Tea of the Week: Nina’s Thé de Marie Antoinette

If you’ve ever watched Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, there’s a scene where the Queen of France partakes in a delicate cup of blooming Chinese jasmine tea. The scene is meant to reflect the decadence of the times, precisely what lead to the queen’s tragic death during the French Revolution.

Aside from being known for her beauty, fashions, and whimsical hairstyles, what’s less obvious is what a dedicated mother Marie Antoinette apparently was. She had 4 children, 2 who passed away while she was still alive, one who would suffer a terrible death during the Revolution, and only one daughter (her first-born) who would live to adulthood.

Nina’s Marie Antoinette blend is a tea that reflects back on the happier times in Marie Antoinette’s dynamic life. This Ceylon black tea combines the flavors of apples and roses. The tea is flavored with apples that come from King’s Kitchen Garden, otherwise known as Le Potager du Roi, in Versailles.

Upon realizing that her first-born was a girl and not the male heir that everyone wanted, it’s said that the queen stated: you are not what was desired, but you are no less dear to me. Here’s to all the mothers out there who accept their children, wholeheartedly, without conditions. More than anyone else, you deserve to sit back and relax with a good cup of tea!

Tasting Notes for Nina’s Thé de Marie Antoinette:

BREWING TIPS:  Brew at 212 degrees F for 3 minutes.
THE TEA:  Black Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka mixed with rose petals and natural rose and apple flavor.
THE SCENT:  If you love feminine, perfume-like teas, this is the blend for you! This tea combines the scent of fresh roses with juicy, cut apples. The perfume notes will markedly soften upon brewing.
THE STEEP:  Brews to a brilliant coppery gold. The steep is bold but not at all harsh. The apple flavor is that of tart, green apples, and is much more pronounced than the taste of roses.
GET IT:  At the Nina’s Paris website or on Amazon.
FOOD PAIRING:  This tea pairs well with French macarons and petit fours because it’s strong black tea base balances out the sweet factor in these confections. Perfect for enjoying with mom for Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch!

French Tea Gummies

Artfully blended and bold, a good cup of French tea is the most decadent treat. Today’s recipe for French Tea Gummies is inspired by the gorgeous black and hot pink tin of tea that’s been hiding in the back of my tea cabinet since I bought it in Paris last year.

Fauchon’s Raspberry Macaron Blend has a perfume-like quality that makes it ideal for using as a base in simple and sweet food items like candies. If you are thinking that fancy tea should be left out of the cooking realm, this recipe will help to change your mind. When carefully selected, certain high-quality teas can take your food from one-note to extraordinary.

I became enamored by fleur di lys (literally translated as “flower of the lily”), a classic symbol of all things French, when I visited Quebec a few years ago. There are so many options when it comes to molds for gummy candies, but I must say that I was really excited to find this design. I don’t know who would have thought to make candy molds out of a motif so distinguished, but I’m glad they did because these gummy candies wouldn’t have half their charm without their artistic shape.

I hate to tell you this, but Fauchon’s Raspberry Macaron Blend isn’t available in the US. Don’t worry though, Harney & Sons Paris blend or Mariage Freres’ Marco Polo will both work great here. To put it simply, use any black tea that’s floral (roses) and fruity (berries), and has you coming back for more!

Adding milk into tea is a tradition in French tea-drinking. To honor this, I’ve introduced an option for a tea gummy that has a touch of milk added to it. This custom was started by none other than Madame de Sévigné, a French aristocrat who would add the liquid as a way to take the edge off of tea that had traveled for years before reaching her. It’s a custom that many still know and love, so I certainly didn’t want to skip it!

Instead of using corn syrup, which is typical for gummy snacks, I’ve used a combination of honey and stevia in this recipe. The honey helps to create a chewy texture, while the stevia gives a boost of natural sweetness to make these bites taste truly candy-like.

The black tea is steeped with triple strength here, so that it’s flavor is noticeable and shines through. This is a culinary trick anytime you cook with tea…steep it strong–very strong–much stronger than feels right! And even though we want a strong tea, we don’t want a tea that’s been over-steeped, so read your tea’s packaging carefully for brewing instructions.

Take my advice…get more than one mold and make plenty of these, because you seriously won’t be able to stop eating them once you start. Healthy, nutritious, and incredibly delicious, they are the most childishly sophisticated snack around. Kids will like these French Tea Gummies, but it’s the adults who will absolutely love them!

French Tea Gummies

Makes 2 cups of gummy candies.


6 oz package organic raspberries

juice of 1 lemon (2 Tbsp)

4 Tbsp honey

1/4 tsp stevia

1 cup strongly brewed tea, preferably flavored, French, or French-inspired! (ratio of 1 cup water to 1 Tbsp loose tea leaves)

6 Tbsp gelatin

non-stick vegetable oil spray

5 Tbsp evaporated milk (optional)


Fleur de Lys candy/chocolate mold

medium pot

medium bowl

tea brewer


medium mesh sieve


small spoon


1.)  Place the raspberries and lemon juice in medium pot and place on low-medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the raspberries are completely broken down. You can use the back of the spatula to help with this process. Place a sieve over a medium bowl. Pour the raspberry mixture through the sieve to remove all the seeds. Add the honey and stevia to the strained juice and mix in. Set the raspberry juice aside.

2.)  Brew the tea. It’s typical to brew black tea for 4-5 minutes with water at 212 degrees F. Set aside.

3.)  Scatter the gelatin on top of the raspberry mixture and mix it in. Add the hot tea in and mix together until you get a homogenous mixture. If you notice clumps, add the mixture back into the pot and cook on low heat until the gelatin fully dissolves. Use a spoon to skim off and discard any foam off the surface of the mixture.

4.)  Give the candy mold a very light, even spray of vegetable oil. Using a small spoon, fill each cavity of the mold. Place the mold into the fridge or freezer until the gummies are fully set. In the freezer, it will only take about 5 minutes. Repeat the process as many times as it takes to use up all of the tea mixture. Meanwhile, if the raspberry-tea mixture starts to set in the prep bowl, give it a zap in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to return it to a liquid state. Store gummies in the fridge in an airtight container.

Variation:  If you like a bit of cream in your tea, add 5 Tbsp of evaporated milk to the tea after it has been brewed in Step 2. Alternatively, I like to add 2 1/2 Tbsp of milk after there is a half portion of the raspberry-tea mixture left (after you’ve spooned out 1/2 of the mixture). This way I get 2 types of gummies (one cup of clear gummies & one cup of milky gummies) from one full recipe.