Sunday, January 17, 2010


If you are walking through the streets of Paris during the cold months of winter, you will want to take a break to get warm. If you happen to be visiting the column in the heart of the Bastille, why not saunter off a few blocks to toast your tootsies with a cup of tea. Le Bar a The will tempt your
palette with an array of herbal concoctions from around the world. Choose from a seemingly never-ending assorted menu of teas and infusions (decaffeinated herbal teas) this cafe has to offer.

On my last excursion, I chose a sweet infusion called Zen Family. The server informed me that the tea needed to steep for ten minutes before consuming. Well, I can honestly say the tea was worth the wait. I enjoyed it so much, after finishing the last drop, I asked her to boil more water for me so I could savor the tea a little longer.

While this cafe's primary function is to serve tea, it also can alleviate any growlings your stomach may make. A refrigerated section contains pre-made sandwiches and the like. So, don't despair, your tummy can be filled up with something more than liquid yumminess.

I took my two hour sojourn during January when it was too cold to eat (or drink) at the outdoor tables. Not to worry, the ambience indoors is as impressive as the tea. Comfortable chairs and dark wooden tables with artwork highlighting the walls is reminiscent of any cafe in my San Francisco hometown. This place could have been swooped right out of Fillmore Street and plopped here in France.

The service, like anywhere in Paris, is a little hit or miss. The first time I tested the waters, the server was kind and generous with her time. On the second visit, a different waitress practically threw the tea on the table. Perhaps she didn't like my garbled-up Americanized French. I could have taken the revenge road, screaming profanities in English (or French for that matter) to her, but I have learned the high road is a whole lot brighter. What is best in these cases is to become superwoman (or superman, as the case may be) in the nice department. Eventually, the mean people will turn their stone faces into smiles, even if it takes a few times.

If you are tired of the same old coffee joints, give Le Bar a The a whirl. Your taste buds will be happy you did.

Le Bar a The
9 rue Antoine Vollon
Metro: Ledru Rollin, line 8

Thank you for reading and bonne journee!