Mariage FrèresEdit Company
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Recent 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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
(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!
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!
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
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
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.
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 :)
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