Turin’s tem­ple of tea

La Via del Tè has been syn­ony­mous with premium- qual­ity teas, fruit in­fu­sions and blends per­me­ated with the aro­mas of far- off lands, for more than 50 years. A treat, in all its as­pects, for tea afi­ciona­dios By

Where Turin - - SHOPPING - Gi­u­lia Minero

The story of La Via del Tè be­gan in Florence in 1961, when young Al­fredo Car­rai trav­elled to China for the first time to deepen his knowl­edge of tea, the se­cond most widely drunk bev­er­age in the world, and to in­tro­duce its cul­ture and con­sump­tion to Italy. More than 50 years later, the com­pany is still helmed with the same pas­sion by the Car­rai fam­ily, boast­ing six mono- brand bou­tiques, in­clud­ing one lo­cated in the shadow of the Mole, where cus­tomers can im­merse them­selves in the mag­i­cal world of tea. The Tori­nese con­cept store, which is sit­u­ated in the heart of the city, re­volves around an old- world “aro­mateque”, where glass jars con­tain­ing a va­ri­ety of teas from all over the world al­low cus­tomers to see, smell and se­lect the in­fu­sion that best suits them. Here, amidst wood fur­nish­ings and shelves, cus­tomers can choose from among over 250 prod­ucts in­clud­ing Oo­long, white and whole leaf green teas from China and Japan, plus other pre­cious va­ri­eties from In­dia, Sri Lanka, Tai­wan and Africa, scented blends, fruit in­fu­sions and herbal teas. The prod­uct range also in­cludes clas­sic tins, trans­par­ent fab­ric or cot­ton muslin tea bags, gift boxes and tea- flavoured del­i­ca­cies, as well as a wide se­lec­tion of teapots, cups and ac­ces­sories in cast- iron, glass and porce­lain from far- off coun­tries. Con­nois­seurs or cus­tomers who want to try new blends can en­joy a re­gen­er­at­ing cup of wel­come tea from a samovar on a side counter. >> Via Carlo Al­berto, 1/ I T: 011 837017. Map G4 www.lavi­adelte.it

Note that ref­er­ences in bold at the end of each list­ing ( A1, B5 etc.) re­fer to the co­or­di­nates on the street map (pages 44- 45).

MAP LOCATIONSS­HOPPING

This directory, grouped by cat­e­gory, is a list of es­tab­lish­ments rec­om­mended by the ed­i­tors of Where mag­a­zine and in­cludes reg­u­lar ad­ver­tis­ers. Based on sta­tis­ti­cal ev­i­dence, the most pop­u­lar lux­ury brands are grouped un­der the separate cat­e­gory “Top Brands”, which be found on page 24. Sev­eral un­usual shops, stock­ing items and rar­i­ties for col­lec­tors or afi­ciona­dos in spe­cific prod­uct cat­e­gories, are listed un­der “Pas­sion Shop­ping” rather than in the stan­dard shop­ping sec­tions. Shop­ping hours are gen­er­ally from 10am to 7pm; less cen­trally lo­cated shops still take the tra­di­tional lunch break. Most shops are closed on Sun­days (ex­cept those lo­cated in cen­tral Turin) and on Mon­day morn­ings. Ask your concierge. Vis­i­tors should note that VAT is 22% and it is gen­er­ally in­cluded in the price of goods.

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