Mariage Frères

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Recent Tasting Notes

81

Well, I pulled this out of the stash to have today and then decided to finish the Truffles from Todd & Holland since it wasn’t a favorite. I’m just now getting around to this, and then it will be go directly to non-caffeine for me.

There are hunks of what look liked dried apple in among the very dark leaves. Perhaps that is the orange zest. The tea has a nice smell in the tin, like so many French teas. The French tea houses really seem to pay attention to how their blends smell as well as taste, which I suppose isn’t surprising given the perfume connection. I can detect the orange and vanilla in the dry tea, though I get more of a cinnamon, apple and clove smell in the steeped aroma. The tea is a clear reddish mahogany color.

It has a mild and pleasant orange spice tea flavor. It makes me think of Constant Comment, but the flavor in this one is far less heavy handed and the tea is obviously better quality than what one gets in the Constant Comment bags. The tea base is lovely and smooth. It’s a nice blend.

I read in a description of the tea at the Mariage Freres site that it includes almond, but the most I get of the almond is just a little in the aftertaste. Then again, blends like this tend to differ from steep to steep depending on the mix that shows up in your teaspoon each time, so maybe next time I’ll get more almond. And then again, there is no indication that this contains apple, and yet I get an apple-like aroma and flavor from it, so go figure.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Clove, Orange, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
OMGsrsly

I just opened my tin of this today… it really does smell so good!

__Morgana__

Hope you enjoy!

OMGsrsly

I will. :) I think it’s my favourite French Christmas Tea yet.

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95

Strong Bergamot flavour. One of my favourite Earl Greys, but be careful not to brew this one for too long. It is very easy to overbrew this one, and it will go very bitter.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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86

Strong tea with strong citrus fragrance. Very enjoyable.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 250 OZ / 7393 ML

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86

Ok, so I was totally sold as soon as I saw the name of this one – Black Orchid is a SPECTACULARLY AWFUL two-part Doctor Who serial starring Petey Davison and his gaggle of ducklings. It has a special place in my heart. Plus, I’d just come from interviewing some contemporary Doctor Who luminaries at the BBC and happened to be passing the vicinity of Selfridges, so I thought it would be criminal not to pop in. How serendipitous, or something.

And the tea is gorgeous, too. Similar to Vanilla Shortbread from Whittard, but a touch more caramelised, I think. I’d expected a slightly darker brew than the burnt orange I got in the cup, but it certainly delivered on flavour, and the base plays beautifully with the rich vanilla-ness of it. Nom. This was a good idea.

__Morgana__

I love this tea!

Sil

love this one.

Fjellrev

This one has been on my list for a long time.

Sil

i have some i can send if you haven’t tried it my swedish chef

Sami Kelsh

Oh yes, it’s fit!

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drank Noël Nouveau by Mariage Frères
2194 tasting notes

Sample from MissB! Thank you!

It does indeed smell like Christmas. All the spices. Something baking in the oven.

However, it fails a little with taste. Something about these MF greens just doesn’t work. I steeped pretty low, yet it’s still turning drying as it sits. Plus, there’s a LOAD of clove in here so my tongue tingles a little. :)

It’s reminding me of that Celestial Seasonings tea… the mandarin and clove one. But with green tea instead of hibiscus as the base.

I really think this would have been better as a black tea. Noel a Paris has similar flavours but not the same.

I’m glad I got to try it, but I think I’m going to be passing the rest of my sample on. :D

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
MissB

Yea, I don’t know what to do with mine. All I wanted from this was more of a… whatever the Noel MF was that I gave you eons ago. A black, more chai-like, with Christmas flavors. Le Sigh. Ah well. Anyone else want some?

OMGsrsly

Noel a Paris? I haven’t even opened the tin. I’ll set some aside for you though. It’s so good, but now I have a full tin of it and 1 1/3 tins Chandernagor. Haha. :D

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75
drank Noël Nouveau by Mariage Frères
1429 tasting notes

Hm. How to rate this tea. Okay, it’s a green Christmas tea, so I have high expectations. It smells very holiday-like (*OMGsrsly smelled the bag I gave her and said, “This smells like Christmas!”) It tastes like it too, sort of… although it dried out really badly and got astringent and weird as it cooled.

So, yes to the almond (the drying-ness as it cooled as well), yes to the Christmas flavors (very much like a strongly spiced chai) no to the weirdness… there’s just something off about this, and I can’t put my finger on what exactly.

Flavors: Almond, Orange, Spices, Thick

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

It’s reminding me of that Celestial Seasonings tea… the mandarin and clove one. But with green tea instead of hibiscus as the base.

MissB

There’s a mandarin and clove celestial seasonings? News to me. :)

OMGsrsly

There was at some point. I remember drinking it ALL THE TIME when I was a kid.

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My daughter, Superanna, is really amazing about supporting my tea habit. She brought this tea with her for Thanksgiving yesterday.

