Mariage Frères

Recent Tasting Notes

82
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
786 tasting notes

Finished this one off! I like this one. It’s delicious. It has a nice berry, jammy thing going on. It’s fruity and has a nice base :)

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54

I’m slightly torn on this review, and I think as I finish the rest of the 50 g bag, I will be revising this tea. hopefully.

I’m fairly certain that I have over-brewed it. I watched the pot like a hawk, smelling it constantly to try and discern when it would be at its peak; however not much distinct aroma so I decided after the tea had turned a golden light amber that it was enough.

The first taste that hit me was the astrengency and the bitterness. Which leads me to believe that I have over brewed it. I do get the black cherry jam taste, but this isn’t really a taste I look for in a Djareeling. As the tea cools I get more peachy and vanilla undertones. The tea also has an oily quality about it, which unfortunately with the black cherry taste reminds me of children’s cough medicine.

I enjoy drinking teas because they are like flowers waiting to bloom. Depending on how long they are brewed for, and what conditions are present will really impact the ‘flower’. I feel like with this tea it was a blossom that never matured and just withered and died. I noted the standard woody/peppery aroma as I first dipped the tea into the water, but I never received a second or a third ingredient.

New Rating system

Taste = 60
Price = 27.66
Representation = 74
Score = 53.88

Excelsior

Maybe its the case of really wanting to like a tea but being disappointed in the taste. Hence the torn feeling.

SFTGFOP

probably. I’m drinking another pot of this tea right now, and again its got the same “blah” factor. It is amazing how two teas (Namring, and the Namring Upper) can taste so different!

SFTGFOP

Unfortunately I’m also struggling with my ranking of this tea. Its not awful; but for the price, and the fact that it is a MF, I feel that I should grade it harsher.

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80
drank Violette by Mariage Frères
495 tasting notes

This tea was one of my personal gifts from Ellyn from the TTB last week. Yay French teas! For some reason, the dry leaf smells like pickle brine to me. Isn’t that odd? I’ve encountered this smell in a couple of other flavored teas too! Very strange.

The brewed aroma is very sugary and candy-like! To be fair, this was how the Kusmi version smelled too – I’m not sure if violets are super sweet or something? The taste is quite sweet as well, in a powdered sugar kind of way. I think I enjoy violet as a flavor, it’s floral but much less offensive then others. That being said, this is some strong flavoring! I’m really glad I only steeped for 3 minutes. Even with the somewhat short steep, it’s quite perfumey, especially near the end. Not bad though! Especially considering I don’t love floral in general.

Flavors: Candy, Floral, Perfume, Powdered sugar, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
donkeytiara

I haven’t had a violet tea yet, but I adore violet candies!

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76

I’m a little slow on my tasting notes on this one, and for tasting it as much as I did, I’m kicking myself for not writing more!

As the tea first brewed, it was very green in appearance, with a light toasted hay and faint muscatel aroma. This grew as it brewed to a light mead/honey like flavor that slowly turned to flowers and fruits like nectarines and white peaches.

The tea itself was quite fruity to me, I tasted honey-dew melon and white peaches, with a faint muscatel grape. A faint honeysuckle flower. The fruit became more pronounced the colder the tea became. When I re-steeped the tea I got a nice woody-oak zest.

New Ranking
Taste = 92
Price = 50
Representation 85

New Score = 75.66

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95

I love this tea in the summer as it makes a great iced-tea! Let a few teaspoons brew in a jug of boiled water, remove the tea after a few minutes, let it cool in the fridge and have it like that or with a few summer berries.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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84

At the risk of sounding ignorant, I am going to call this tea the Assamica version of Bai Mu Dan, which consists of first flush silver bud/two leaf mix. The tea is classified as black on Steepster for previous years, Mariage Freres refers to the leaves as green, and silver tips can be considered a white tea. Someone who knows more about Darjeeling tea can edit the description as needed.

Used 1 tbsp leaves in 140 ml gaiwan, just under boiling water, quick steep. Tea is same color as other white teas I’ve had, ranging from clear to yellow brown. Similar peony taste, and I got a sniff of lavender on the first steep, and camphor in the taste. A little sharper and more astringent than Bai Mu Dan, which is welcome, it cuts the floral taste a little.

Would serve this to my sister as a sweet love fest sort of family tea. Special event. Left to my own devices, though, I can be found digging in my puerh fridge for dirty, wet, fruity, cigar flavored earth.

Flavors: Camphor, Floral, Green, Lavender

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 5 OZ / 140 ML
boychik

“dirty, wet, fruity, cigar flavored earth” thats the image im going to have in my head every time i drink shou.

mrmopar

Ha Ha you got one of those fridges also? Glad to know I am not alone and will not have to attend the meetings alone. I will just grab Cwyn as she is in the same boat.

Cwyn

Oh man, lolz. I had this image of a flying fridge landing in the boat and crashing a hole in the bottom.

