White, wood and moss installations. Toraya is a minimalist tea room that embodies Marie Kondo-ness, while serving up beautifully crafted traditional Japanese cakes and teas. Its tidiness is a soothing change from the honk and bustle of nearby Place de la Concorde.
Background. Toraya is an upscale chain of Japanese bakeries (around 80), that was founded in the 16thcentury, when it became a purveyor to the imperial court. The 40-year old Paris boutique specializes in traditional Japanese pastries served with tea.
Teas and cakes. The tearoom serves a seasonal assortment of Japanese teas and wagashi, refined sugary deserts made from plant-based ingredients (notably, mochi (rice dough) and anko (red bean paste)).
Wagashi. These hand crafted cakes celebrate the seasons, and a different selection of four cakes is offered every 15 days. A specialty is the Yokan, a jellied block of red-bean paste and sugar.
Teas. Teas are primarily from Uji, in the Kyoto region, one of Japan’s finest tea growing areas. The traditional and short selection includes Gyokuro (a fine specially processed green tea), Sencha (popular green tea), Hojicha (roasted green tea), Genmaicha (green tea mixed with roasted brown rice), Sobacha (buckwheat tea), and Matcha (green tea powder). Certain drinks are seasonal; such as hot chocolate with matcha (in winter) and kakigori, shaved ice with green tea and red bean paste (in summer).
Setting. The tearoom is refined, spartan and harmonious (notice that all of the rooms edges are rounded). There is a large oak communal table as well as private tables.
Bear in mind. This lovely cultural experience comes at a price. Figure around €20/person (for tea and two cakes). Also, at peak times, it can get noisy. Staff is respectful and helpful, and can provide advice about teas and pairings. If you plan on going on Saturday or as a group, best to call and make a reservation.
Address: 10 rue Saint-Florentin 75001 Paris
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10:30am to 7pm. Closed holidays and for three weeks in August.
Website: https://www.toraya-group.co.jp/toraya-paris/menu (in French)
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 42 60 13 00