the same in France in the luxurious XVIIIeme.

    I do not know Tea Forte but judging by the comments here, the company offers exactly the kind of beverage experience I pine for. Oh how I wish all of us PBers could get together for a virtual tea party!

    1. Wonderful idea but why keep it virtual?
      come to Paris PBers!!

  5. Leslie H.2:13 PM

    Tea Forte is fabulous. All of the tea accessories are as well. Presentation, Presentation, Presentation!

  6. Diana D.2:17 PM

    As a child in the 1950s I can clearly remember my grandmother (born in the 1880s) ‘saucering’ her tea. I think it was perfectly acceptable, polite practice when she was young. So don’t be too harsh on the coffee drinker! 'Autre temps, autre moeurs’

  7. Lynne C.2:18 PM

    This was fact I laughed when I saw those tea bags as I received a big box of them a while back!

  8. Bonnie2:20 PM

    You really outdid yourself this morning! What a wonderful and interesting topic. Especially the Tea Forte. I love gifting that.

    Thank you for being endlessly creative and sharing with all.
    Only 34 more days till Paris!!! Cannot wait!!

  9. Wendy S2:46 PM

    The pictures from the new exhibit at the Cognaq-Jay are
    exquisite! I've only been there once, many years ago,
    and the collection at that time, was of Porte-Bouquets.
    That exhibit, had Porte-Bouquets made of gold, silver, etc...
    and were encrusted with gems. They were beautiful! I'm
    so glad that the lovely collection of coffee, tea and chocolate
    pots and cups will still be on for most of September, so I'll
    be able to see it. Thanks for showing them to us!

  10. A wonderful blog. i believe in spoiling yourself whenever possible with a beautifully laid out afternoon tea. It lifts the spirits.

  11. Very nice blend; from the vintage art in the beginning to the present day shots that follow.
    Those roses are stunning.

  12. Anonymous1:03 PM

    Golly, I remember my Norwegian grandfather drinking his coffee from the saucer when I was a little girl. I thought it was just one of his quirks. He also speared pieces of food with his extremely sharp little knife and put them directly in his mouth. Of course, I was amused and secretly thought he had
    "bad manners."

  13. Anonymous1:05 PM

    Oh....SOMEWHERE on one of your probably much older posts you mention a Paris radio station.
    Now I am driving myself crazy trying to find that post. What was the name of the station you mentioned, please?

    1. French pop music stations?
      Is one...I have to think of the other or it could be the foodie podcasts

    2. On Va Deguster on Fr Inter
      In this post:

  14. Love the sweet tea photos and paintings. How wonderful!


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