SFTGFOP

Yeah this tea definitely has a green color to it, but I think it is still considered a black due to the length of oxidation the leaves are supposed to undergo.

Excelsior

Interesting brewing method.

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75

There is a lot going on with this tea. Flowers, fragrance, a little space.

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75

Great MF/French tea. A blend with rich notes. Chocolate/Caramel.

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77

Great use of the hazlenut with the vanilla.

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79
drank Maori Blue by Mariage Frères
26 tasting notes

A totally unique Oolong. There are other New Zealand Oolongs that are more floral and are higher up on teas I traditionally like. The toasty peanut notes in this one are great!

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93

We were in Napa Valley this weekend and there just happened to be Dean & Deluca’s in St. Helena where i could finally pick up some Marriage Freres teas without paying ridiculous shipping charges!! So I may have gone a little crazy and brought home almost more tea than wine!!

This is delicious with bold notes of chocolate and caramel and just a touch of toffee – it was a pure delight to drink it at my desk this morning with a splash of milk and it resteeped pretty well too! (You know at $30 for 30 muslin bags of tea that I was going to resteep these at least once or twice!). Next on the list… Marco Polo!

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80

Delicious! I will be the first to admit Black Tea is not my favorite type of tea, however, I have found that most of the Mariage Freres black teas I LOVE. I’m a huge fan of this silky and smooth taste with strong flavors of natural vanilla. A definite repeat :)

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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drank Jasmin Mandarin by Mariage Frères
469 tasting notes

On a recent trip to Dean and Deluca, I received a generous sample of this tea from the tea gal there who was really excited that I was so excited about the teas they carry. I was excited that there was someone to geek out on tea with me!

I steeped this for a minute in under boiling water. The beginning of the sip is pretty mellow. There is a bit of jasmine, but not as much of a kick as some other jasmines I have had. When it reaches the back of my tongue, some jasmine bite comes in. The after taste is a strange dance of jasmine and mandarin. They seem to take turns leading and merging for a nice long finish. When I sweeten it, the mandarin comes out more in the beginning of the sip and in the aftertaste. It is almost candy like in the long aftertaste. I love jasmine and this is a really nice alternative to the straight jasmine teas I am used to. I think I may cold brew this one for a second steep and see how it does. I’m guessing it would be quite crisp and refreshing!

If I didn’t have a million different teas right now, I’d be tempted to pick some of this up. In the mean time it will stay on my radar for a later purchase.

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88

Had this yesterday, and it is a very good, very fruity Ceylon. The dry leaves smell like dried apricots, and the overall taste is of super sweet stone fruit. It went well with the cold, juicy plums that I brought to work.
This tea has a marked astringency, so if that’s not something that you enjoy, I don’t recommend it. Otherwise – a solid tea, and recommended for Ceylon lovers.

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88

Bought this tea in Cannes, from a really nice teashop near the promenade. The packaging never ceases to amaze me – a beautiful caddy that is completely sealed, making sure that the tea remains fresh until you start using it. This is a very good ceylon, but if you don’t like ceylons stay far, far away. The astringecy here is very powerful, and it is a CEYLON ceylon – not for the feint of heart. It does well with sweeteners, and will probably take milk well – haven’t checked it yet. I look forward to getting to know this tea better with time.

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94
drank Polo Club by Mariage Frères
388 tasting notes

Good… morning? Between family stuff and (unrelated) SO stuff, I’m working off about 4 hours of sleep today. And I couldn’t sleep in because I have to go to the cemetery. Woohoo.

So I needed to start the day with a tea that can help kick me into gear. A mate should do the trick. This is my first Mariage Freres tea. I have such high expectations built up from their reputation that a) it feels indulgent in a good way to even make this tea and b) I’m afraid of being disappointed.

Wow. I’ve never had a mate like this. The flavor is fruity… blueberry? The scent is roasty, blueberry, strawberry, and vanilla (although that last one only became apparent after I looked at the Steepster page). The texture is smooth and creamy. Sooo surprisingly creamy for a mate. The vanilla notes really come to the fore as the tea cools and I reach the bottom of the cup.

I am so glad that my first MF tea didn’t disappoint. Many thanks to JustJames for sending me some of this!

Flavors: Berries, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
JustJames

i think it’s quite distinctively different because it’s a green mate, not a roasted. i’ve never had another like it. so glad you like it!

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59

Tea #6 from Pass the Stash box

I do not know what is wrong with me. I had such high hopes for this tea…it smelled like cinnamon and clove in the sample bag. I try it…and it just tastes blah! I get the cinnamon, maybe some slight orange or vanilla, and no clove. It smells like a Christmas candle, and just is not tasting like that to me.

