NINA's Paris, best known for their high quality tea, has a long and illustrious history providing fragrances and other luxury items to the court of France. Today, they are best known for their luxury teas, which were once only available at their shop located in the heart of Paris. Nina's has recently been expanding their business internationally--including several small Nina's salons in Japan and Korea as well as an increasing number of products available to North American countries, including the United States.
One of Nina's many claims to fame is their official partnership with Le Potager du Roi (Kitchen Garden of the King); Nina's uses only the carefully cultivated apples and roses hand-picked from the King's Kitchen Garden for their products. Although the other ingredients used by Nina's in their teas don't come with a Versailles pedigree, they are nonetheless flavorful, aromatic and delicious.
I recently requested and received several samples of some of the more intriguing teas currently offered by Nina's. None of them disappointed, and a few even surprised me! Shall we take a closer look?
The first tea that I sampled was the Original Marie Antoinette, arguably Nina's most well-known tea offering.
The ingredients, as listed on the Nina's Paris website: Rose petals, apples, rose.
Upon opening my sample tea bag, the very first thought was: "Apples!" The raw tea leaves have noticeable autumn apple scent with a bit of a rose undercurrent. I initially steeped the tea for about three minutes and the result was a very delicate rose black tea with a hint of apple underneath. "Delicate" is definitely the word to describe the flavor, which is rather subtle. I am not usually partial to black teas, but the flavor is light and dainty enough to never be overpowering. A perfect light tea for an afternoon garden party!
The third tea I sampled was Magicienne, a unique green tea made with pineapples and coconut. I usually stick to floral or specific fruit (raspberry! yum) teas, but I decided to try this flavor because it had been getting pretty rave reviews in the tea community. I was definitely not disappointed! The base of the tea is almost creamy with an almost candy-like pineapple flavor, and finally a dash of coconut. The final blend almost had a marshmallow-like taste to it, although not quite as sweet. Definitely what I would consider a "dessert" tea!
Finally, I tried Pour Maman, a black and green tea blend with rose petals, red fruits, vanilla and blue mallow. I was initially wary because of the black/green blend, since I've read that these can have an astringent taste to them, but my worries melted away after the first few sips! The base was somewhat creamy and subtle, much like the base of the Marie Antoinette tea. The vanilla was the strongest flavor in my cup, with an undercurrent of berry (almost a strawberry flavor) and then rose. The result was a floral but fruity tea with some natural sweetness that helped to balance out the light herbal flavor of the base teas. Out of all the samples I tried, Pour Maman is definitely one I can see myself drinking on a frequent basis. It's divine!
Currently, Nina's Paris is offering their tea products to North America via Amazon.com. A full list of their tea blends can be viewed on their official website.
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