Drinking tea in crystal is a wise choice. Crystal enhances the beauty of tea, a liquid that is often sipped from ceramic drinkware, but deserves to have its colour revealed.
The new Apollo range can be used for every type of tea: whether light, full-bodied or grand cru, whether it is enjoyed the Western way or brewed strong as in Asia. Therefore, as with wine, Saint-Louis has designed vessels to suit various types of tea in order to best reveal their flavours.
Created in collaboration with tea sommelier Lydia Gautier, the range includes 9 new objects that invite everyone to compose their own pairing of tea and crystal: the ideal tea service based on personal preferences or new discoveries.
The choice of materials: crystal and porcelain
For tea tasting, Saint-Louis combines two exceptional materials: crystal and porcelain. One opaque, the other perfectly translucent, these two materials are insulating, they keep tea warm for long periods of time.
Crystal adds a valuable visual dimension that is useful in tasting. In tumblers, the transparency of the crystal lends a luminosity that enhances the tea's colours and reflections.
Porcelain is the most precious of ceramics. Like crystal, it is a combination of mineral materials fired at very high temperatures. Its extremely low porosity makes it possible to infuse grand crus without altering their flavours, and it will not retain flavours when tasting various teas.
These two materials work their magic: the tea discreetly infuses in its porcelain frame as the water vapour settles and streams on the crystal lid. The tea's colour is revealed when sipped from the translucent tumbler. The pairing of tea and cystal makes perfect sense. Tasting becomes a hedonistic and precious experience.
The Apollo aesthetic
An iconic and timeless Saint-Louis collection created in 1979, and heir to the emblematic Thistle collection, Apollo was chosen for its delicate aesthetic. With its Venetian ribs and iconic thistle flower shape, an inspiration that dates to 1939 at Saint-Louis, the Apollo is perfect for tea making.
The Venetian ribs enhance the tea's colour. The nuances of the colour are magnified by the vibration and sparkle of crystal, which reflects and diffracts light.
The soft thistle flower shape makes the tumblers especially pleasant to use when held in the palm of the hand.
A collaboration with Lydia Gautier
Saint-Louis designed the range with help from Lydia Gautier, an agronomist and tea specialist since 1995, who uses an oenological approach to tea.
Advising major Houses, she shares her passion with consumers and professionals through books, events and training sessions in which tea tells its story and meets luxurious products such as wine, cheese, or perfume.
She supports producers and NGOs in developing production chains. She builds special relationships with producers of authentic and ethnic teas and creates original recipes that combine teas and plants.
A pioneering tea sommelier in France, she founded the eponymous brand "Lydia Gautier - Thés & Tisanes" which offers single origin teas and natural creations (with no flavourings) to hotel restaurant professionals and individuals.
For Apollo Tea, Lydia guided the design of the objects in order to enhance the flavours of the tea. She also shed valuable light on two tea-preparation rituals.