The packaging is gorgeous. The tin is a really nice double lidded one that will definitely be getting reused when the tea is gone.

The aroma of the tea is really great upon opening, and the main thing I smell is fresh orange, like the spray of orange juice in your face when you are peeling a fresh orange.

I was surprised that sugar is listed as one of the ingredients in this tea. I don’t think I have ever seen that in a Mariage Freres before. But there must not be a lot of it there. I think it would have really leapt out at me since I don’t add sugar to my tea.

The tea has that fresh orange taste and there is a hint of the hazelnut as well as the bevy of other flavors which I have found to be very done by French tea blenders in the past. Just as with perfume, they know how to mix lots of flavors and end up with layers instead of a mishmash.

My daughter was surprised at how much she liked it. She really doesn’t care for black tea, mostly white and green, but she loved the smell of this and said that the base didn’t taste like a black tea to her. It was a nice, mild base rather than one of the astringent ones that I particularly find in a lot of French teas.

Very nice indeed and very Christmas-y.

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79
drank Thé à l'Opéra by Mariage Frères
1429 tasting notes

I drink this whenever I’m at a local French patisserie, which sells it both loose and in a tin. It’s lovely – as long as you don’t oversteep it. More than three or four minutes, and it’s just plain ick. Grassy, astringent, tart, bitter… no. But when it’s lightly steeped, with a less-than boiling temperature, I quite love it. Light, somewhat fruity, vanilla soft, and a touch of creaminess to it.

Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Grass, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Eros by Mariage Frères
880 tasting notes

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90

This tea smells like the holidays as you probably enjoyed them when you were a kid. At first sniff, the caramel and cocoa evoke the smell of freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate in the kitchen. I’m reminded huddling in the kitchen in boarding school over these goodies while it’s cold outside.

This is a feel good tea, a celebratory, evocative of childhood memories type of tea – drinking it makes me feel like everything is alright with the world again.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cocoa, Cookie, Cream, Spices, Sweet, Toasty

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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90

This is by far my favorite of the Héritage Gourmand samples I received from CharlotteZero (and second only to my beloved Macaron in the HG lineup). It does remind me quite a bit of Macaron, with that delightful aftertaste I can really only describe as clear gummy bear. The bergamot’s not very strong, the base comes through nicely, and the overall effect is very smooth, very comforting. I think I am picking up on the berry note others have mentioned, as well. I don’t see how this tea is meant to resemble a crêpe, but that’s okay when it’s this good. I would for sure pick up some more of this if it were possible to buy it without the very expensive tin. As it is, I might still consider doing so at some point, when my stash is under control. After all, when I move to London next year Mariage Frères will practically be on my doorstep…

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84

And yet another CharlotteZero sample. This is definitely one of the better (and more authentic) chocolate teas I’ve had. It’s slightly bitter, like real dark chocolate, and smooth and rich. Chocolate teas aren’t really my thing, but even so if this weren’t so expensive I might consider picking some up in the future. Given how pricey the Héritage Gourmand tins are, though, I probably won’t.

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78

This is another CharlotteZero sample I never got around to logging. It’s pretty similar to Financier, though less assertive with the vanilla. Pretty much all of what I said about that tea applies here: it reminds me of Butiki’s Creamy Eggnog, I have issues with sweet and creamy flavorings mixed with green tea, etc. It’s an okay tea, but not really to my taste. I think of the two I slightly preferred Financier.

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80

CharlotteZero was kind enough to send me a sample of this one quite a while ago, and while I took notes on it I never got around to logging it here. This is a pleasant tea. It’s sweet and creamy, and it reminds me more than anything of vanilla frosting (though I’ve never had a financier so can’t say how much it resembles its namesake). There’s a hint of almond too. While the base isn’t too assertively vegetal, I’m just not sure I love the combination of these sorts of flavors with green tea (see my aversion to Butiki’s Creamy Eggnog). I wouldn’t buy this, especially given the price, but I’m glad to have had a chance to sample it.

keychange

I know what you mean about these kinds of pairings. Also, the name makes me think of a banker. LOL.

greenteafairy

I also think of bankers whenever I see the word “financier”! Seems an odd choice for a pastry…

keychange

Exactly!

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100

I love this tea. Definitely one of my favorites. Gave some to my mom to try and it’s her favorite now.
I love to drink this at anytime of day; with breakfast or dessert.
I use sugar and half & half.

Flavors: Butter, Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90
drank I Have A Dream by Mariage Frères
871 tasting notes

Snazzy marketing, I am in.

I am a sucker for visually pleasing tea packaging. Bright colours on the box, I will buy the tea.

This tea is billed to be a citrus black tea. On opening the package there is a strong citrus scent, orange and grapefruit. The dry tea itself is also very visually pleasing. It is black tea with bright blue cornflowers, straw coloured cornflowers and burgundy petals/leaves. The colours of the tea kind of mimic the colours on the packaging. I am getting quite excited to try this tea.

