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Mariage Frères

Recent Tasting Notes

81
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
211 tasting notes

I tried this once before, and when digging through my basket of samples received in swaps I found some remnants. Enough for one cup, though no guarantee of freshness at this point!

Decided to have one more sipdown cup before bed, so I’m drinking this while watching Safety Not Guaranteed which is a great, quirky movie.

So in this tea, I taste a hint of fruitiness, a hint of honey, maybe a slight bit of floralliness (I made that last word up)

I’m not 100% sure I’d be detecting these notes if I didn’t already read a bunch of other people’s reviews of this tea. Just being honest!
And it may be a wee bit stale.

Still good though, but I don’t think I’d buy it, based on this cup alone.
Is it weird that it reminds me of a Monk’s Blend I’ve tried before? But less flavorful.

I probably could have steeped it longer but I was worried about bitterness. With the amount of leaves I had left for one cup I probably could have added another minute at least!
My previous rating was 81 and I guess I will leave that alone. Because I don’t think I can fairly rate it based on what I just drank.

edit HAHAHA! Just read my old review of this (annoying it only pops up when you post a new one, am I missing an easy way to find my own review from the past??), anyway I totally said last time that it reminded me of Monk’s Blend. Funny. Still haven’t had them side by side to compare, or even do a sniff test though.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Dexter3657

I don’t think it’s weird that this reminds you of Monk’s Blend. I agree with that, Monk’s Blend and Marco Polo are similar to me too. :))

whatshesaid

Oh good, I’m not crazy :)

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88
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
500 tasting notes

I bought this tea on my mini-moon in NYC and the matching Sablés au Thé on the actual honeymoon à Paris. I’ve been meaning to sit down and enjoy these two together for a while now. I finally decided enough is enough; no more waiting! Today is the day to try them.

The tea is strawberry, rhubarb, vanilla, cream, and flowers. The tea biscuits are butter, vanilla, and that something extra special from the Marco Polo tea infusion. They taste a lot like Scottish shortbread, except better! Way better. Much more flavorful. Leave it to the French to make delicious tea and cookies.

Why did I wait so long to enjoy you, oh glorious tea? This is exactly what I needed after an extremely stressful day. Sometimes I wonder why I’m alive. At least I have tea. Perhaps I can find refuge in several more cups.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
keychange

I’m sorry the day was so rough and led you to wonder why you’re here. For what it’s worth, I enjoy reading your reviews and am glad that your tea helped ground you today.

TeaBrat

sometimes tea is the thing keeping me sane as well…. :)

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93

boooo. Another sipdown of delicious french tea. Finishing up this one means i have one less “old” tea to drink haha i’m such a hoarder when i love something. Today’s cup was perfect. wondeful. rich, dark chocolate delight. yes. yes. yes.

CharlotteZero

There is some in the mail as of today. :-)

Sil

wooohoo!!! my precious…come to me my precious…

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84
drank French Breakfast by Mariage Frères
4046 tasting notes

sipdown…soo sad. I’ve finished the tin of this that i picked up in december and it’s a sad day. The more i’ve had this, the more it’s grown on me, though i think american breakfast is still the winner. This will go on the wishlist for one of those days that i order from MF…july? :)

cteresa

July sounds like an excellent idea, go for it! I want more American Breakfast as well.

Sil

mmmmm american breakfast…

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96
drank Chandernagor by Mariage Frères
1176 tasting notes

I think “Mmm…” is all I really need to say about this tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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74

This is my first attempt at brewing this tea, and I followed Mariage Frères’ instructions. Honestly, this tea isn’t really impressive to me. It brewed to a pretty dark color for a white tea, and was proportionately heavy in taste- more body than I think I’ve ever experienced in a white tea. It was also not very aromatic. It was surprisingly woody, earthy, and only a little bit floral and fruity. I had a fleeting moment while sipping this tea where I had a very pleasant aftertaste linger in my mouth, but it disappeared as quickly as I became aware of it.

I will try different parameters next time. Even if it doesn’t improve, at least it came in a cute canister, and now I know I don’t need to be regularly spending too much money on this tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83

Mmmmm, this is good. Thanks to CharlotteZero for this one!
I’m getting mainly stewed cherry in this, but also some muted spice notes. Reminds me a little of mulled wine. I’m not getting the honey, which is ok, though I do love honey! This holds up well with skim milk and sweetener, which is a plus for me, not all teas do.

