Mariage Frères

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Recent Tasting Notes

Another tea rescued from the back of the cupboard! This is actually quite delicious!! Its got a good balance of malt, vanilla, chocolate and a touch of citrus. The addition of the green tea gives it a very smooth but fresh mouthfeel. I would definitely pick more of this up when my cupboard is back under control.

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80

I steeped briefly using cooler water to work with the green and black blend.

To my taste, this tea is too perfumey. Not that I dislike floral teas, but this one is redolent of perfume shops in that sort of busy flavour kind of way. Perhaps it didn’t help that I added a big teaspoon of honey. Perhaps that complicates the flavour further.

I like the smell of the tea in my cup very much though.

This reminds me very of Fauchon teas I had a million years ago. Perhaps the base blend is the same or perhaps there is something very French in the way they build their flavoured teas. To be fair though, I have been loving black teas with deep rich dark bases lately. Perhaps this is tampering with my perspective too.

Maybe the second steep will be more of a pleasure

Thankfully, I have enough to try again with less honey if any at all.

Much appreciated, Sil. There’s a lot to enjoy here, but I don’t need to place an order for this immediately. Or ever.

The second steep is lovely. The perfume has calmed down, but the flavour notes are still present in the background. I didn’t add anything to the tea. Much more pleasant this way. Perhaps I need to underleaf next time to make this more to my taste.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

the blergamot like taste to this one is something i don’t love. It’s not my favourite of the “breakfast” teas from MF.

Evol Ving Ness

I am not really getting a sense of bergamot in this one. Just perfume shop.

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94
drank Casablanca by Mariage Frères
1 tasting notes

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drank Poire by Mariage Frères
733 tasting notes

Makes me happy that I picked out pear without reading the description, although I could almost say that apple may be included. The black base is pretty light. This is a sweet pear. Not a natural pear but still not bad. It’s an enjoyable cup that you don’t have to pay a lot of attention to while you drink. I do wonder if it would be good cold.

Another good choice from Sil! :)

Sil

pear teas that aren’t green are rare, so i HAD to pick this one up when i was there.

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80

This tea is manly. Upon opening the tin, it smells like vanilla tobacco, which said to me I was about to have a very unique taste experience. While hot, the vanilla was very much a background note. I was tasting woody, smoky, pipe tobacco-y, but smooth tea. The vanilla is a complement to all that and it was very delightful. It reminds me of woodworking and scotch.

Flavors: Smoke, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I’m getting lots of sour cherry flavor from this right now, which I’m not a super big fan of. Floral flavors come out in the front of the sip with a mild spice like cinnamon that lingers in the end. Adding cream dampens the flavors a little, smoothing them out in a way that doesn’t make the tea more enjoyable. I’m feeling pretty eh on this one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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71

According to the Mariage Freres description, this tea was ‘inspired by the legendary aroma of Earl Grey.’ I love green tea, and Earl Grey is my favorite black tea, so this tea is right up my alley.

I find that this tea tastes the best when steeped for a very short period of time.. I literally just pour the hot water through my tea strainer and call it a day, otherwise I find that the tea is a little bitter.

This tea is nice, but I think I’ll stick to Lupicia Grapefruit Green for my citrus-y greens.

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75

I’ll preface this by saying my steeping conditions were less than ideal—a takeaway cup was involved. That said, I didn’t love this blend. The base seems like it might be a Chinese green, though it’s also reminiscent of the Thai green base in MF’s Lune Rouge. The fruit flavoring tastes generic and slightly of bubblegum. Now that I’ve had a few fruity greens from MF, I don’t think they’re a particular strength of the company. I should probably just accept this and go with other kinds of flavors in the future.

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83

Does what it says on the tin. Thankfully this blend uses the good kind of rooibos: just woody, without tasting medicinal or tobacco-y. The vanilla is natural and fairly light. Especially for a caffeine-free option, this makes for a pleasant, simple cup. I suspect there’s probably something comparable out there for less, but I wouldn’t mind having this one again at some point.

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88

Another sample from Cameron B. This one reminds me a lot of MF’s Macaron, which is a favorite of mine. It’s sweet and bursting with berry flavor, with a hint of what I think is apple in the background—not authentic apple, though; more like a really good green apple-flavored hard candy (specifically, like these tiny Italian candies they used to sell at Trader Joe’s). This one I probably will stock up on at some point.

