reviewed by : Rachel Smith
13 July 2018
Louis Ernest Laduree, a miller from the southwest of France founded a bakery in Paris at 16 Rue Royale. In1871 while Barron Haussmann was giving Paris a facelift, a fire at the bakery opened up the opportunity of transforming it into a pastry shop. During the same year, the first stone of the Garnier Opera was laid, and the area surrounding the Madeleine was rapidly developing into one of the capital’s most important and elegant business districts. The most prestigious names in the French luxury goods had already taken up residences in the neighbourhood.
The decoration of the pastry shop was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a famous turn of the century painter and poster artist. He sought inspiration from the painting techniques used in the ceiling of Sistine Chapel and Garnier opera. By incorporating them in his work, he added depth and relied to the ceilings ornamented with cherubic children. At the beginning of the 20thcentury there was an effervescent buzz in the city with Parisian’s flocking to the Universal Exhibition. Jeanne Souchard, Ernest Laduree’s wife succeeded in combining the style of a Parisian café with the delicious French patisserie; and hence the chic Parisian tea saloons were born.
The Laduree, Salon de The at Siam Paragon has a replica interior of the Laduree boutique in Champs Elysees in Paris. Here the teas are painted with their signature macaroons; back in the day Laduree had two signature blendsMelange Laduree andMarie Antoinette.Melange Ladureeis a blend of two black teas; China (75%), Sri Lanka (21% ) complemented by rose petals in a hand stitched muslin bag. The blend is like Earl Grey but remarkably smooth and more delicate. The cooper coloured teas had aromas of sweet freshly peeled mandarin oranges or kumquat. The standout flavours are cinnamon and orange, the perfect pairing with caramal macroons.
Marie Antoinetteis another marriage of black teas, China (75%) India (15%). Sri Lanka (2%) complemented with fruit pieces of orange and pineapple with rose petals. The essential oil aromas are grapefruit, lemon, orange, rose, jasmine and honey. Their macaroons pairing is their namesake two sky blue crispy shells filled with a fondant cream infused with Laduree Marie Antoinette tea.
Othello is an Indian black tea (94%) with a spicy footprint of cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and ginger. An incandescent burning like passion with a smoked black tea flavor that’s both spicy and full bodied. In France tea drinking is a social habit of the upper middle class. Generally it was served with a variety of not so sweet pastries such as madeleine and financier.