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93

this was my first cup this morning because charlottezero is awesome and will be sending me some more so i treated myself to a cup with breakfast before heading out to the spa for my massage. I can claim like 90% back through work so there’s no reason for me to not take advantage more often! I still love this one as a chocolate tea that isn’t trying to be all sweet and crap :)

Ysaurella

spa and massage…I’m jealous !

caile

Enjoy!

Sil

it was fantastic… now i’m home and getting ready to go spend the afternoon/evening playing board games with friends and getting to see their little one again :)

caile

Ooh, a great day from start to finish! :)

Sil

yep! sa, massage, baby, board games, friends.. and next weekend.. i get to do most of it all over again haha

whatshesaid

I wish they were easier to buy tea from in canada!

Sil

i know :( I think maybe i’ll bite the bullet with customs etc and just make an order in July as a birthday treat…maybe

TeaBrat

hope you had a great massage!

whatshesaid

How much is shipping? Must be lots eh

Sil

when i was playing with it, it was averaging out to adding an extra 1-2 euros on to each bag that i was planning on picking up…so not over the top ridiculous.. but by the time july rolls around i may want more lol

whatshesaid

Yeah that’s not totally horrible

whatshesaid

But I guess that’s 1.5 times Canadian $, right?

Sil

It was working out to about 15-17 CAD per 100g though the exchange was a little better when I was doing it too…so there’s that.

Cavocorax

15-17 isn’t too bad for fancy french tea? I think you can walk into DAVIDsTEA and buy 100g of their tea for $15… (Just for added perspective)

whatshesaid

So basically over $40 for shipping alone, that’s mental.
And 100g is a massive amount to take a risk on!

whatshesaid

I guess splitting it with someone would make it doable.

ashleyelizabeth

Sorry, I should have done that in grams. From what I can see, the shipping rates to Canada/US are as follows (in euros):
100g = 23.50
200g = 25
300g = 23.20
400-700g = 28.5
800-1100g = 31.20
1200-1500g = 33.10
This is based on the teas in tins (specifically heritage gourmand). It’s a little bit cheaper if you go the bagged route, but not much. The black tins were a little more, I’m assuming because they also come in a gift case as well.

Sil

heritage gourmand are seriously expensive teas. 25 euro a pop…whereas the bags are as low as 4 euro. I have no need of tins – 2-3 euro for a tin is a lot, i’d rather just pay that on shipping. As cavo pointed out – it’s compareable to the prices we can pay here for 100g in some places. Also, it wouldn’t be a hgh risk for me, as i’ve tried a lot of the teas i’d be getting through swaps :)

whatshesaid

I guess I haven’t tried enough to commit to 100g…I never buy that much of Davidsteas either!!

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83

I just ate a bunch of leftover melted dark chocolate from making macaroons, so at first this tasted sour. The dominant aroma in this was definitely strawberry, but I also thought I might smell: cherry, apple, vanilla, chocolate, floral, and cranberry. This is a complex tea and it’s really difficult to pick out what flavorings they use, especially since they keep it a secret. I enjoyed trying this famous tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

Macaroon! That’s one thing I’ve never dared try to make lol

Terri HarpLady

I’m sure the tea is tasty, but I’m talking about the macaroons, of course!

TeaBrat

Oooh, you decided to make some vegan ones? How did they turn out?

CharlotteZero

I made American "macaroons"…The ones with coconut, which were very easy to make. This was my first attempt, and they came out a little too moist and a little too sweet, but overall they were very good. Next time I think I can perfect the recipe. :-)

CHAroma

Macaroons are surprisingly difficult to make.

CharlotteZero

You probably have higher standards than I do, CHAroma…! I made a vegan version, more or less this recipe: http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/cookies/coconut-macaroons

Nicole

I just made “macaroons” yesterday. Topped with chocolate mousse and dipped in dark chocolate ganache… so I completely get the eating of leftover melted dark chocolate… :)

CharlotteZero

Wow. That sounds much more delicious/involved than what I made…

Sil

Nicole is a rockstar in the baking/tea party sort of thing..

