357 Tasting Notes


So I managed to brew it correctly for my palate !
2 minutes only are really enough.

I can now appreciate both malt and caramel and behind a little chocolate hint

I amended my rating.

First time in my life I have to steep a blend such a little time !

This tea can really bear several steeps without any problem, so quite economical finally :)

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

you proved the old french saying right! must be good to be french ;)


I really wanted to love it :)


You did it – huzzah!


Yay, glad you cracked it! This one is a spoiled tea which demands to be treated just the way it wants and just so!

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It’s probably the Best Earl Grey I ever had.

It’s an easy tea (after my adventure with Wedding Impérial, I appreciate)
Bergamot is very present but does not “overtake” the floral note offered by blue cornflowers.
The fruity citrus note is delivered with a majestic and harmonious touch.

The tea base itself is very mellow, light but tasty.

This is an euphemism to say I loved this tea.

The funniest is that it wasn’t the one I wanted to purchase : I asked at Mariage’s desk : I want the French Blue Earl Grey, the one with lavender… the Earl Grey Provence was the one I wanted but I can thank the salesman for not reestablishing the correct name of the Tea I first wanted.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec

Your reviews make me want to try all the Mariage Freres teas!


We can arrange this if you want Nicole, I can share some with you


This looks so beautiful! I love blue cornflowers in tea.

Terri HarpLady

I’ve been lurking at the Mariage Freres sight myself, contemplating teas I’d like to try.


Oh Terri, go for it, they are excellent. though sometimes my favorites are sort of unexpected. And if you like Lapsang Souchong, theirs will ruin every other version for you.

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The dry leaves were smelling so good ! Caramel and a hint of chocolate for sure it was so sweet…I bought it ! I met an angel…

Then it was just a demon !
I struggled with this tea all day long.

I had it this morning and steeped it 4 min but I found it strong and bitter but I drank it.

I took it with me at work because I thought I did something wrong.

Second cup at work, I have been busy and I forgot it, it steeped for 6 minutes probably : it was just undrinkable to me : bitter incredibly bitter, I just dropped the beverage.

I made a second steep and for 3 minutes and a half this time, it was nice.

I made a third steep and it was nice as well.

The tea base is an assam and it is too strong for me I think. It hides me the fantastic flavors this tea has from the second steep.

It means I should find someone to drink all my first steep cups :)

I’ll try this with milk and sugar as well, may be good even on first steep.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

good grief, tea should not be that difficult, who needs a moody tea? I think maybe give Mariage Frères a short break until they can straighten up their act. That’s two disappointments in a row :(


I have a really hard time drinking Assam bases without milk — I hope you have more success when you try it with some :)


you know I am quite a stubborn…I think I’ll give another try tomorrow because this tea is really appreciated in general and want to try with a very short steep (2 mn) it may work …impossible n’est pas français (famous French saying…quite pretentious ;) )


LOL, well, best of luck and may you triumph :)


Good luck. Milk and maybe sweet too would be the cure.


It is better with milk – and IMO this tea is better if you use a generous ammount but skimp on time. As little as 3 minutes or even less!

It was my first MF tea, not sure if I am sentimental about it. Weirdly enough it was the tea served to me at a thai spa in Lisbon, and they had brewed it perfectly there, so it can be done!


Well..it did have a word ‘wedding’ in the name…Anyhow, hope you’ll find a way to enjoy it, my assam behaved after adding milk, maybe they are designed for that in some cases..? But then again you did get it work after few tries so maybe it’s just playing hard to get.. :3


“Impossible n’est pas français.” I love that!

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drank Sakura 2000 by Mariage Frères
357 tasting notes

After my disappointing visit of the Dammann Frères shop, I was so frustrated that I decided to visit the nearest Mariage Frères shop (not a big walk…450 meters ! )

My 10 years daughter was with me and she saw a beautiful canister(Sakura 2012 green tea), she sniffed the blend and she absolutely wanted me to buy it…but it was 22 € and didn’t want to spend so much just for the canister…So to replace I took the Sakura 2000 which is available in loose leaf.

Prepared it yesterday night and I had no problems to sleep behind (theine level shouldn’t be too high)

Well I just need to say it’s a wonderful tea :

the smell is a wonderful bouquet of cherry blossom
there is absolutely no astringency with the liquor, the first sip is highly floral and sweet.
the after taste is clearly fruity with a delicious sweet cherry.

