Mariage Frères

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Recent Tasting Notes

84

Another hit from Mariage Freres!

I had this one on my mid-morning break. Pleasant flavor, not too strong, not bitter or astringent. I couldn’t taste individual flavors, but it smelled sort of buttery, creamy. Really nice!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85

A friend shared this with me today. It had been given to her by someone else so I’m really not sure how old it was.
Whatever the case, I had seen reviews before and thought it may be too permfumey. But alas! it was lovely. A tad bit on the heavy side but quite manageable.
So very smooth n silky. The liquid seemed to float down my throat (and yes I know that makes no sense. and yes the image in my head is quite magical/disneyish. Singing birds and all)
Lots of layered vanilla notes, and something floral I couldn’t place. At times I tasted citrus notes but they were so fleeting that I really wasn’t sure if it was my imagination.
An absolute perfect tea for afternoon chatting.

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95

This is one of the BEST TEAS ever!!! Many thank to beelicious for the sample!

My sense of smell is practically non existent in the morning, and pretty weak in the evening, but it’s better in the afternoon. Still not great (I mean, I know cucumbers have a scent, but I can’t smell them even in the afternoon) but I can get strong scents. I wanted to try a new tea this afternoon, and I went through the lovely samples I have in the tea drawer. I decided on this one.

Boy, am I glad I did! When I lifted the cup to sip I smelled something! Not precisely sure what, but maybe chocolate? CarameL? I sipped and this tea was luscious. Smooth, silky, almost sweet. Rich and mellow. A really great cup!

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Creamy

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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77
drank Casablanca by Mariage Frères
54 tasting notes

My first Mariage Frères! Jeez, this tastes like quality! The ingredients don’t attract me particularly but it is everything it promises to be. Good quality leaves, very well balanced. Can’t wait to be able to try a Mariage Frères with ingredients that attracts me more.

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drank Sakura 2011 by Mariage Frères
739 tasting notes

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65
drank Rouge Opera by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

I regret having bought this. It´s in no way awful and I will finish it, but having made it hot brewed and iced, in both occasions my overwhelming feeling is that it tastes kind of like strawberry bubble gum. The vanilla and red berries, together, their particular relationship just feels bubble gum-ish. And sadly it is not the flavour I am looking for in a tea. I wish I had restocked on Rouge Sahara or Nil Rouge instead.

Flavors: Raspberry, Strawberry, Vanilla

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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100

This morning I start a new life phase and it seems only right that I go along with this new friend of a tea. I was in Paris for ten days in May, a long-awaited birthday trip, and on the day of we celebrated with brunch at the Mariages Freres in le Marais. Brunch came with a full-sized pot of tea for each person, which should be the standard, in my opinion. I chose French Breakfast on a whim although I virtually never drink breakfast blends (gourmand all the way for me), and when I poured the first cup from the round silver teapot I didn’t regret it.

The taste is rich and full, a welcome into the morning. I’ve always associated breakfast blends with harshness, a wake-up full of tannins to brace you for the day ahead – but this is indeed breakfast in France, a gentle cup that feels like the last warm moment wrapped in your bedcovers before you rise for a day you’ve been looking forward to. Allow me my sentiment; I’m only freshly back in Los Angeles and looking to a day of drudgery applying to temp agencies and likely-looking jobs. The skies outside are a dreadful pessimistic grey but at least for the moment I have my French Breakfast.

Sil

wooohoooo!!! love this one too :)

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54
drank Yuzu Temple by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

I made this again, this time a cold steep, and this is sadly still not a tea for me.

The cold steep is still quite bitter, as a steepsterite mentioned to me, there is a lot of pith in here somehow. And very strangely maybe there is a touch of cinnamon here? a hint of a spice, lurking in the cold infusion? I sweetened this a lot, iced tea seems to call for it, and it does improve the tea a bit, but still a frustrating tea for me.

Ysaurella

It wasn’t a tea for me neither Teresa.

cteresa

It is an interesting idea though. Glad I only got 50 grams! (thanks to you).

I got to tell you about Route du Temps though, but I must make it again, for a proper taste note and it´s hot (hot is overrated) and I am being wary of caffeine so it might take me a while longer to do a proper taste note of it.

Ysaurella

I’m looking forward to get your opinion about Route du Temps Teresa.

cteresa

I finally wrote a note! It is a very unusual tea IMO, but one I unexpectedly liked very much.

I had fun on that airport shop – it was small, but they did not mind I opened every sample tea. I thought of you, they had The de Paques en vrac, and I also got (for myself) Rouge Opera en vrac which they did not have in the Marais shop except in tins. Though that was a dud, it turned out.

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54
drank Yuzu Temple by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

This is a weird tea to judge. I have no experience with real yuzu so just judging the tea on its own. Very scented sour japanese citrus, sounded like a great idea. (I love sour candy….). And it smelled fantastic when I ordered some, but now I have it and brewed it 3 times I still do not quite know what to make of it. It does smell fantastic, like sour citrus chewing gum.

