Dammann Frères
Jardin Bleu

Aug 16, 2017 | Tea of the Week

So far, my Teas of the Week have brought you to the Himalayas in Nepal, the Blue Mountains in southern India, and the remote Nanmei Valley bordering Myanmar in China’s Yunnan Province.

Today, we’re heading to Paris, where some of the finest tea blends in the world are concocted. Local tea houses like the iconic Mariage Frères and Kusmi spring to mind, their delicate brews steeping in stark contrast to England’s typically loud and robust flavors.

This week’s tea is from Dammann Frères, a company which claims its production origins date back to Louis XIV and his court in Versailles circa 1692, the former the monarch who “granted the exclusive privilege sale of tea to Mr. Damame in France.” Incidentally, Louis XIV drank tea for health reasons, to temper his gout.

(Photos © Evelyn Reid, may not be used with photographer’s explicit permission except for the top header photo inside the Bercy Village store which is courtesy of Dammann Frères)

Fast forward a handful of centuries later and today’s Dammann Frères assembles its teas in Dreux, a town 81 km west of Paris. Included among its best known brews is Jardin Bleu –French for “blue garden”– a blend of Chinese and Sri Lankan (Ceylon) black teas peppered with cornflower and sunflower petals, the whole laced with rhubarb and strawberry flavors, an original creation of Jean Jumeau-Lafond in the ’50s, the same man whom Dammann Frères claims invented the French art of tea flavoring and blending.

About twice as much Chinese tea leaves are mixed in with the Sri Lankan leaves, leading to more malty than astringent flavor.

For the perfect cup, let boiling water drop to 90°C (i.e., let it cool for 2 to 3 minutes) before steeping, then keep the leaves in the water for 4 to 5 minutes.

Jardin Bleu smells like it tastes, its strawberry notes in full force, pairing stunningly well with dark chocolate (the darker, the better, I drink mine with a few squares of 85% cacao fair trade chocolate).

And save your milk and honey. You won’t need either for this brew.

One last thing. An abundance of vanilla comes through with the strawberry, overtaking any black tea flavor. I’d save this brew for an afternoon treat or as an after dinner digestif with sweets like marzipan, almond nougat or again, my favorite of favorites, dark chocolate.

The easiest way to score Dammann Frères‘ Jardin Bleu in North America is through Amazon which sells the brand in both tea bag format and loose leaf.

Dammann Frères sells Jardin Bleu in chain stores across Paris, in select cities across France as well as in Milan, Seoul, and Osaka. In North America, you might find it in upscale department stores like Barneys New York and Holt Renfrew. Its online store also ships internationally.

Blended in Paris: Dammann Frères’ Jardin Bleu

Aug 16, 2017 | Tea of the Week

So far, my Teas of the Week have brought you to the Himalayas in Nepal, the Blue Mountains in southern India, and the remote Nanmei Valley bordering Myanmar in China’s Yunnan Province.

Today, we’re heading to Paris, where some of the finest tea blends in the world are concocted. Local tea houses like the iconic Mariage Frères and Kusmi spring to mind, their delicate brews steeping in stark contrast to England’s typically loud and robust flavors.

This week’s tea is from Dammann Frères, a company which claims its production origins date back to Louis XIV and his court in Versailles circa 1692, the former the monarch who “granted the exclusive privilege sale of tea to Mr. Damame in France.” Incidentally, Louis XIV drank tea for health reasons, to temper his gout.

(Photos including top header © Evelyn Reid, may not be used without photographer’s explicit written permission)

Fast forward a handful of centuries later and today’s Dammann Frères assembles its teas in Dreux, a town 81 km west of Paris. Included among its best known brews is Jardin Bleu –French for “blue garden”– a blend of Chinese and Sri Lankan (Ceylon) black teas peppered with cornflower and sunflower petals, the whole laced with rhubarb and strawberry flavors, an original creation of Jean Jumeau-Lafond in the ’50s, the same man whom Dammann Frères claims invented the French art of tea flavoring and blending.

About twice as much Chinese tea leaves are mixed in with the Sri Lankan leaves, resulting in a more malty than astringent flavor.

(Photo © Evelyn Reid, may not be used with photographer’s explicit permission)



For the perfect cup, let boiling water drop to 90°C (i.e., let it cool for 2 to 3 minutes) before steeping, then keep the leaves in the water for 4 to 5 minutes.

Jardin Bleu smells like it tastes, its strawberry notes in full force, pairing stunningly well with dark chocolate (the darker, the better, I drink mine with a few squares of 85% cacao fair trade chocolate).

And save your milk and honey. You won’t need either for this brew.

One last thing. An abundance of vanilla comes through with the strawberry, overtaking any black tea flavor. I’d save this brew for an afternoon treat or as an after dinner digestif with sweets like marzipan, almond nougat or again, my favorite of favorites, dark chocolate.

The easiest way to score Dammann Frères‘ Jardin Bleu in North America is through Amazon which sells the brand in both tea bag format and loose leaf.

Dammann Frères sells Jardin Bleu in chain stores across Paris, in select cities across France as well as in Milan, Seoul, and Osaka. In North America, you might find it in upscale department stores like Barneys New York and Holt Renfrew. Its online store also ships internationally.