Mariage Frères

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Recent Tasting Notes

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

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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
201 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
34 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
34 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
34 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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79

GCTTB

yes i know…blergamot. freely chosen by yours truly. this doesn’t much taste like an earl grey to me. it’s there…if i focus on it, but for the most part this tastes more like a black breakfast like tea. it might be an age thing or the result of travelling around in the box, but this is nicely subdued and overall a really pleasant cup. there’s a bit of malt there and the brew is smooth. nice!

K S

I knew it. Hell has frozen over! hahaha!

Sil

well yes…hence the weather everywhere! :)

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87

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85

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90

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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96

A good blend of black teas, typically English. I like this one the morning

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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100

One of my favourite tea in the morning.
It’s a black tea with delicious flavors (French specialty: brioche).

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Thank you to beelicious for this sample! I’ve been really impressed with the Mariage Freres teas I’ve tried so far and this one was no exception: smooth and creamy with a fantastic rich caramel flavor and a hint of dark chocolate in the aftertaste. I noticed no bitterness and just the slightest bit of astringency after a 5-minute steep. And as a bonus, the teabags are adorable: little cheesecloth sacks that look to be hand-tied with very elegant black and gold tags. I will definitely be ordering from this company at some point in the future!

Flavors: Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
803 tasting notes

I don’t really have any teas in sip down range so I’m visiting an old favorite tonight.
This is just a really nice fruity black. Some say finicky – that might be true, but it always seems to work for me if I do 95C for 2.5 minutes. About 2tsp in my Davids perfect mug…
There is just something about the gentleness of the French teas….

Indigobloom

This one is amazing. A friend of mine always makes it with a small teaspoon of strawberry jam. I’ve been meaning to try it out myself one day!

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46
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
611 tasting notes

I was super excited that Cameron B. gave me the opportunity to try this. I have wanted to try Mariage Frères for a long time since it seems like such a popular company.
Today was actually the best day I’ve had physically this entire year, so I got to try a bunch of black teas that have been waiting for me to try! Figured it was about time I tried this one!
So, if the black tea base was not so strong I probably would have liked this a lot more. But for the most part, when I drink a flavored tea I don’t really wanna taste the base of the tea, unless it really complements the flavors well. Which kinda feels rare in my book. :( I feel like black teas must just be hard to flavor because they tend to overrule the other flavors.
I really like the strawberry and creamy notes in this tea. The black tea base kinda ruined it for me. It really overpowered the cup, so that was a bummer. If they had made the flavors a bit more strong this tea would be perfect!
Least in my book. But clearly this one isn’t for me.
Thanks for the sample, Cameron B.!

Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Strawberry

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90

Warning: this review involves abusive levels of oversteeping and inappropriate water temperatures. Sensitive readers are advised to read my main Opéra review instead: http://steepster.com/chai-mera/posts/286519

Excellent travel tea under adverse conditions! A few days ago I put 2tsp in my tea thermos with hot water before leaving for work. Had no opportunity to remove/empty the steeping basket so it stayed in there all day. There was one cold-water refill and one hot-water refill in said thermos. I don’t know whether it was the alternating cold/hot water or something else, but it still tasted delicious at 9pm and never got that bitter flavor that over-brewed green tea sometimes has. (Now whether I should have been drinking caffeinated tea at 9pm is another question entirely.)

Some people may consider this to be horrible treatment of a good tea, but there are days when one needs a tea that maintains its class and poise under rugged conditions, and this, my friends, is that tea.

Flavors: Berry, Floral, Green

Preparation
8 min or more 2 tsp

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90

A fruity green tea. It can have different flavors depending on brewing time: it starts out with a light floral taste but with longer brewing (about 5+ min?) the green tea begins to take over.

I tend to think of this as my “green Marco Polo” (even though MF does have a Thé Vert Marco Polo, and this is not it) because they have similar complex fruity/berry flavor. In the tin they even smell similar, but in the cup the l’Opéra is more floral and less berry.

COMMUTER NOTES: Loose tea. No problem with the leaves being left in the cup for a long time (and also tastes good cold).

