Mariage Frères

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87

So I had to pack my bags, get on a plane and travel out of state very unexpectedly for work yesterday which just tires me out entirely these days… I was very happy this morning when rifling through my belongings I realized I’d placed a small bag of this in my suitcase in the chaos that was me leaving yesterday… and so this morning, I’m sitting in a strange hotel, in a foreign city, sipping on soul warming tea!!!

This has the perfect balance of maltiness and smokiness with a (very) slight hint of chocolate… with a touch of milk, that I managed to sneak out of the breakfast room, its simply perfection this morning and makes me feel a touch better about being where I am.

Fjellrev

That’s so crazy how your work calls you away so abruptly!

sren

I want to know what foreign city—- gosh I miss traveling for fun— I imagine work is another story

beelicious

Its a little stressful! Much rather be traveling for fun!

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drank CHA THAÏ BOPF by Mariage Frères
6046 tasting notes

Another from MissB I was pretty sure i wouldn’t love this one based on the appearance and small alone, but hey, must try everything! This is a super fine tea and brewed up, it behaves a little like stacy’s messy red tea whose name escapes me lol. This to me is a tea best had with milk and sugar, something i don’t often do. I suspect that this a good one drunk that way and suggest that anyone getting this after me, try it that way, rather than straight! :) thanks missb!

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83

I find that this tea enchants and grows upon the drinker. Its pronounced smoky notes invigorate at first sip, and personally, becomes more calming as the tea cools.

I would describe it as a smooth tea, goes down easily, with a beautifully balanced body and after-taste, and a certain pleasant tang that blooms up at the end of the sip (or gulp!). The scent is ever so slightly floral – though I confess a limited vocabulary at this stage of my tea appreciation journey.

Perhaps influenced by its description and categorisation, I only drink this tea in the late evening. It only seems fitting.

Flavors: Floral, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 13 OZ / 380 ML

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87

I agree with many of the reviews that this tea is a bit too “fruit forward.” This said, I’m a college professor who cannot get through 75 minute lectures without a cup of tea in my hand and this one is often just exactly what I need to get me through my 8:00 am classes. Anything less subtle might not be enough – and even though it is a little too fruity, it is, after all from Mariage Freres.

Flavors: Berries, Fruit Tree Flowers

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drank Montagne d'Or by Mariage Frères
1064 tasting notes

I snagged this tea from the Pass the Stash TTB when I went to visit Marzipan the other day.

Mostly this tea is generically fruity, with a hint of that powdery floral that some French flavored teas tend to get. Not my favorite thing ever but I was glad to get to try it :)

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First time at Balzac’s coffee, and I wanted to order tea…:P Out of the menu I thought French Breakfast sounded the most appealing with vanilla notes. It comes in a lovely cheesecloth like tea bag, and steeps up on the darker side. Some chocolate notes and caramel notes on this one. Definitely astringent once you get to Infusion #2 and more, even on Infusion #1 I felt this was a milk that calls for milk and sugar from the get-go. I don’t know why I ordered a medium size when all it does it have more water to 1 teabag, so would recommend just ordering the small next time.

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100

liquid rasberry with vanilla and cream on top. oh, no wait, there is jam, and chocolate and caramel as well…

Stellar!

Flavors: Berries, Caramel, Chocolate, Flowers, Jam, Strawberry, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 200 OZ / 5914 ML

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90

I agree with others here that there is a lot creamsicle going on with this one, but I like this tea a lot. It may be because I first had it in Paris, so I may not be judging it on flavor alone ;)

All I know is that it’s almost gone and I’m going to be quite sad.

Flavors: Cream, Orange, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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82
drank Vanille des Îles by Mariage Frères
1263 tasting notes

In-store this smelled amazing, and I struggled to choose between this and Paris Breakfast (which smelled equally vanilla-y, with perhaps some sort of caramel). There’s a woody, almost paper-like taste to this, as well as a rich softness. The vanilla is divine, hard to describe, not as punchy as I’d like it, but really smooth and elegant. I do like this, a lot.

