Mariage Frères

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81
drank Poire by Mariage Frères
4139 tasting notes

From the second GCTTB; I pulled the sample of this one ‘cause I wanted to try it but didn’t end up with enough time to…

I love pear tea and I’m still searching for my perfect one: the dry smell of this was absolutely amazing and it had me drooling so hard. It was fresh, dewy, sweet, and a little floral all the while absolutely nailing what pears, especially ripe ones, smell like. It was also strikingly familiar: I’m thinking it probably reminded me of Fauchon’s pear black tea? It’s been a while since I’ve drank that, but going by memory that sounds about right.

Most of the sample went towards a cold brewed pitcher of tea: I had my first cup of it yesterday and it was so incredibly delightful. The pear flavour is really smooth, and very natural. There’s a realistic amount of sweetness, and the slightly creamy flavour of a Bosc pear alongside the more floral notes of a Bartlett pear. It’s enchanting. That said, I’m not really sure if it’s my perfect pear tea but it’s still a damn delight regardless. I look forward to trying the rest of the sample hot and seeing if that lovely, nuanced and realistic pear flavour carries through to the hot brew as well.

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100

Full-bodied tea that’s a perfect afternoon pick me up or a cup to enjoy in lieu of dessert. Hints of Caramel, Vanilla and Chocolate.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Creamy, Toffee, Vanilla

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98

Well-rounded, full-bodied black tea with fruit and vanilla notes.

Flavors: Red Fruits, Vanilla

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74
drank Paris Breakfast by Mariage Frères
1859 tasting notes

GCTTB
This is a tea with a lot of strength to it. It’s bolder than I expected for a black/green blend with a rich, full-bodied maltiness tinged with smoke. It takes adding milk to bring out the vanilla and honey notes but I’m not getting anything citrus-like at all. It’s nice but I wouldn’t shell out the $45 that a full tin would usually cost.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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84

Pleine Lune is probably one of the tea’s I was most excited to try from OMGsrsly. Vibrant almonds, marzipan, spices- what’s not to like? Mom agrees and even went so far as saying this is best tea she’s had; up there with her favourite various Pumpkin Chais brands and Red Leaf Matcha Lattes.

It was a tea bag, there was milk and life was good. I’d possibly look into getting more of this, if only for the Happy Mother vibe.

Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Marzipan, Nutmeg, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
Evol Ving Ness

Happy-making post makes me happy.

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hate to say this, but I found a Mariage Freres tea I don’t like. This one was okay while it was hot, but as it cooled it turned bitter. I glanced through other notes, and most people seemed to enjoy it, so it’s probably me, not the tea. Perhaps the leaf is old, or maybe it brewed too long. At any rate, in the interests of being fair, I’m not going to rate this one. I’m glad I got to try this. Someday, probably in the very distant future, I plan to place an order with MF.

ashmanra

If it is like Marco Polo, it is fabulous when made just right, and the dickens when it isn’t! I have to keep those at a slightly lower temp, slightly short steep, and drink it before it gets cold. But it is great when everything is done just right!

Maddy Barone

I love Marco Polo! I guess I must have made it right when I had it. Thank for the tip about the lower temp and shorter steep, ashmanra. I have enough for another couple of cups and I hate to throw away tea. I’l try it that way next time and hopefully I’ll enjoy it a lot more.

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63

Try making it with lower temperature than indicated (95C). It gets bitter the longer it seats in the cup. Mild astringency, nice deep golden or light orange color.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 330 OZ / 9759 ML

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93

It’s my birthday today. In a tradition of exploration and fun, a birthday trip has allowed me to spend a few hours in San Francisco yesterday doing only tea related expeditions. Usually our visits to the city don’t allow enough time for this kind of scavenger hunt. Everything is spread out and just finding parking at each stop in enough of a challenge to deter. But add determined and you will get there.
We started at Lupicia and the lovely girls there made every sample requested. So sweet. I came away with some of the golden honey dew rooibos. It was exactly what I hoped for. Really delicious.
Next stop was Tevana, just for comparison purposes, and just really to confirm what I already knew about them. Yup. no one there had any ‘real’ knowledge. Its a koolaid shop. But I bought some Earl Grey cream, just to, again, compare. Sure enough, the sales girl did the ‘over measure’ to see if I would be fine with more than I asked for.

After a non tea related visit to Anthropologie, just across the street, we headed to the Crown and Crumpet in Japan Town. A cute Tea salon/café. All the little tea sandwiches were good, but late in the day, the selection was limited. The Tea we had with the meal was a white and black combination with rose.

