Song Fang Maison de Thé
For Parisian-expat and Taekwondo black-belt Florence Samson, tea isn’t so much a light refreshment as a way of life, and proof positive of how heritage and modern aesthetics can work hand in hand. Having worked for luxury brands like Dior and Veuve Cliquot in Russia and China, Samson saw a niche for premium, well-provenanced and beautifully packaged tea in what was up until then a Shanghainese market where tea was predominantly seen more as expensive medicine and shrouded in mystique. Seeking out the finest plantations across China, Samson brought to bear her Harvard business degree as well as her wine-tasting and marketing experience to curate the blends and re-package them, and the result is Song Fang.
Walking into the deliciously light and airy ground floor shop of the Song Fang Maison de Thé,
a former 3-storey house in the pretty French Concession area, you’re met with a glorious wall of vintage-style, large sky blue tea canisters, each containing one of the 40 Chinese or 20 French blends on offer. Ranging from black, green and white tea, to oolong and Pu-ehr, as well as many special blends like Ginseng Oolong and French Tea Rooibo Gourmand, all can be sampled in the charming first floor salon with its polished wood floors and wicker furniture, the perfect complement to patissier Eric Perez’s sweet little treats. Afternoon tea? Hao, xie xie.