We’ll see if it gets better as it cools…that’s been happening to me lately.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

I used up the last two bags of this for today’s work cold brew. I think I’m getting a cold, probably stress induced, so I wanted to stick with a familiar flavour until I work out whether it’s going to develop into something awful again or not. There are few things as sad as trying to taste a new tea while you have a cold :(

So, anyway. I can still taste things okay today, and this makes a very pleasant drink on a hot day. I was concerned at first that spiced tea would taste too heavy and cloying, but it doesn’t at all. It’s light and refreshing, and particularly good when it’s fresh from the fridge and nice and cold. This one will ensure I survive Thursday at work.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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70

This is today’s iced tea, for the hottest day of the year so far. I picked up these iced tea sachets from Harvey Nichols, when I placed my order for a tin of Wedding Imperial. Got to make the postage worthwhile! It was also a MF blend I’d not had chance to try (although I now have samples of the ordinary version of this tea), so I decided to give it a go. The box contains 6 individually wrapped linen pouches, each containing about 1 or 1.5 tsp of leaf. The box recommends using two pouches to 1 liter of water, and cold brewing overnight in the fridge for 12 hours, so that’s what I did.

When I removed the jug from the fridge this morning, I couldn’t detect much in the way of scent, so I thought it might be a little weak. I needn’t have worried, though — the taste is just strong enough! It’s not a heavily flavoured tea by any means; it’s quite delicate and subtle. For a spice tea, though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The main flavour I can detect is cinnamon. I want to say there’s a little orange, maybe a touch of clove and cardamom. The flavour is so light it’s quite hard to pick out specific spices — suffice to say that it fits its billing of “oriental” very well. I did have my reservations about drinking a spice tea on a hot day, but this works surprisingly well. Partly it’s the lightness of flavour — it has none of the heaviness that might typically be associated with a chai, for example. It’s all light, airy swirls of flavour on a mild black tea base.

On the strength of this experience, I’d definitely purchase MF iced teas again. It’s also made me curious to try the “ordinary” tea this iced version is based on, just to see how similar they actually are! Time to break out the samples, perhaps :)

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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99

A great morning tea. I have been drinking this for several years. I always return to it when I have tried something different. For me it is the standard by which other morning teas are compared and I have tried many.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

Very nice morning blend of black teas and green tea. Really like the colour: a nice mahogany.

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82

I was in London visiting my boyfriend a couple of weeks ago, and naturally I had to check out the Mariage Frères shop in Selfridges. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and they have what I’m pretty sure is their full lineup available, with samples of everything available for sniffing (but none for tasting, alas). After smelling ALL the teas, I decided to go for Lune Rouge (which I haven’t gotten around to trying yet; it smelled amazing though—roses and ginger and honey with a green base) and my boyfriend picked this, which we had with breakfast a couple of times.

It’s an unusual choice for a breakfast tea. It’s not very strong, and it’s quite rich and sweet. I’m surprised to learn the primary flavor is meant to be chocolate, because to me this blend was all caramel (or possibly toffee). These dessert flavors aren’t honestly my favorites, and this isn’t a tea I would’ve picked out myself (and especially not for drinking at breakfast). Still, it’s nice for what it is, and I’m glad to have had the chance to try it. And my boyfriend liked it—and will, I hope, continue to think of my American self while working his way through the rest of the bag.

CHAroma

Wow, how do you do a long distance relationship across an ocean? That must be so hard. How often do you see each other?

greenteafairy

Yeah, it’s not easy! We’ve only been seeing each other three or four times a year, for a week or two at a time—I’m really hoping we’ll be able to get ourselves in the same country within the next year or so, though.

CHAroma

Oh, I’d totally move to London given the option. I love it there. :)

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90

Birthday gift from my sister in law who actually read my Christmas wish-list this year and looked up who Mariage Freres was. Delicious vanilla and bitter (in a good way) almond flavor. Silky followed by a kick of tannin. Crazy enough, I think I will use less tea on the next steep to pull out the lighter flavors and maybe not end up with such a dry tongue. :)

Flavors: Astringent, Dark Chocolate, Smoke, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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87

This was a delicious First Flush, but I’m leaving the recommend area blank, as I enjoyed it, but I’m not really sure it was worth the money.

I probably brewed this one a little too close to the 95c mark, and it it would do better with a longer, but colder brew. After my tea had reached room temperature, I got some delicious tropical fruit tastes, almost a papaya green mango salad thing. But while it was warm/hot, the dominant tastes were bitter vegetable.

Excelsior

I thought it was good but not great. Good compared with other Darjeelings from other retailers. Not great as I would expect from Mariage Freres and the high price tag.

SFTGFOP

Yeah. It had a nice full-mouth feel, and I could really see that it had complexity, or at least the potential for complexity, just didn’t follow through. There was this “sour” element to it, I’ve never had pickled mango before, but maybe it would be something like that?

I’ve still got my two other MF’s FF to go, so maybe I will like them more.

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