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French Tea Culture & Recipes

French Tea Culture & Recipes

France, the country of crispy baguettes, decadent chocolate, cheese, and coffee. One does not think of the French culture and tea, do they even drink it in France? The answer in short is yes! While tea may not have become a staple for the country like it did in places such as England and Ireland, France has its own unique tea culture. Today we’ll discuss a few of their different tea customs and share with you some decadent dessert recipes for hosting your own French Style Afternoon Tea.

This statement might be fighting words but, supposedly the French were drinking tea before the British. It has been said that Cardinal Mazarin, a chief minister to King Louis XIV, was drinking green tea as early as the year 1639, to help treat his gout. Because of his high status in society Cardinal Mazarin’s tea consumption began to influence the rest of the bourgeoisie. When King Louis XIV heard of tea's healthy benefits he began drinking it to help with his own case of gout and for his overall health. Once the court of Versailles heard that their great “Sun King” was indulging in tea regularly, it spread through the bourgeois as a daily custom to take part in. Tea culture did not make its way down to the rest of the social classes in France, making it a drink of the elite. It was known to be a habit of decadence and indulgence, and with the growing divide between the rich and poor in France the lower classes wanted nothing to do with it.

With the end of the French Monarchy came the end of tea drinking, as this was linked to the upper class. It wasn’t till after the 1850s that tea would make a bit of a comeback. Tea once again began to be enjoyed by the French people in their homes. They preferred a milky, sweet tea and would call this style of tea drinking “å la anglaise”. Tea wouldn’t have another push into French society until the 1980s when people began wanting to lead healthier lives. Though the French didn’t want a strong cup of tea like the British, they wanted a tea that had flavor and depth to it. Besides enjoying lighter black teas, the French are fond of Herbal and Fruit Tisanes. These types of blends provide a wide array of flavors that are not only pleasing to the palate but also the eye.

If you wish to throw an afternoon tea inspired by the French and King Louis XIV, below we have included a few recipes perfect for hosting a King or just family and friends.


Orange Crêpe Cake with a Orange Vanilla Crème Chantilly

Chado Tea Orange Crepe Cake On White Plate


  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • ¾ cup whole milk

  • ½ cup water

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted
    butter, melted and divided

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange-flavored
    liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zes

  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Orange Vanilla Crème Chantilly

  • Garnish, raspberries, blueberries, fresh rosemary,
    fresh orange zest, and confectioners’ sugar


  1. In a large bowl, beat the flour, eggs, milk ½ cup water, 3 tablespoons of butter, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, liqueur, orange zest, and salt with a mixer at medium-high speed until smoother, about 1 minute. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

  2. Heat a 7-inch nonstick crêpe pan or sauté pan over medium heat. Brush pan lightly with remaining 1 teaspoon melted butter. Pour ¼ cup of crêpe batter into the center of the pan, and quickly twirl the pan so the batter covers the entire surface. Let cook for 30 to 60 seconds. Flip, and cook until the edges are golden, about 15 seconds. Repeat until all the batter is used, and place crêpes in a single layer on parchment paper or paper towels to cool.

  3. Once they have cooled, stack them with layers separated by wax paper.

  4. To assemble the cake, remove the crêpe from wax paper and place on a cake plate. Spread a thin layer of Orange-Vanilla Crème Chantilly over the crêpes. Repeat with the remaining crêpes and crème chantilly, stacking to create a multi-layer cake, until all but one crêpe is used. Top stack with final crêpe.

  5. Garnish with berries, rosemary, orange zest, and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.

Orange-Vanilla Crème Chantilly


  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

  • teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large, deep bowl, beat together cream, confectioners’ sugar, orange zest, and vanilla extract with a mixer at high speed until thick and creamy. Use immediately.


Radish Flower Canapés

Chado Tea radish Flower Canapés On White Plate On Wood Table


  • 2 ounces goat cheese, room temperature

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • ½ tablespoon heavy whipping cream

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • ½ tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

  • ½ tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

  • ¼ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 8 slices firm white sandwich bread, frozen

  • 8 large radishes

  • Garnish, freshly ground pink peppercorns


  • In a small bowl, stir together goat cheese, cream cheese, and heavy cream until combined and smooth. Stir in parsley, dill, chives, tarragon, thyme, salt, and pepper.

  • Using a 2-inch fluted round cutter, cut 8 rounds from frozen bread. Cover bread rounds with damp paper towels to prevent drying out, and let thaw at room temperature.

  • Spread goat cheese mixture in a thin, even layer onto bread rounds.

  • Using a mandoline, shave 64 paper-thin crosswise slices from radishes.

  • Fold each slice in half and then into quarters without creasing slices. Place 8 folded radish slices on top of each bread round, arranging to resemble a flower.

  • Gently press the flower into the goat cheese mixture to adhere.

  • Serve immediately, or place in a container, lightly cover with damp paper towels, and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

  • Just before serving, garnish with freshly ground pink peppercorns, if desired.


Lemon-Almond Sablés

Chado Tea Lemon Almond Sablés On White Plate


  • 7 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped toasted almond slices

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

  • Garnish, chopped toasted almonds and granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, beat together butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar with a mixer at medium-high speed until light and creamy. Beat in egg yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until incorporated.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, almonds, baking powder, and salt until combined. Beat into butter mixture just until combined.

  4. Divide dough into 2 portions. Place each dough portion between sheets of wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough portion to a ¼ inch thickness. Place sheets of dough with wax paper on a tray. Freeze for 15 minutes.

  5. Using a fluted 2-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut as many rounds as possible from frozen cookie dough. Place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

  6. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and cream until combined. Brush tops of cookies with egg mixture.

  7. Garnish tops of cookies with chopped, toasted almonds and granulated sugar, if desired. Freeze cookies for 10 minutes to help cookies retain their shape during baking.

  8. Bake until cookies are light golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks. Let cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container with layers separated by wax paper and serve within 3 days.


Chado Teas for the Perfect French Inspired Afternoon Tea

Let Chado Tea be your go to place for any afternoon tea you may be hosting! We have picked four teas perfect for a French Afternoon Tea, fit for any “Sun King”. Our tea selection includes St. Marc, Lavender Earl Grey, Lemon Chiffon, and White Champagne Raspberry.