Mariage Frères

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76
drank Paris Breakfast by Mariage Frères
6485 tasting notes

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.

TheKesser

I need to do that. I have a few that I haven’t touched yet and I keep putting it off.

Ost

If it tastes more like lemon then I’m interested. Though seems like people taste both, maybe you’re just one of those people, sil.

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84
drank Poire by Mariage Frères
6485 tasting notes

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!

cteresa

You don´t know if you know it, but Lupicia has a green tea with pear, pear and honey. It smelled interesting!

Sil

I’ve been trying to get my hands on that one for about a year now. every time i try to place an order with lupicia online, it’s sold out. So i’ll keep trying haha

cteresa

ah good luck! you know being sold out MIGHT be a good sign.

Sil

haha yes…but harder to get it lol

Sil

still wish that i’d realised there was a lupicia store in paris. Kicking myself over that one

cteresa

They did have it in stock! But it´s life – I was really planning to make it to Theodor but there was a problem in the metro line at the only convenient opportunity window, I was actually inside the carriage had to get out of the metro and find another plan to be able to keep to my schedule. Some other time.

I think the shop was not too big, there were some lupicia teas I had tried before that they did not carry – though difficult to compare because the tea names were translated into french (LOL I was look for Jardin Sauvage and Chaud les Marrons, wonder if they would have translated that into english!)

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88
drank Black Orchid by Mariage Frères
6485 tasting notes

MINE! finally i have some to try and it was worth it :) I REALLY enjoyed this take on vanilla and malty and delicious and YAY! mine. :)

Final Count: 126

Sami Kelsh

OMG how did I not know there was a Black Orchid tea? It’s only the name of one of the weirdest Doctor Who stories to come out of the 80s. I may well need to get some just based on that…

Sil

it’s a different sort of vanilla imo. still a vanilla tea but not like the other 10000 of vanilla blacks that i’ve had

Sami Kelsh

It sounds groovy. Just give me ALL THE VANILLA THINGS IN EVERY POSSIBLE VARIATION THEREUPON :p

Kittenna

Sounds delicious. Is this one you picked up when you were in Europe?

Ost

Mmmm! Sounds so good

Sil

aye – pretty much everything these days is from my adventures. I wrapped up miss B’s teas the other day

Terri HarpLady

yay for your euro-adventure :)

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88
drank Iskandar by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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88
drank Iskandar by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

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

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec
OMGsrsly

That sounds really interesting. Violets and mint are not a combination I would have thought of!

cteresa

It´s actually menthol, like a throat pastille – just a hint, right at the back of the taste so to speak, but indeed very interesting!

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65
drank Rouge Ruschka by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

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

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Ysaurella

Lucky you get only 50 grams of this one Teresa :)

cteresa

Thanks to you! That was a very nice shop, and it does not show up on google at all. Noted down for next time!

This will get drunk,and it is not bad and I still got to try cold steeping which sometimes totally changes the personality of a tea, particularly rooibos (Rouge Sahara, Lupicia´s Jardin Sauvage). But this and Yuzu Temple are not hits. Iskandar OTOH was weirdly fantastic – I noticed you did not like it much, but maybe I was luckier with some parameter or something, but a very interesting take on the violet tea idea.

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85

(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!

Flavors: Tea

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80

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!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec

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85

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
Ysaurella

sounds like a great tea Teresa !

cteresa

Not sure other people would love it like I did, but it was a nice surprise indeed, a very original tea which works! And if you must wait in an aiport, a chance to smell a lot of MF teas is a silver lining.

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85

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90
drank CHA THAÏ BOPF by Mariage Frères
348 tasting notes

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Excelsior

I’m glad you had a chance to try it. I also like to drink this tea with milk and sugar which enhances the malt/chocolate taste of this tea.

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100

liquid caramel with an assam bite….

simply devine….

Flavors: Caramel

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78

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.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Black Opera by Mariage Frères
2973 tasting notes

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 :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Black Opera by Mariage Frères
2973 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.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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87

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.

Fjellrev

That’s so crazy how your work calls you away so abruptly!

sren

I want to know what foreign city—- gosh I miss traveling for fun— I imagine work is another story

beelicious

Its a little stressful! Much rather be traveling for fun!

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drank CHA THAÏ BOPF by Mariage Frères
6485 tasting notes

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!

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83

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

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 13 OZ / 380 ML
cteresa

They list it as an afternoon tea in their tea chart! I love it as well.

Arameya

Heya! Could you find a link to the tea chart for me? I had a quick look but had no luck.

cteresa

Ah, sorry, I do not think it is online. It´s a big sheet of paper, A3 size or larger, covered in plastic at both sides, with the list of tea on both sides (one side is mostly flavoured teas, the other the single origins) with the tea prices, all very close printed, that they have at their Marais shop on the counters. You can´t really see all the tea cannisters they have and they do not have samples out for everything (it will be a good 600 or 700 varieties I think, of which maybe they 200 or 300 samples out) so the list. The flavoured teas, some of it is organized by time of the day, and I noticed Tzar Alexandre was on the afternoon teas!

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87

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

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drank Montagne d'Or by Mariage Frères
1111 tasting notes

I snagged this tea from the Pass the Stash TTB when I went to visit Marzipan the other day.

Mostly this tea is generically fruity, with a hint of that powdery floral that some French flavored teas tend to get. Not my favorite thing ever but I was glad to get to try it :)

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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.

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100

liquid rasberry with vanilla and cream on top. oh, no wait, there is jam, and chocolate and caramel as well…

Stellar!

Flavors: Berries, Caramel, Chocolate, Flowers, Jam, Strawberry, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 200 OZ / 5914 ML

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