It´s s finicky to brew, I made it Ok (but a bit too cold for my taste) the first time, I scalded it to bitterness the second, this time there is a definite bitterness which I do not know if it´s from the yuzu or the tea, but it´s a bit more intense than the first time. But it´s still not very intense. It does smell, the liquor, fantastic (as I keep repeating), but the taste it´s a bit like that chewing gum after having already been chewed for a while – there is some taste and texture, but not a lot.

Flavors: Citrus

OMGsrsly

I really liked this one, but found there could be quite a lot of pith flavour. And yes, it was such a pain to brew right.

cteresa

It is difficult yes – I am going to try to cold steep it next, hoping it works. I might be unfair and mentally comparing this to Iskandar which is also green and which I bought at the same time!

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76
drank Paris Breakfast by Mariage Frères
6311 tasting notes

Figured i should try this one today so i can keep working on getting through all the teas in my cupboard at least once. I think i’m down to only about 34 teas that haven’t been tasted yet, so overall, i’m doing better than i was. Dry, this smells amazing. creamsicle, but more lemon creamy than orange creamsicle…i say that only because imo there is only one creamsicle and that’s orange lol. brewed up, the smell is a little more subdued but still has that creamy smell to it. The brewed cup? It’s not exactly my favourite, but i think there’s room to play with this. IE. with a little sweetness added, i think it would smooth out the edges of this that are a little jarring for me. I don’t really get “brioche” from this, which is how it’s described by MF., but it’s lovely nonetheless.

TheKesser

I need to do that. I have a few that I haven’t touched yet and I keep putting it off.

Ost

If it tastes more like lemon then I’m interested. Though seems like people taste both, maybe you’re just one of those people, sil.

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84
drank Poire by Mariage Frères
6311 tasting notes

I blame other people for the fact that i’m now obsessed with finding good pear teas. Sadly, it’s one of those flavours that is really hard to find, and is almost always blended with other teas. this particular tea is not only JUST pear…but it’s good. and not a green tea. haha I feel like the perfect pear tea IS likely a green tea but a black pear tea is better for me. Easier for me to drink and less hard to ruin…especially when created by a company like MF. not only does this smell like pear, but the after taste of pear lingers and makes me happy. Because it’s a black base though, it’s not as sweet as it feels like a pear tea should be…but I could certainly try adding a little sweetner in the future. overall a win!

cteresa

You don´t know if you know it, but Lupicia has a green tea with pear, pear and honey. It smelled interesting!

Sil

I’ve been trying to get my hands on that one for about a year now. every time i try to place an order with lupicia online, it’s sold out. So i’ll keep trying haha

cteresa

ah good luck! you know being sold out MIGHT be a good sign.

Sil

haha yes…but harder to get it lol

Sil

still wish that i’d realised there was a lupicia store in paris. Kicking myself over that one

cteresa

They did have it in stock! But it´s life – I was really planning to make it to Theodor but there was a problem in the metro line at the only convenient opportunity window, I was actually inside the carriage had to get out of the metro and find another plan to be able to keep to my schedule. Some other time.

I think the shop was not too big, there were some lupicia teas I had tried before that they did not carry – though difficult to compare because the tea names were translated into french (LOL I was look for Jardin Sauvage and Chaud les Marrons, wonder if they would have translated that into english!)

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88
drank Black Orchid by Mariage Frères
6311 tasting notes

MINE! finally i have some to try and it was worth it :) I REALLY enjoyed this take on vanilla and malty and delicious and YAY! mine. :)

Final Count: 126

Sami Kelsh

OMG how did I not know there was a Black Orchid tea? It’s only the name of one of the weirdest Doctor Who stories to come out of the 80s. I may well need to get some just based on that…

Sil

it’s a different sort of vanilla imo. still a vanilla tea but not like the other 10000 of vanilla blacks that i’ve had

Sami Kelsh

It sounds groovy. Just give me ALL THE VANILLA THINGS IN EVERY POSSIBLE VARIATION THEREUPON :p

Kittenna

Sounds delicious. Is this one you picked up when you were in Europe?

Ost

Mmmm! Sounds so good

Sil

aye – pretty much everything these days is from my adventures. I wrapped up miss B’s teas the other day

Terri HarpLady

yay for your euro-adventure :)

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88
drank Iskandar by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

I cold steeped this, and it works very well also (as it should from something they sell as a French Summer Tea) – smooth, intense and floral. But too floral for me to love it – the menthol is more noticeable in the hot version and it really does balance it the floral. On this iced tea, it´s violets and I think roses (why is it roses always feel stronger on cold steeped teas?) coming through and it is too much, like drinking perfume almost. Not my cup of (iced) tea, will save it for hot brewing.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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88
drank Iskandar by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

This was another 50 grams of Mariage Freres teas from a recent splurge, and the only one of the small 50 gram packages which really is a a hit! The concept of it is fantastically alluring (to me), it has been on my wishlist for ages: green tea with violet and menthol and named after Alexander the Great. I had sniffed at it before and not been sure I wanted 100 grams of it, but this time I did risk it, and I am glad I did.

