Mariage FrèresEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a really good pear tea which is a hard flavour to get right—and taste natural. The pear isn’t as sweet as it may have been in a white or green blend, it would likely be brightened up with a touch of sugar. There is a slight floral note in the middle of the sip and a slight astringency in the aftertaste.
Overall, probably one of the best pear teas I have tasted.
For my 300th tasting note, I tried this lovely sample from a friend. The dry tea has a bright, fresh bergamot scent that is quite strong. The leaves are light in color for a black tea (which all made sense later, when I read that it was a Darjeeling). After brewing, the tea liquor comes out to a pale golden color, and the aroma is quite inviting.
As far as Earl Grey goes, this is a subtle one, both in terms of the tea base and bergamot flavor. And in this case, that’s a good thing. Compared to the dry scent, the bergamot flavor is light, with a touch of creaminess. The tea base is delicate, slightly floral, and not as finicky toward brewing conditions as some Darjeelings can be. The overall effect is almost weightless, and unlike any Earl Grey I’ve tried before. Would be perfect as an afternoon tea or for fancier occasions.
The smell out of the packet is divine. An amazingly juicy smelling jasmine.
A clear, tawny yellow liquor with a hint of rose. Amazing floral scent. Really, like walking through a garden. There’s an interesting incense-like note to the aroma.
The flavor is fascinating. It’s jasmine of course, but given the aroma I was expecting something more heavy handed. And it isn’t. It’s a very light, but very pure jasmine over a mild and mellow green tea.
It’s the sort of tea that makes you feel clean after drinking it.
Not as close to perfect as the Samovar pearls, but wonderful in its own way.
Flavors: Grass, Jasmine, Vegetal
Always looking for a really good pear tea. Pear is a tricky flavor that is either not done well or gets lost in the base.
This smells like pear, it tastes like pear. It also tastes French – French teas to me have a distinctive essence to them. It’s a little floral, and maybe a little apple. Pretty good but there is something in the base that doesn’t quite work – maybe just a touch astringent.
Yep I like this one, but I do think that it could be better.
Thanks so much Sil for sharing….
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.
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
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! :)
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
This tea is weird. I cold steeped it over night in the fridge. I get a candied cherry taste along with cinnamon, which seems like an odd combo. I also get a little alkaline taste towards the end of the sip that is unpleasant. Adding cream masks the alkaline flavor. It is a little earthy at the beginning of the sip in an almost ginseng sort of way. I’m really not wowed or thrilled by this tea. There are so many more interesting teas to drink that I really don’t care if I never cross paths with it again.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.