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83
drank Boléro by Mariage Frères
262 tasting notes

This was a sample from Cameron B. It’s quite fruity, and it reminds me a bit of Paradise iced tea. Like with Paradise, it’s hard for me to pick out individual flavors, but I’m thinking there might be some peach? Mango? It’s good, but given that there are similar blends that are cheaper and more readily accessible I don’t think it’s one I’d buy. Still, I’m glad to have had the chance to sample this one.

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81

Well, I pulled this out of the stash to have today and then decided to finish the Truffles from Todd & Holland since it wasn’t a favorite. I’m just now getting around to this, and then it will be go directly to non-caffeine for me.

There are hunks of what look liked dried apple in among the very dark leaves. Perhaps that is the orange zest. The tea has a nice smell in the tin, like so many French teas. The French tea houses really seem to pay attention to how their blends smell as well as taste, which I suppose isn’t surprising given the perfume connection. I can detect the orange and vanilla in the dry tea, though I get more of a cinnamon, apple and clove smell in the steeped aroma. The tea is a clear reddish mahogany color.

It has a mild and pleasant orange spice tea flavor. It makes me think of Constant Comment, but the flavor in this one is far less heavy handed and the tea is obviously better quality than what one gets in the Constant Comment bags. The tea base is lovely and smooth. It’s a nice blend.

I read in a description of the tea at the Mariage Freres site that it includes almond, but the most I get of the almond is just a little in the aftertaste. Then again, blends like this tend to differ from steep to steep depending on the mix that shows up in your teaspoon each time, so maybe next time I’ll get more almond. And then again, there is no indication that this contains apple, and yet I get an apple-like aroma and flavor from it, so go figure.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Clove, Orange, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
OMGsrsly

I just opened my tin of this today… it really does smell so good!

__Morgana__

Hope you enjoy!

OMGsrsly

I will. :) I think it’s my favourite French Christmas Tea yet.

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95

Strong Bergamot flavour. One of my favourite Earl Greys, but be careful not to brew this one for too long. It is very easy to overbrew this one, and it will go very bitter.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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86

Strong tea with strong citrus fragrance. Very enjoyable.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 250 OZ / 7393 ML

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86

Ok, so I was totally sold as soon as I saw the name of this one – Black Orchid is a SPECTACULARLY AWFUL two-part Doctor Who serial starring Petey Davison and his gaggle of ducklings. It has a special place in my heart. Plus, I’d just come from interviewing some contemporary Doctor Who luminaries at the BBC and happened to be passing the vicinity of Selfridges, so I thought it would be criminal not to pop in. How serendipitous, or something.

And the tea is gorgeous, too. Similar to Vanilla Shortbread from Whittard, but a touch more caramelised, I think. I’d expected a slightly darker brew than the burnt orange I got in the cup, but it certainly delivered on flavour, and the base plays beautifully with the rich vanilla-ness of it. Nom. This was a good idea.

__Morgana__

I love this tea!

Sil

love this one.

Fjellrev

This one has been on my list for a long time.

Sil

i have some i can send if you haven’t tried it my swedish chef

Sami Kelsh

Oh yes, it’s fit!

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drank Noël Nouveau by Mariage Frères
2167 tasting notes

Sample from MissB! Thank you!

It does indeed smell like Christmas. All the spices. Something baking in the oven.

However, it fails a little with taste. Something about these MF greens just doesn’t work. I steeped pretty low, yet it’s still turning drying as it sits. Plus, there’s a LOAD of clove in here so my tongue tingles a little. :)

It’s reminding me of that Celestial Seasonings tea… the mandarin and clove one. But with green tea instead of hibiscus as the base.

I really think this would have been better as a black tea. Noel a Paris has similar flavours but not the same.

I’m glad I got to try it, but I think I’m going to be passing the rest of my sample on. :D

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
MissB

Yea, I don’t know what to do with mine. All I wanted from this was more of a… whatever the Noel MF was that I gave you eons ago. A black, more chai-like, with Christmas flavors. Le Sigh. Ah well. Anyone else want some?

OMGsrsly

Noel a Paris? I haven’t even opened the tin. I’ll set some aside for you though. It’s so good, but now I have a full tin of it and 1 1/3 tins Chandernagor. Haha. :D

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75
drank Noël Nouveau by Mariage Frères
1400 tasting notes

Hm. How to rate this tea. Okay, it’s a green Christmas tea, so I have high expectations. It smells very holiday-like (*OMGsrsly smelled the bag I gave her and said, “This smells like Christmas!”) It tastes like it too, sort of… although it dried out really badly and got astringent and weird as it cooled.