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77

Drinking this one tonight. It seemed like it would be good with the macaroons I made- half were dipped in dark chocolate, 1/4 in white chocolate, and 1/4 plain. I also made some coconut cardamom rice pudding. Went a little crazy with the desserts, I guess. Anyway, I tried brewing this one at a lower temperature and with a shorter steep, but it still isn’t really doing it for me. Maybe I will try brewing this at a higher temperature next time? Honestly, adding a bit of bitterness might be an improvement for this one.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Se Chung by Mariage Frères
1197 tasting notes

From the queue

This is an oolong which Cteresa shared with me AGES ago. I don’t know anything at all about it because the description in the database is in French and nobody else has posted about it yet. I only a smattering of French words but I can make a qualified guess that it says that this tea resembles Tie Guan Yin in some way, but I’m stumped for the rest of it. I know ‘avec’ = ‘with’, but that doesn’t really get me very far.

The aroma is quite cocoa-y and wood-y, so at least at this point it doesn’t particularly remind of TGY at all.

It tastes a rather fruity and a little bit cocoay and a little bit woody. But mostly surprisingly fruity. Even now when it’s at a sort of lukewarm stage, it’s very fruity. I’m not sure which fruit exactly, but probably a kind of stone fruit, because this is generally the sort of fruit I find myself leaning towards when I don’t know what kind of fruit I think I’m tasting.

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90

Oh, this tea is super lovely. I took a sip this morning and had forgotten what it was going to be, since I barely remember driving here to work today. But I’ve had goat cheese & marmalade toast and now French breakfast tea, so I should be having a better morning than I’m having. I love malty, caramel, strong black tea, but this one is really refined and not fake tasting at all. Beautiful. Thank you to Shmiracles for letting me sample her box o’ samples! And thank you, Steepsterites, for sharing your teas. If I can make it to lunch, I’ll get to read more of the pointless coffee shop AU I started this week.

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88

I did doubt the brewing instructions for this tea. 95 degrees Celsius for 4 minutes seemed both a little too hot and too long to brew a green tea. However, I initially stuck to these parameters. But tonight I used 85 degree water for 3 minutes and it produced a much improved cup. It makes me wonder how they came up with their brewing guidelines, which seem exactly the same for all of the teas in this collection- blacks, greens, and rooibos alike.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Chandernagor by Mariage Frères
420 tasting notes

Oh gosh. Sleeping schedule has gone completely to hell. woke up at 4:30 again and of course couldn’t get back to sleep. There are a few loose ends going on in my life right now, and I expect I’ll probably be feeling a lot better once they’ve been addressed. Still though—possibly uncomfortable work situation today, and I think I’ll just be glad for the weekend.

I needed the type of comfort only a warming tea could bring this morning. And this tea manages to be both assertive and warming, which suits the outlook I need to have quite perfectly, actually. I sullied it a bit by adding too much milk, but hey-if that’s the worst thing that happens today I’ll be lucky. you know how all tea is warming, but some are more warming than others? this is among the warmest, I think.

Cheri

It sounds like you picked the perfect cup for this morning. I hope your day goes better than you’re anticipating.

TeaKlutz

I know what it’s like to have your nerves wracked by unresolved things and anticipating uncomfortable situations. (cyberhug) This too shall pass!

keychange

Thanks, guys. You understand this so well. I’m so scared, but hopefully it’ll be ok.

Suziqzer

I hope your work day goes better than you expect!

keychange

I desperately hope you guys are right. Thanks for thinking of me.

Suziqzer

Update when it’s over so we all know you survived. Then treat yourself to a favorite tea!

keychange

I sure did survive. Who knows what’ll happen longterm, but when do we ever know that anyway? I want to go to bed for a few weeks. Thanks so much for caring—you are all far kinder to me than I could ever deserve.

Suziqzer

Glad you made it through :) I hope you got that comforting cup of tea tonight and a good night’s rest for once.

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81

It was my afternoon tea at the IT show, I am so glad they were proposing a Mariage Frères selection.
First time with this famous among the famous Mariage Frères tea.
Of course it wasn’t brew correctly because the waitress only had a boiling thermos bottle but anyway it wasn’t bitter at all and I had a very refined and lovely citrus tea,very energetic and refreshing.
Sure if I can retaste it in better conditions it would be one of the rare green teas I can hoard.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
cteresa

this is one of my all time favorites, and was a rebuy (and will be again when I do another MF splurge), can´t believe I never sent you one. I love it, along with Casablanca they are my favorite summer teas.