I brewed it not too hot (and I must try it as a cold steeped tea, they do sell it as a summer tea), and decided to when smelling it to sweeten it, and I am glad I did. I don´t usually sweeten tea, but it really brings out the violets, like violet candy (or maybe it is just my brain thinking if I am ingesting something which smells of violets it must be sweetened). And I do love it, floral (mainly violet, maybe some unidentifiable others), with menthol very discreet, at the end of it, and in the tongue, if that makes any sense. And I might very well be imagining this but it also seems fruit-y, red berry-ish, to me.

Really lovely tea

Flavors: Menthol, Violet

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec
OMGsrsly

That sounds really interesting. Violets and mint are not a combination I would have thought of!

cteresa

It´s actually menthol, like a throat pastille – just a hint, right at the back of the taste so to speak, but indeed very interesting!

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65
drank Rouge Ruschka by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

Thanks to Ysaurella´s guidance I was able to buy this, and a few other MF teas of which I was very unsure, in just 50 grams. And in the two cases I have already tried the tea, I am glad I only got 50 grams.

This is a very pretty rooibos, huge rose petals. The description sounds fantastic. But brewed up, it tastes like an earl grey rooibos – maybe with a bit of orange in the background, but the bergamot is overpowering, I do not get any of the fruits or floral notes. I already got another earl grey rooibos around, and since I am not an earl grey lover, I am also not a big fan of earl grey rooibos.

I think I would like this better as an afternoon non-caffeine tea – earl grey usually feels to me like an afternoon tea, not an evening tea. And I want to try it maybe cold steeped or or at least with water not as hot, I used almost boiling water and I am picky about bergamot and water too hot. But so far, nice enough but not a tea for me to love.

Flavors: Bergamot, Orange

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Ysaurella

Lucky you get only 50 grams of this one Teresa :)

cteresa

Thanks to you! That was a very nice shop, and it does not show up on google at all. Noted down for next time!

This will get drunk,and it is not bad and I still got to try cold steeping which sometimes totally changes the personality of a tea, particularly rooibos (Rouge Sahara, Lupicia´s Jardin Sauvage). But this and Yuzu Temple are not hits. Iskandar OTOH was weirdly fantastic – I noticed you did not like it much, but maybe I was luckier with some parameter or something, but a very interesting take on the violet tea idea.

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85

(note: I’m not sure if this is the correct MF Darjeeling; I’m using the original tin to store things in the office so will double-check and cut/paste the review elsewhere if necessary)
Was finally in the mood for that last leetle bit of Darjeeling sitting in a leetle glass jar in the back of my tea drawer. The black tea has a rich flavor with a faint not-unpleasant bitterness at the end (reminds me vaguely of bergemot but I’m pretty sure that’s not it). I don’t really know what else to say about it because I don’t have a big tea-describing vocabulary. It’s good!

Flavors: Tea

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80

Many thanks to beelicious for the sample!

My first steep wasn’t good. I let it go the full 5 minutes, and it was bitter. My second steep was much smoother. and milder and I enjoyed it. I’ll probably do a third and maybe a fourth steep after supper. It’s a chilly day here in Fargo (which I enjoy!) so it’s great tea drinking weather.

I didn’t get caramel or cocoa from this since I still don’t have a sense of smell. Just got back from my second post-op check up and it turns out some of the membranes in my sinuses have fused together. The doc cut them back open. Even with local anesthesia it wasn’t pleasant, and I’m really feeling it now that the numb is wearing off. However, she estimates I should regain my sense of smell by June 1. So, I’m saving the second bag of this tea for June!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec

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85

This is a tea which I had never paid attention to when seeing the descriptions of teas. Flowery green tea with candied (?) ginger, it never made its way to my enormous wish lists, not even the long list of teas I wanted to smell. But both Paris airports got Mariage Freres shops, and when killing a lot of time, I managed to sniff my way through all the teas one of the shops had (apart from top most row and a couple expensive things they had on canister but not outside). It was an interesting experience, it struck me again how the special edition tin teas seem to almost all (exception to Mousse au Chocolat maybe, which I would buy if the tin was not so expensive and seeming so flimsy for the price as well) all seem so uninspiring compared to the regular range teas. And of all those teas I sampled, besides my old acquaintances I knew already, it was La Route du Temps which absolutely fascinated me . I decided no, that I had enough tea already and then kept thinking of it and then had to backtrack to get some (it was a LOT of time to kill). Also teas with ginger, a lot of ginger do have a place in my kitchen, I find ginger extremely soothing when I have a cold, though so far I have only had caffeine free tisanes.