Grabbed at a chocolate shop in the heart of Brussels, March 16, 2015.

Flavors: Smooth, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Dinosara

You must go to Wittamer in Brussels if you haven’t already done so. Their chocolates are amazing! I miss Belgium…

MissB

I hate saying this, but I was told most folks here don’t buy chocolates unless they’re a gift for a tourist. They’re so expensive! Most just get them at the grocery store. The quality and selection are still staggering. So while I might go see a chocolate shop, I’ll rarely buy anything. I’m pretty sure I found The Chocolate Street and The Italian Fashion Street yesterday. Lol

Dinosara

Well, that’s generally true of most places. I mean, in China people just buy tea at the grocery store because the selection and quality are good, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t go to the tea street when I’m there. It’s more the sheer variety and unusual flavors that you just don’t find at a grocery store (and we did go to the grocery store too!). We got some amazing marzipan/chocolate/caramel confections there that I’ve never seen anything like before.

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If I’m honest, I’ve absolutely mangled steeping parameters on this tea a couple times. (Ever accidentally forget you heated the water to 200F for something else and then pour it on green tea. That moment, man.) But I’ve never actually had a bad cup of it.

I think it tastes best with a 90 second steep at 175F. The green base is vegetal and bright without being astringent, and there’s an underlying semi-sweet floral element in the aftertaste. I don’t know if I read the yuzu as strictly yuzu, but it’s a bright orange/lemon hybrid citrus note, that pairs well with the rest of the cup.

Perfect for sunshine and spring days.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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85

Just discovered this in my cupboard. Although the tea is quite old – more than a year old, in fact – the tin was just good enough, and some of the original scent is still there. Gave it a really long, barbaric steep – something like 7 minutes – and ended up with a very nice cup. Don’t do that if you get Opium Hill fresh, though :)

(rating is for fresh tea, from memory – really powerful when re-steeped several times – has a characteristic cold orchid-like scent and flavor in later steepings)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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80

A very floral but lovely tea. It has a strong, sweet scent but brews into a subtler tea. I will be drinking this all May!

Flavors: Floral

Preparation
1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Black Opera by Mariage Frères
1883 tasting notes

From. Actually I don’t know. Kittenna maybe? I don’t have my spreadsheet to check right now, sorry!! (It’s from VariaTEA! Thank you. :) )

Anyways, it’s fruity. A little creamy maybe. Mostly intensely fruity. If Marco polo had been this fruity I would have liked it more.

I do like it, but I don’t think I like it enough to buy it.

Sorry for the crummy note, tea friends. My smell still isn’t 100% and I am so tired.

2.5 tsp in 16 oz. 3 min at 195F. With a touch of milk.

Fjellrev

Hey, you need to look after yourself, so don’t you dare apologize!

OMGsrsly

I am at work all day today too. Well “all day” as in I strolled in at noon. I just wanna go home.

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75

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Spicy, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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91
drank Rouge Bourbon by Mariage Frères
497 tasting notes

I decided to get a little creative and mix the last of my Mariage Freres Rouge Bourbon with some of Butiki’s Root Beer Barrels. I used about 1.5 tsps of each blend in 8oz of boiling water, steeped for 7 minutes. I’m digging the result. The Root Beer Barrels is definitely dominant. The Bourbon is adding a nice creaminess, though. Adding rice milk brings out the vanilla a bit. The root beer flavor still hits first, but it’s mellower. The creamy vanilla-ness lingers for a while after the sip. I like how well these blends work together! This is a sipdown of the Bourbon, which was really enjoyable both on its own and in combination with other blends, a cinnamon stick, or lavender & mint.

Thanks to Dustin for the Bourbon and rosebudmelissa for the Root Beer Barrels! I’m cross-posting, so apologies for the redundancy on your dashboards.