Finally, the treat I have wanted to try for so long was the last stop. Chantal Guillon for Mariage Frere Tea. and Marco Polo.

I could have bought this tea on line long ago. But it just didn’t seem right. With a name like Marco Polo and not being easy to get, why not have it be an adventure to obtain, as it is just as elusive to pin down as well as to decipher the flavors within the cup.

The flavor does live up to the wonderful aroma. It is a treat just breathing in the scent. It is the kind of tea to give you a different experience each time you brew a new cup. It truly relates to the quote I have on my site, “Steam rises from a cup of tea and we are wrapped in history, inhaling ancient times and lands, comfort of ages in our hands.”

that’s Marco Polo.

http://www.parisfornia.co/food/where-to-buy-mariage-freres-teas-and-french-macarons/

Sipping and nibbling a salted caramel macaron, I am writing this from a Bed and Breakfast in Napa. La Belle Epoch. One of the nicest B&B stays ever!!!

What a perfect Tea for a birthday adventure.

Flavors: Fruity, Smooth, Strawberry

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
hawkband1

Sounds like a great trip! Happy Birthday!

ColumbiaKate

Thank you. A visit to the Japanese Tea Garden was a treat as well (on a different day). Such a nostalgic place. I hadn’t been there in years and it offers much more in the area of food (tea sandwiches) than I remember from past visits.

caile

Sounds like you had a great birthday!! :)

ColumbiaKate

Thanks Caile. It sure was. actually All about the Tea.
Started with buying tea cups at an antiques faire and ended with Tea by the ocean;) And all things tea in between.

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82

GCTTB
The scent of this dry tea is of sweet vanilla cream, but when I poured in the water the distinct smell of lavender curled up and out of the cup. The flavour is pleasent mix of the two, and there’s also a faint berry-like flavour that goes nicely with the creamy vanilla. The lavender is just the right amount to give the blend a bit of spicy without being too pungent.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Sil sent me 2 sachets of this in a swap and I drank them both this past weekend. I think they had started to lose their flavour, though, because the spiciness of the dry leaf (sweet, vanilla, kind of custardy) didn’t really translate into the brew.

Anyways, at least it’s a sipdown.

Sil

doh. that sucks :( sorry.

Christina / BooksandTea

No worries. I was just happy to have an easy sipdown.

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81

So expensive. But so refined.

Berries and flowers. Sophisticated like every MF tea that I’ve tried. However, I think favourite black tea with a berry note will always be Paris by Harney & Sons.

Would steep no longer than 3 minutes if having this straight. At 4.5 minutes like I did just now, it’s going bitter. Perfect if you’re adding milk though.

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97
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1 tasting notes

Fruity

Flavors: Fruity

Preparation
1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Poire by Mariage Frères
1137 tasting notes

GCTTB5 box#2

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

look at you getting through all the fancy french teas. Hope it’s a fun journey even if you don’t love them all heh. I find there’s usually more of the base present in the french teas, making the flavours more subtle than i’m used to from north american companies

tigress_al

Yep, definitely more subtle flavouring, but I don’t mind that either!

Sil

if you find one you fall in love with, let me know. I have lots and won’t get around to drinking it all, so happy to share/swap whatever.

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GCTTB5 box#2

I am not sure that I would consider this bold enough to be a “breakfast tea” but it was very enjoyable.

I mostly got citrus notes followed by malty chocolate and vanilla. it probably isn’t something that I would order but certainly good.

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100

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86

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.

Fjellrev

Happy happy 300! Sounds like a great one to celebrate with.

Mikumofu

Thanks! I can’t believe I’ve be on here this long!

mrmopar

That’s a bunch!

Mikumofu

It just kind of sneaks up on me!

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94

Oh my.

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Jim Marks

Not huge on floral teas. Watch my tasting notes as the February TotM from Verdant arrived with 11 small samples of Anxi teas which I expect to all be quite floral. If that’s your thing, these may be for you!

__Morgana__

I have a special place in my heart for jasmine greens. :-)

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drank Poire by Mariage Frères
998 tasting notes

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….

Sil

someday we’ll find the perfect pear tea…

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95
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
2 tasting notes

The aroma and taste are wonderful.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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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.

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80

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

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

the blergamot like taste to this one is something i don’t love. It’s not my favourite of the “breakfast” teas from MF.

Evol Ving Ness

I am not really getting a sense of bergamot in this one. Just perfume shop.

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94
drank Casablanca by Mariage Frères
1 tasting notes

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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! :)

Sil

pear teas that aren’t green are rare, so i HAD to pick this one up when i was there.

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