And surprisingly this impulsive, indulgent buy really worked for me. The flowery note mentioned is jasmine, in my opinion just jasmine. The ginger is extremely strong, a sweet candied ginger which feels spicy piquant in the tongue and somehow it goes incredibly perfect with the tea underneath and the sweetness of the jasmine. This is an unexpected tea flavouring combination but which somehow works extremely well for my palate. The tea underneath is very smooth, very large leafed though with two such strong flavourings difficult to say much more, except it does stand up to the flavours without being overpowered by them. And the blend is just filled with dried ginger and jasmine flowers, be careful to up dosage a little bit to take that into account, and also to mix it well occasionally to make sure you are not overdosing on the flavouring which “floated” to the top.

I have brewed this a few times. Be careful with water temperature, too hot will make it bitter, and make the jasmine taste “cooked” and the ginger overpowers the jasmine. I am using relatively cool water for it, and prefer it like that, it seems to bring out the jasmine in a livelier way which just balances itself. It does seem quite forgiving of being forgotten for a few (many) extra minutes! And a warning I will repeat, because some will love this but not all – this is spicy, the ginger is sharp, and very much there!

A very unexpected addition to my tea stash, but this is one tea I am going to enjoy a lot. A very original tea, totally different from any other I ever had.

Flavors: Ginger, Jasmine

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
Ysaurella

sounds like a great tea Teresa !

cteresa

Not sure other people would love it like I did, but it was a nice surprise indeed, a very original tea which works! And if you must wait in an aiport, a chance to smell a lot of MF teas is a silver lining.

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85

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90
drank CHA THAÏ BOPF by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

What a strangely wonderful tea. A recommendation from Excelsior made me very curious to try it, the blender´s description seemed tempting, and it was the very first tea listed on their chart (ah that chart….), I had smelled it before on their breakfast tea shelves, and was on my list for my next Mariage Freres spree. And it´s the first tea of that spree I try and I am a bit in love.

This is a breakfast, morning tea, no way about it. It´s absolutely tiny, dusty (cleaning my infuser is going to be messy), a BOPF tea which sells for 9 euros a 100 grams (and it´s not because it is Mariage Freres, on that chart they have single origin teas starting at half this price). It´s natural, not flavoured smells incredible when dry, like malt and chocolate, yes, maltesers almost, and maybe like honey as well.

And it tastes like it promises, I added milk and sugar and it made a fantastic, traditional morning tea cup.

It reminds me of their American Breakfast blend, but somehow more natural. And possibly with more caffeine as well, I am writing this note as I finish it so too early to tell but I think this is going to have a real punch. What a great black tea.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Excelsior

I’m glad you had a chance to try it. I also like to drink this tea with milk and sugar which enhances the malt/chocolate taste of this tea.

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100

liquid caramel with an assam bite….

simply devine….

Flavors: Caramel

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78

I believe this was from OMGsrsly? Thanks! (And it was wrapped up in two cute little 2tsp-serving pouches. So cute!)

Anyhow, I rather enjoyed this. It reminded me of Caramel Spice from DavidsTea, although missing the mulberry sweetness. So basically, an orange spice tea, which was pretty good. I was a little distracted when I drank it, but oh well! The enjoyment was still there.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Black Opera by Mariage Frères
2970 tasting notes

Sipdown! A tasty tea, but probably not worth the price to me, as it’s mostly a red-fruits sort of black and that’s not my favourite flavour – if the vanilla was stronger, that could perhaps have pushed it over the edge. The base is nice enough, though, and I certainly enjoyed this last cup :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Black Opera by Mariage Frères
2970 tasting notes

Wow, a note that isn’t a backlog! (Pretty much everything I’ll be writing is going to be. I’m unbelievably far behind, like in the hundreds of notes. And that’s only the teas I remembered to write down).

Anyways, thanks to VariaTea for this sample! (I think?) I believe I tried the other MF tea she passed along, and am definitely curious about this one too! I have no idea what it’s supposed to be, so I’m writing this tasting note blind. My guess would have been that it would be a dark, rich, creamy sort of tea? It seems I’m wrong, though, as it smells rather like raspberry, and tastes like that too. I don’t believe it’s contaminated, so perhaps it’s supposed to be a raspberry mousse sort of thing? The base is pretty good – dark and rich, then layered with a nice ripe raspberry flavour. I’m not overly fond of raspberry teas, but I’m certainly enjoying this one, probably because of the richness.

(Now I’m going to read about it and find out that I’m way off base, hahahaha).

Yup… cranberry/grenadine/jam? I can see that. Probably makes more sense that it’s cranberry-ish instead of raspberry.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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