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91
drank Rouge Bourbon by Mariage Frères
497 tasting notes

Thanks to Dustin for sending me some of this! The trick to this blend is to steep it with a cinnamon stick. I don’t know why, but that really brings out the vanilla and a touch of creaminess. The rooibos base here is quite good, too – woody and clean. One of the better vanilla rooibos blends I’ve had.

Flavors: Cream, Vanilla, Wood

Jashiin Jashiin

Thanks – what a great suggestion! I didn’t have a stick, so I simply added some ground cinnamon to the leaves. Terrific! Some time ago I’ve moved on to MF’s Rouge d’Automne, and had a large stash of unused Rouge Bourbon… I guess I’ll go back to vanilla for now :)

Kaylee

So glad you liked it this way!

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65

Yesterday I went to A Southern Season in Chapel Hill and bought a tiny amount of this tea just to see what all the fuss is about with the brand. I am glad I did not purchase a larger amount because this seems like a pretty generic, unremarkable Chinese black tea to me. It’s not a bad tea, and perhaps I’m being a little too hard on it. It would be perfectly pleasant if someone served this to me in a restaurant or at their home. But for the amount of hype and the price — and what shipping from France might have cost me — I want more depth, more flavor, more infusions — and less bitterness… There’s just nothing particularly interesting about the tea. I’d be very sad if I’d actually paid to have a large amount of this shipped from France.

I do realize that the company doesn’t make its finest teas available in US stores, but… This really doesn’t sell me on them at all.

Flavors: Bitter, Malt

Jashiin Jashiin

The funny thing is, MF really have a lot of fantastic Yunnan black teas – e.g. Yunnan d’Or, Aiguilles d’Or, etc. I could never understand why they chose Yunnan Imperial as the “classic black tin” variety. Never warmed to it myself.

Just a suggestion – if you ever come across more MF teas, do try some of their own harvests, i.e. limited Darjeelings, Thai oolongs, and black teas from Nepal. I’m sure a sip of Red Himalaya or a cup of Thai Beauty will melt away any bad feelings you may have after Yunnan Imperial.

kristinalee

This is good to know. It’s just really not that interesting, but I’ll keep an eye out for the others.

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80

Dry leaves give of a rather overpowering scent of citrus fruits – quite tangy, and just a little bit sweet. No wonder, since MF mentions 7 types of citrus fruits here! But there are also flowers, safflower among them, which gives off a very particular scent. The tea itself isn’t as strong as the smell – in fact, quite soft, almost tender if it weren’t for some citrus astringency. Most teas of this series have a comparable body.

Like many MF teas, this one is fun to experiment with. One day it had a very strong orange note. Another day, another flavour – like a mix of light citrus juices with tea (if this sounds disgusting, I can’t help it – can’t find other words for it). Last time I brewed this, lime was the leading note. I’m not a very big fan of citrus fruits, but if you are, I’m sure you’ll find this fascinating – like discovering a whole different side to your favorite flavours. Unfortunately, the tea is quite expensive, and I think a bit overpriced.

Flavors: Citrus, Lime, Orange

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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84
drank Chandernagor by Mariage Frères
212 tasting notes

Yummmm, OMGsrsly sends great random samples. :) This is a very nice chai, spicy and warming, good for a cold winter morning.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Pepper

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85
drank Opium Hill by Mariage Frères
35 tasting notes

I waited a year and a half to taste this tea. I stopped buying tea for three months so that I could get a cup when I as in Paris. It was all worth it. The aroma itself was worth it.

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82
drank Boléro by Mariage Frères
35 tasting notes

This was one of the 30 tea samples from MF that my wife bought me for my 30th birthday. It was delicious. A great balance between the tea and the fruit. With one sip Trader Joe’s Mango Black stopped tasting good.

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78
drank Phénix by Mariage Frères
35 tasting notes

This was a good black tea. Not incredibly memorable, nor better than Wedding Imperial or Pleine Lune, but a good flavored black tea in the chocolae, caramel flavor profile.

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