So, yes to the almond (the drying-ness as it cooled as well), yes to the Christmas flavors (very much like a strongly spiced chai) no to the weirdness… there’s just something off about this, and I can’t put my finger on what exactly.

Flavors: Almond, Orange, Spices, Thick

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

It’s reminding me of that Celestial Seasonings tea… the mandarin and clove one. But with green tea instead of hibiscus as the base.

MissB

There’s a mandarin and clove celestial seasonings? News to me. :)

OMGsrsly

There was at some point. I remember drinking it ALL THE TIME when I was a kid.

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My daughter, Superanna, is really amazing about supporting my tea habit. She brought this tea with her for Thanksgiving yesterday.

The packaging is gorgeous. The tin is a really nice double lidded one that will definitely be getting reused when the tea is gone.

The aroma of the tea is really great upon opening, and the main thing I smell is fresh orange, like the spray of orange juice in your face when you are peeling a fresh orange.

I was surprised that sugar is listed as one of the ingredients in this tea. I don’t think I have ever seen that in a Mariage Freres before. But there must not be a lot of it there. I think it would have really leapt out at me since I don’t add sugar to my tea.

The tea has that fresh orange taste and there is a hint of the hazelnut as well as the bevy of other flavors which I have found to be very done by French tea blenders in the past. Just as with perfume, they know how to mix lots of flavors and end up with layers instead of a mishmash.

My daughter was surprised at how much she liked it. She really doesn’t care for black tea, mostly white and green, but she loved the smell of this and said that the base didn’t taste like a black tea to her. It was a nice, mild base rather than one of the astringent ones that I particularly find in a lot of French teas.

Very nice indeed and very Christmas-y.

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79
drank Thé à l'Opéra by Mariage Frères
1400 tasting notes

I drink this whenever I’m at a local French patisserie, which sells it both loose and in a tin. It’s lovely – as long as you don’t oversteep it. More than three or four minutes, and it’s just plain ick. Grassy, astringent, tart, bitter… no. But when it’s lightly steeped, with a less-than boiling temperature, I quite love it. Light, somewhat fruity, vanilla soft, and a touch of creaminess to it.

Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Grass, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Eros by Mariage Frères
879 tasting notes

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90

This tea smells like the holidays as you probably enjoyed them when you were a kid. At first sniff, the caramel and cocoa evoke the smell of freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate in the kitchen. I’m reminded huddling in the kitchen in boarding school over these goodies while it’s cold outside.

This is a feel good tea, a celebratory, evocative of childhood memories type of tea – drinking it makes me feel like everything is alright with the world again.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cocoa, Cookie, Cream, Spices, Sweet, Toasty

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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90

This is by far my favorite of the Héritage Gourmand samples I received from CharlotteZero (and second only to my beloved Macaron in the HG lineup). It does remind me quite a bit of Macaron, with that delightful aftertaste I can really only describe as clear gummy bear. The bergamot’s not very strong, the base comes through nicely, and the overall effect is very smooth, very comforting. I think I am picking up on the berry note others have mentioned, as well. I don’t see how this tea is meant to resemble a crêpe, but that’s okay when it’s this good. I would for sure pick up some more of this if it were possible to buy it without the very expensive tin. As it is, I might still consider doing so at some point, when my stash is under control. After all, when I move to London next year Mariage Frères will practically be on my doorstep…

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84

And yet another CharlotteZero sample. This is definitely one of the better (and more authentic) chocolate teas I’ve had. It’s slightly bitter, like real dark chocolate, and smooth and rich. Chocolate teas aren’t really my thing, but even so if this weren’t so expensive I might consider picking some up in the future. Given how pricey the Héritage Gourmand tins are, though, I probably won’t.

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78

This is another CharlotteZero sample I never got around to logging. It’s pretty similar to Financier, though less assertive with the vanilla. Pretty much all of what I said about that tea applies here: it reminds me of Butiki’s Creamy Eggnog, I have issues with sweet and creamy flavorings mixed with green tea, etc. It’s an okay tea, but not really to my taste. I think of the two I slightly preferred Financier.

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