Ysaurella

do you have it and Casablanca hot or iced in summer ?

cteresa

I do not drink hot tea when it´s really hot, so mostly iced, if I remember to make it far in advance. though I open exceptions to hot tea when it´s summer but not hot, or after the gym – for some reason Casablanca is my number one drink for after the gym.

Ysaurella

you’re brave, I drink tea but don’t make any gym ! :)

cteresa

ah, but the gym it feels wonderful when you stop (and have your cup of casablanca….). Stopping exercise is totally addictive. And it´s nothing hardcore anyway.

Ysaurella

Unfortunately and since I am a kid I hate sport Teresa…so agree with the fact gym is wonderful when you stop ;)

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78

Had this one twice this morning.
I was visiting an IT show all day long and for breakfast a large selection of Mariage Frères teas in sachet was proposed (Himalaya Darjeeling, Rouge Bourbon, Thé sur le Nil, Marco Polo and this one) It was really an amazing surprise (Of course I wasn’t there to drink tea but if we can mix work and pleasure, this is really a plus)
I picked out this one because I had never heard about it before and because it was a black tea and a smocky one.

The water was boiling but I may have not let it steep too long (less than 5 minutes anyway)
It was a very refined black tea, medium bodied, not heavy on smoke but delicatelly smocked. No idea why but somehow it reminds me a Darjeeling as well.

Clearly not the best MF for me but a very nice one and I would not refuse a cup time to time.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
cteresa

That selection of MF teas (Thé sur le Nil! one of my favorites always) is sooooo civilized….something for everybody

Ysaurella

you may like this one too with its lovely smoke

cteresa

I think so too, it was on my check-one-day list – but my shopping list is going monstrously and maybe this is not a 100 grams kind of tea, not compared to my adored favorites.

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93

as i mentioned earlier, today was more about drinking up older teas than worrying about sipdowns. i adore this tea and sadly, i have maybe 2 cups left. but after an evening of little sleep, this was exactly what i wanted and needed this morning.

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96

This is my favorite tea from my recent Mariage Frères order. I had a busy weekend, so I wanted to start Monday off well. :-)

I’m trying to plan a trip to Japan soon, and if it works out, I will definitely make the Mariage Frères in the Ginza district one of my stops. Heh, but I have no other ideas on where else I should try to go. Maybe the Steepster message boards have some good suggestions….

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML
Excelsior

There’s the Fortnum and Mason tea salon in Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi. There is a Harrod’s tea shop in the same Mitsukoshi The TWG tea salon in Jiyugaoka. Lupicia in Ginza. Also, all the Department stores have food markets in their basement. There’s a wide variety of Japanese teas you can buy there. On weekends, they might have small paper cups of brewed green tea samples. All the hotels, Peninsula, Shangri La, Mandarin Oriental will have tea salons.

If you go to the Mariage Freres store/salon in Ginza, say hi to the store manager, Nozaki-san, for me.

CharlotteZero

Thanks for the advice!!! :-) Is TWG worth stopping at? They have a great reputation, but the only teas I’ve tried from them have been a couple of flavored ones from Dean & Deluca, and I was not impressed. I will say hello from “Excelsior”. Haha…

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drank Pleine Lune by Mariage Frères
420 tasting notes

Look at the MF trend in my life lately! I’m actually really glad, because I actually got these teas in October of 2013, and figure I need to actually get to them instead of just hording them because they’re “too nice”. But I was craving this tea ever since I got home last night, and chose to have it with breakfast this morning. As I sipped at it, I found it passingly reminiscent of glitter and gold, but only vaguely. Perhaps it’s because both have a touch of spice to them, although this one also has the delicious marzipan component, whereas glitter and gold is more similar to a pumpkin tea (in my opinion anyway—I know it’s an odd comparison). I also like that I could really get a hefty base here, and I don’t know how to describe it other than to say that it’s a base that MF is proud of, because there aren’t any attempts to obliterate it with a ton of flavour, although this tea is very flavourful indeed. and not in the “delicate but nice” way—there really is a lot of flavour here.

ifjuly

yeah, i agree, there is a vague similarity between the two. (BTW, your stuff’s finally all arrived and i can send it sometime this week, sorry for the delay!) :O

Christina

This sounds really interesting! Strongly flavoured, not delicate, but the flavour doesn’t drown out the base. Sounds very well balanced.

keychange

Ifjuly, I’m so excited! and no worries on taking your time-I’m like the slowest swapper ever, but everyone’s so forgiving haha.