You keep the taste a long time after finishing it, it is delightful.

I highly recommend to discover it.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 45 sec

love Sakuras, something so soothing about cherry blossom flavour and tea! Votre fille a beaucoup de goût, mais un peu dispendieux cependant! :-)


it was my first Sakura and I am very happy she “forced” me to buy it, thanks god I found this 2000 edition at 8 €/100 gr. Oui elle déjà un petit côté parisienne snob :)


I’m SO jealous that you can walk to the Mariage Frères shop!


Darby, that’s exactly what I was thinking! I just wish I was a «snob parisienne», widow shopping my tea in Paris!


I know ! but you have David Teas I don’t :)
Look, they are opening a new corner in London (just a little bit nearer from the US) :http://style.selfridges.com/whats-in/mariage-freres-opens-first-uk-concession-selfridges-london


(Unrelated but I can’t wait to place a huge holiday order at Mariage Frères. Every post about them just adds to the excitement.)


Your daughter has wonderful taste, my compliments! And thank you for sharing. Just had a cup and trying to write something about it, but it is beautiful indeed – reminded me a bit of Vert de Provence while being pretty different, but the base, the tea body, how sublime the perfume is.

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First I need to say I’ve always been suspicious with the idea of chocolate flavor for teas.
Each time I was seeing such a flavor on a package, I didn’t purchase it.
I like to drink hot chocolate with milk and tea + chocolate was little weird to me.

But I am curious and however now we can see more and more chocolaty teas (chocolateas ?)

I decided to taste this one because of the ratings here and because I never had a Dammann Frères I didn’t like.

I really appreciated it even if to me the only flavor I get is chocolate. I cannot pick out the almonds (I regret it because I love almonds so much)

The tea base is very sweet and smooth without any bitterness.

The tea is absolutely mellow and sweet.

Dedicated to the chocolatea lovers.

But between this tea and a cup of real hot chocolate, I would still take the real chocolate…too bad for calories !

PS : my daughter is in love with it (she’s 10 and like to taste my cups of teas)

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Hooray! I am glad you liked it! That is about the temperature I used for it, too. And I was like you….at first when I started drinking good teas I thought chocolate and tea did not belong together. Once I got brave enough to try them, I liked them.


I’m going to try several others :)


This sounds brilliant… Chocolate teas are a little hit and miss, I’m glad there’s one out there that tastes this good!

Ruby Woo Scarlett

Not surprised Dammann makes such a blend, they seem to be all about nostalgia teas with all the flavours of childhood :)

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I went to the Dammann Frères shop today. I am very disappointed but it’s nothing to do with the tea itself so I won’t say anything here but I will in a note for Dammann Frères place.

This is a very pleasant tea, opening the bag the smell is very very strong, maybe too much ! it’s candy candy candy, over-flavored.

I followed the steep instruction written by the saleswoman on my bag : 80°c and 4,5 min – not sure there are the correct ones- so I’ll give another try with a 90°c as it seems to be more classic for a black blend.

The flavors are really mixed and to me the taste is really like poppy candies. I can pick out marzipan in addition.
I love it but I have a reproach to do with the tea base which is too weak, light bodied.
Now it may be because I didn’t brew the blend at 90°c so I will give another try and amend my note soon.

This is really a pleasant dessert tea anyway, very smooth and mellow.

For my experience with Dammann Frères shop please have a look here : http://steepster.com/places/2733-dammann-freres-paris-ile-de-france

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 45 sec

I hope it works out for you! if not I guess you could put a little more black tea with it.


yes you’re right Bonnie, I will if the additional steep time is not enough.


80 degrees doesn’t sound right for a black tea… I didn’t realise the strong flower flavour was poppies after all – this is good to know! Lovely review! ♥


I have only a few Dammann Freres teas. I have this one, Osmanthé d’Or, and Charlotte Audi Chocolat. (I hope I spelled all of those right!) I also have a few sales of their teas. They are wonderful, and this one was one of my favorites. I hope you find just the right way to make it so it is most pleasing for you!


Autocorrect changed au to Audi!


Also, on reading your review of the shop – I bought my Dammann Freres tea not from a Dammann shop but a wholesaler of their tea, and I received very similar service! The same thing happened to me, I wanted about 6 different teas and two different assistants worked on it, one of them put away a tea they hadn’t packed yet so I nearly left with 5 instead of the 6 I wanted ): bizarre!


