Handcrafted and Healthy Drinks by La Maison Bleue Café

Anna Cho of La Maison Bleue Café
Anna Cho of La Maison Bleue Café b.lyin Photography
La Maison Bleue Café is a Dallas-based pop-up serving handcrafted drinks by founder and mixologist Anna Nguyen. Her venture arises from an interest in fresh ingredients and flavor profiles, creating drinks such as Green Garden Oolong Tea, Sparkling Citrus Peach Ade and Cantaloupe Cream Soda.

Having enjoyed boba tea shops in her youth, she later became more conscious about what she consumes, leading her to make her own drinks at home. The curiosity grew into a passion; she studied tea and traveled to Asia to expand her knowledge of unique ingredients. This led her to start La Maison Bleue in April 2020, with a primary mission to serve drinks low in sugar and free from additives with a delicate and refreshing flavor.

With health and taste in mind, Nguyen develops her recipes by simply trying combinations of different bases, confitures, syrups and garnishes. She focuses on ingredients that are in season and not usually found in drink menus, such as shiso leaf, tomato and ginger. “Playing around with ingredients is fun," Nguyen said.

Most of her signature fruit tea drinks are made with a tea base paired with homemade syrups and fresh fruit confitures such as kiwi or peach, sourced from local farmer markets. Sliced fruit and garnish finishes are handcrafted. A popular drink is the Strawberry Shiso Tea, which is made with organic black tea, strawberry confiture, lemon juice and shiso extract. Pineapple Honey Tea is another customer favorite, which is a result of a random experimental pairing of pineapple confiture and wuyi oolong tea, blended with honey and lemon juice.
click to enlarge Fruit tea cocktails form La Maison Bleue Café - ANNA PIANO PHOTOGRAPHY
Fruit tea cocktails form La Maison Bleue Café
Anna Piano Photography
Sparkling ades and cream sodas are also popular on the menu, both made with Topo Chico and various fruit confitures. The cream sodas are topped with a scoop of smooth vanilla ice cream that pairs well with the Topo Chico fizz. A few flavors to enjoy these specialty drinks include rosé, matcha and strawberry, although the menu changes often depending on the season and availability. Liquor can also be mixed in and enjoyed with a few of the drinks, which are usually offered in private events.

Since running her one-woman show, Nguyen has had her ups and downs, experiencing times when progress was slow and event sales did not meet expectations so much that so much she thought about giving it all up. However, her love for sharing drinks and meeting new people became her motivation to keep going. “That’s what makes me want to try harder and come up with a better recipe to put a smile on everyone's face again,” Nguyen shares.

Throughout the pandemic, she slowly gained a following and gathered helpful feedback and support. She’s even expanded her service to private catering, where she gets to share her creations and be a part of special celebrations such as baby showers, birthdays and graduations.

Nguyen hopes to one day open her own dine-in cafè serving her drinks, desserts and small bites. In the meantime, La Maison Bleue plans to do pop-ups twice a month, which are announced on Instagram.

Upcoming events include a pop-up at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Plano during Halloween weekend. With pomegranates in season, be sure to try the newest flavor, Fresh Pomegranate Lemonade.
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Felicia Lopez is a contributing writer for the Observer, previously of Southern California and now eating her way through the greater Dallas area. She is a data nerd by trade and a dessert enthusiast at heart.