Christina, it really is great. would you like me to send you some?

Christina

I’d love to try it, but I’d like to hold off on a swap for now. I just got a few samples in the mail and will be getting even more (as well as 2 orders) in the future, so I don’t want to get inundated by new types of tea.

keychange

Sounds good! :). I totally understand being overwhelmed with like five million inbound packages lol

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drank Chandernagor by Mariage Frères
420 tasting notes

I’m doing a bit of backlogging this morning, although I actually didn’t drink much tea at all this weekend, because the hotel we stayed at didn’t even provide us with a kettle! and there’s no way I was going to have sloppily brewed tea, so this note is actually for the tea I had Friday morning.

And let me just reiterate that the French really know how to make a mean cup of tea. Mean, I tell you. The trick with this tea is to avoid overleafing at all; just a tsp for 8 oz (and not my usual tsp and a half) yields the perfect combination of spice, warmth, and chai. I took it with milk and sugar, and this had the effect of toning down the ginger just enough to make it a perfectly balanced cup, whereas before, I found the ginger to be a touch too prominent, with the clove not far behind. So yes. Four minutes, bit of milk and sugar, and only one level tsp. Perfection.

Courtney

Hope you had a great weekend!

keychange

Thanks! it was alright. A bit exhausting, and too much travelling, but alright overall. I came home and slept for like fifteen hours!

Christina

It’s interesting that you felt this one was a bit too gingery. I had this last week, and to me the clove seemed like the strongest flavour (although it was still well-balanced).

keychange

You know, I sometimes struggle to identify ginger vs clove, so I’ll say that right off the bat. did you like it?

Christina

I did, but I’ve got some chais in my cupboard and another one on the way, so I’m going to stick with those for now.

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two entries for this tea. but this one has more notes so it wins.

it’s rainy here.
i stayed up until 5am dancing.
https://soundcloud.com/amtrac/gotsome-bassline-amtrac-remix
i made a dress from gold lamé.
it started to fall apart slowly but it held up for the whole evening. yay win!
the weather was great and made the whole evening even better.
https://soundcloud.com/tomasbarfod/november-skies-radio-version

but waking up this morning?
it was harrrrd.
so… French Breakfast!
it’s delicious!
like really delicious.
i love the malty ones.

thanks a ton for the sample Sil.

this is my 700th tea :)
but it won’t look like that because i’m MANY many logs behind. and i’ll probably re-enter most of them when i get around to writing the review. but yup. 700 yay tea yay.

Sil

this one makes me happy..though american breakfast wins a little over it..but i’d have both in my cupboard.

OMGsrsly

Woo! That is a lot of different teas. :)

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90
drank Wedding Impérial by Mariage Frères
4046 tasting notes

farewell my dear friend! I had this tea today as my first cup of the day in latte form. I’ve been meaning to do that for a while now, and since it was my last cup of this deliciously wonderful tea, it was the right time. It was a really nice deliciously creamy start to my day. yay!

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Caffeine-Free/Decaf Traveling Tea Box

This is my first time trying a Mariage Freres tea though I think I have a few samples that I’ve received in swaps. This has a nice strawberry flavor but I wouldn’t consider it anything special. I added sweetener. Will be letting this tea go on its journey.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I’m not usually a big breakfast tea fan, in fact I’m totally baffled by it and don’t understand what makes a tea breakfast type, BUT despite all that I’m enjoying this cup. I got a small bag of it in bulk while tea shopping in California, figuring I’d give it a try since I wasn’t likely to be able to find sample sizes again. This is a really solid heavy tea, relying on heavier base notes. I get a deep smooth malty flavor which isn’t bitter at all! I’ll be interested to see if it grows on me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
MzPriss

I’m with you. I’ve never really understood what makes a tea a breakfast tea.

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