I realize the saleswoman wrote 80° on each of the 3 bags of teas…I will make a 90°c as I normally do for any black tea base and ignore her “advices”.
Ashmanra I bought as well Charlotte au Chocolat and will review it today. Osmanthé d’or seems really nice I think it is a oolong if i remember well.
I found a French website where the Dammann products are distributed and it is possible to buy 50 gr. I sent an email to the owner to know if she can ship to Europe and north America too.
I’ll let you know because if she does for a correct price it can be a good way to taste more teas for the Steepster community as I know the brand is not very present in North America.


Melanchocolate, I think next time I’ll come back on a Sunday at their shop because I really had a warm welcome by the assistant.
However they now have a second shop in Paris I may have a visit as well.


The base for Charlotte au Chocolate was too astringent for me made with 100C. It was not smooth like Coquelicot Gourmand, but when I used cooler water and a shorter steep it was so good and chocolate-y! I am a wimp when it comes to astringency so other people may like it just fine prepared the way they told you. I am surprised it is so hard to get in America. The company was bought by Illy Coffee and they have offices in Texas. They sell a few samplers and such of Dammann teas and they are BEAUTIFUL!


oh my god ! it is sooooo expensive …they sale the loose leaf with the boxes only. In France you can get 100gr of Douchka or jardin bleu for 6 or 7 €. The teas proposed are really few as well.


I know! There is only a small selection, and very expensive. They used to have a beautiful sampler gift set but it was well over $100. The containers and leather cases are just gorgeous, though! My daughter ordered my tea as a gift for me and she had it shipped from Paris to Northern Ireland, and then she picked it up when she was there.

Ruby Woo Scarlett

I had efficient but rather dismissive service from Mariage Freres too. I’ve never been to Dammann. Frankly, as much as I’d love to smell my teas first, shopping in person is too much of a gamble and I usually order off the Internet.
What a shame you had such a bad experience – you should drop them an email, I did that once with a perfume brand and somehow got a 50% discount off my next purchase. You never know!

Ruby Woo Scarlett

This tea sounds amazing, by the way. The marzipan looks very interesting.


you’re right Ruby Woo Scarlett, I’ll drop them an email at least to mention they can offer a better service and gain more customers if they are more friendly

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Everybody is already asleep home including the cat !
I am alone on my sofa and I feel so lazy…I’d like to have a cup of this tea…but I feel well on my sofa…nobody’s around to go in the kitchen for me…even the cat…anyway cats never help to prepare a cup…

I had a dream Le Chat is waking up and is going in the kitchen, he’s putting water in the kettle, 80°C (he is clever, he knows it’s for a green tea)…put crystal sugar in a mug & put the infuser in.

But pffff he’ll never do that for me…that’s the reason why I love him and love cats… they don’t care for what we think, they are just free and only do what they want to.

So I have this tea and it is a nice tea.
I am not very impressed by the green tea base but appreciate the flavors (mainly rose but I can pick mango and behind maybe peach).

it doesn’t work for a second steep, it becomes really too weak.

Nice for a lazy evening with or without cat

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

lol I liked this review! :)


I had this sort of on wishlist, one of these days I am going to bite the bullet and order from Palais des Thés. These reviews are particularly interesting for me, they let me make lists of what I really want to try!

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Another best seller of the Mariage Frères tea house.

No suspense for this one : it is one of my favourite even if I don’t drink it very often.

I know this tea since I am a child, my mother had it in a beautiful canister. Sometimes, I was just opening the tin to sniff the incredibly perfumed blend : it’s Christmas Spirit really …candied oranges, cinnamon, Vanilla, almonds and cloves and mandarin.

I can pick up all the ingredients on the dry leaf…and it makes me really sad….
Christmas is a period that always drove me very sad and there is probably the reason why I don’t have this tea very often.

But as a good masochist, I sometimes have it (it is all year long in my cupboard) and I really enjoy it.

The infusion is as perfumed as the dry blend was, no surprise.
Maybe the perfumes are more mixed than on the dry leaf, I am not distinguish them all as I can before steeping.

