Mariage FrèresEdit Company
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Recent 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.
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.
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!
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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)
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.
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Flavors: Spicy, Wood
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.
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
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
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