Flavors: Berry, Floral, Fruity, Green

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86
drank Genmaicha by Mariage Frères
335 tasting notes

I have not had a lot of genmaicha teas. The first one I tried was from a purchase, from probably one of those generic german blenders. I thought it quite strange at first and downgraded it for gardening tea, tea I have while doing some (lazy gardening) on winter weekend mornings (when it´s not raining or TOO dreary. lazy…). And somehow it really worked for that purpose, the toastiness and the green energy, I have been quite fond of it. I was very curious about what a better version of genmaicha would be like, and Ysaurella was kind enough to send me some.

And this is probably going on my shopping list. It really is a different, much more refined, hints of floral genmaicha than the one I had before. Really lovely, I am converted. Though I am also wondering about Lupicia´s genmaicha teas….

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73

Sipdown (121)!

Another from my queue.

I cold brewed the last of my sample of this one; a delicious, dessert-y CB seemed like the perfect thing.

I kinda miss cold brewing; it’s been about a week (since I got sick) that I’ve done a cold brew. My only reason for not doing one is that I’ve got a strained CB sitting in my mason jar in the fridge right now and I don’t want to start another until I’ve finished that one. Only, I haven’t finished that one because it’s all the tea I have of the one I brewed up (Tropical Green from Octavia Tea), and I want to be able to actually taste it so I can write accurately on it since I’ve got ‘one shot’ to try it, so to speak. I hope it’s still good; it’s been sitting a while…

This cold brew was pretty goof though; it had a super strong chocolate flavour and was still surprisingly milky tasting (my last cup was hot with milk), despite not having anything added this time around. I think I finally experienced that “powdery” flavour/texture that I’ve seen Cameron B. write about and associate with French teas though. It was weird, but not entirely unpleasant or anything like that.Though, with all the chocolate in this blend it did bring up strong associations with powdered/instant hot chocolate mix.

Non Tea Related: Other than obsessing over Trivia Crack, I spent a lot of today watching movies with Aubrey Plaza; I love her so much. Everyone should watch Safety Not Guaranteed; it’s a great movie! And for funny and raunchy rated R stuff give The To Do List a chance; it was pretty darn good too! Definitely not your “cookie cutter” ending.

Oh, and Marzipan! I finally watched the most recent episode of Jane The Virgin! We should discuss; I have many feelings about the events that took place and I need someone else who watches it to converse with!

ashmanra

I liked Safety Not Guaranteed, too! One of my students just asked me to start playing Trivia Crack. I guess I had better get the app quickly!

VariaTEA

I watched The To Do List with my sister and her friend and then again with my sister and her BF who was so majorly uncomfortable with it since he thinks of me as his little sister. Consequently I find it fun to ask him to explain things off her list to me and it’s hilarious watching him try to come up with PG answers :P

Also, I keep forgetting about Jane the Virgin. I have to catch up soon!!

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73

I really wanted to try the Raspberry Mousse de Chocolat from MissB, but I figured it was probably a better idea to try the plain chocolate version for comparrison’s sake. So I made up a mug of this with some milk in it.

With the inclusion of milk this tastes spectacularly like chocolate milk; especially the more it cools down. I’m not a big chocolate tea lover, especially when blends use chocolate chips over cacao shells or nibs, but I’m enjoying this one. It’s pretty darn rich with a smooth black base and silky mouthfeel. Milk only enhances this!

I don’t think I’d want to stock this one because of how simple it is and because I know I don’t crave chocolate teas that often, and am starting to prefer straight blacks with cocoa notes over flavoured cocoa teas. But this is well done regardless, chocoholics would like it! It makes me excited for its raspberry counterpart as well! The inclusion of another flavour will greatly round this one out, in my opinion.

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100

This tea has been on my wishlist for ages and I finally got to try it today, thanks to beelicious. AMAZING! I’ve had a lot of delicious dessert teas that I thoroughly enjoyed, but this one takes things to a whole new level. I literally felt like I was drinking a melted eclair as I worked my way through this cup of deliciousness. Is so incredibly sweet and rich and creamy…and that’s without any sweetener! I need to order a great big tin of this, because I can tell right now that my sample isn’t going to last the week!

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Custard, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
235 tasting notes

Two delicious strawberry teas in one day! I am a very happy girl right now. This is exactly what I was hoping it would be: strawberry shortcake in a cup! The vanilla and strawberry flavors both come through clearly and are natural and sweet without being cloying. The black base is smooth and balanced with no bitterness or astringency, just a tiny bit of a tart aftertaste that actually enhances the strawberry flavor. Thank you so much to beelicious for the sample!

Flavors: Smooth, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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