And here we are : Noël is never as strong as I am expecting each time, year after year. The blend reflects exactly what I am feeling for the period…

Mon cher thé Noël, tu es définitivement l’exact reflet de cet esprit de Noël et pour cela je t’aime autant que je te crains.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Vous devriez ecrire en francais plus! J’aime bien voire vos messages dans votre premiere langue. :) This is a tea I’ll need to try one of these days for sure!


en plus ce serait plus facile :)
but it would be unfair for the non French speakers …


Haha that’s true. But there are days when I miss reading real people writing in French


ah, that’s what google translate is for….. :D


c’est ce que google translate pour muahhahahhahahaha!


Lol too funny fleur


:D just playin with ya :)


so Fleurdelily next time you’ll be Fleur de Muguet :)
and I recommand you this tea, lily flavored : http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/FR/ft+lily-muguet-the-vert-au-parfum-de-muguet+TA993.html
it is an amazing tea !


oh I LOVE that site, it’s seldom that teaware makes me gasp out loud but just LOOK at this ♥ http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/FR/fa+samovar-happy-tzar-corps-et-theiere-4-5-l-plus-1-l+A194150.html ♥ à mourir pour


yes I have the chance to admire this samovar in the tea shops in Paris…and others beautiful as this one too !
Each time I am in a Mariage shop near the teapot…I am afraid to break something …and regarding the prices it would be a shame


lily of the valley tea, how interesting. I’ve just tried kusmi violet tea, and was shocked that I like it. I’d be game to try lily of the vally, sure! :) and at the very least, I’d have a gorageous tin, wouldn’t I? wow. To see all those teawares sparkling in person—- sigh. that would be fantastic


alas, one tin of muguet to my address is $58.13


J’ai maintenant très hâte à Noël. Mes enfants sont encore jeunes, et c’est tellement beau de voir leur émerveillement lorsqu’ils voient le Père Noël. J’ai également très hâte aux thés à la canne de bonbon.


gosh ! the green one ?
they are just crazy at the Mariage’s Head office :D


@ Steven
oui quand les enfants croient encore au Père Noël c’est très mignon.
Les sucres d’orge c’est délicieux ! quels thés sont à cette saveur ?


Chez David’s Tea, probablement à partir de novembre.


awww Merci Steven (they don’t ship to France …hope they’ll do soon)


Nous pourrons s’en reparler le mois prochain. Si ça en vaut le coup, je pourrai vous en envoyer par la poste.

Je devais aller à Paris pour affaires à la fin du mois, mais ma femme va donner naissance à mon 3e enfant à ce moment. Je n’ai jamais été à Paris. Ce sera pour une prochaine fois.


un 3ème bébé vaut bien tous les Paris du monde :)
Merci pour la proposition, on en reparlera certainement.

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drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
357 tasting notes

To me, Troïka is a mild black tea. The head note on dry leaf is clearly bergamot but orange is really present, but behind.

This is the same after steeping : a mild Earl Grey perfumed with orange.
I am very sorry but I wasn’t able to pick up mandarin.

It is a subtle tea, very smooth : the kind of tea a lot of people should appreciate and I am not an exception, I appreciate it.

But I clearly prefer Anastasia which is stronger and much original to be.

Anyway, thanks for the travel in Troïka, magnificent steppe …

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Violette by Dammann Freres
357 tasting notes

Sorry wasn’t able to find out a picture of thé Violette !
It isn’t sold on Dammann’s online website.

I bought it directly at the shop place des Vosges, so I’ll need to take my own pic of it .

It is a really pleasant tea.
First the scent of violet is fantastic, the liquor color is deep and we get immediately the violet note.

I had it in the morning , half of the cup plain, the other half with with black crystal sugar + a splash of milk.

I loved both methods.

This is nice but not on my Dammann top list.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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First, please forgive me for my English and all the grammatical mistakes you’ll find in my posts.
As English isn’t my mother tongue it sometimes makes things more difficult to express cleverly and accurately what I feel.

I was mainly in black flavoured teas, green as well if not bitter.
I’m now drinking much straight teas because my palate is now developed enough to appreciate them .

My favourite brands are : Mariage Frères,Theodor,Butiki Teas,Dammann Frères, Betjeman & Barton.
My ratings are as follow :

100 to 95 : my darlings; always in my cupboard

94 to 90 : Excellent tea, often in my cupboard

89 to 80 : very good tea, a pleasure to drink it

79 to 70: not bad even nice, why not having it sometimes, but well, not so urgent !

69 to 50 : Meh, deceptive or just not for me – but has some qualities

49 to 30 : I just don’t appreciate it

Under 30 : is this tea ?!?!?

My tea blog (in French)


Paris, France



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