The black tea is bold, slightly malty. It smells roasty but does not taste roasty. There is a very strong citrus flavour. It is hard to distinguish what type of citrus, does citrus flavoured chewing gum count as a flavour, because that is what it tastes like. Citrus-y and tart. There is definitely a blackberry leaf type flavour. The tea is bold but it is also very smooth. Minimal aftertaste.

I quite like this one. It might be the snazzy colours biasing my opinion, but this is a good one.

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving. Today (and every day) I am thankful to live in a country and society where I am free to be a woman, to be able to freely practise my religion, and to be safe. I am also very thankful for great friends and family. And also for tea. And internet :)

Happy Turkey day to everyone!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Happy Thanksgiving! I would have probably bought it for the tin myself.

keychange

I do love our country and society as well, and am also thankful for a wonderful place like steepster.

Roswell Strange

Happy Turkey Day! (PS. We should find a time to meet up and have tea; perhaps at Vintage Tea Room, now that I’m back living in Regina.)

Lala

Sounds good RS. Send me a PM!

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95
drank Matin Parisien by Mariage Frères
871 tasting notes

So I did something I NEVER do. And I feel guilty, but not really.

I added milk to this tea.

I know most of you are thinking that adding milk is not really a mortal sin. But it kinda is for me. I drink almost all of my tea straight. Except for cold shaken matcha where I add a little bit of sugar. Chai only has milk if it is steeped in milk. And so on.

So I brewed this up this morning and there just wasn’t that magic that was there the first time. There was really not much citrus, there was no creaminess, and definitely no sparkle. It was still good enough to drink but it was not amazing like I remembered it to be.

So mostly because I was too lazy to carry the old tea leaves to the garbage I made a second steep, which is also unusual for me………what is up with me today?!?

And I added some milk…

It was definitely creamier with the milk. Still not much citrus. Better this steep then the first one. Not sure what I did to it for the first steep. Maybe the water was too hot, or too cool, who knows. Just an off tea day today I guess…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Sounds a lot like my tea habits too, although I tend to add milk to some of DAVIDs’ flavoured blacks. Never French ones, though. And second steeps? Very rare.

But it’s always good to experiment, especially when a tea just isn’t what it was before.

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95
drank Matin Parisien by Mariage Frères
871 tasting notes

So I spent like hours in the Mariage Freres store in Paris. I think I smelled every tea, twice. And trust me, they have LOTS of teas. This one really struck me. It was definitely the bright citrus notes in the scent that caught me.

I was a little worried because when I opened the tin there was green tea in there. The tin and the box only list black tea. But reading the description I found on the MF website, it now makes sense, there is actually some green tea in the blend.

This tea is very decadent. The black tea base is very light, but it is thick. A lot of creamy flavour as well as texture to the tea. It is very smooth. The citrus flavours are actually quite light as compared to the smell but they are very definitive, which I think is what the “sparkling” means. There is a slight flavour profile of sencha, which I assume is coming from the green tea.

This tea reminds me of of very strong black tea, diluted with milk. Like a perfect lazy breakfast tea.

Definitely another one of my fav teas that I bought. However, I have only tried two so far… 2 for 2!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

this feels like it would be similar and yet different to paris breakfast.

Lala

I don’t think I have ever tried paris breakfast but the descriptions do seem very, very similar. I would say I don’t get any creamiscle or chocolate flavours in this one though.

Sil

sounds like you had a fun trip :)

Lala

I had a great trip! (Don’t want to brag or anything, but I had an awesome time).

Marzipan

Did you get Kabuki? I love that one.

Lala

No I did not :)

OMGsrsly

Brag away! I’m excited to see your tea notes. :)

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100

My favorite vanilla black, finally back in my cupboard. A friend of mine was going to Paris and asked if she could bring back any tea for me. I kind of felt bad, but, as long as she was asking, I said, “Sure!” and proceeded to extoll the virtues of this tea. I said to her what I always say when describing it: “It’s so vanilla, it’s practically chocolate!” And so it is – you just have to taste it and then you’ll understand what I mean. Anyway, I just opened the package today to have some for the first time in way too long. It’s still the same, excellent vanilla black I remember. Luscious, not-too-sweet vanilla flavor along with a subtle smoky, woody aspect. Very satisfying, especially when it’s what I expect and remember.

Could I have ordered this myself instead of getting my friend to bring it back for me? Of course. But I always seem to have an excuse not to do that (“I already have too much tea!” or “I need to try new ones!”). So glad I relented, it’s like having an old friend back for a visit.

Flavors: Vanilla, Wood

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

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drank CHA THAÏ BOPF by Mariage Frères
2194 tasting notes

OM NOM NOM.

I’m doing an experiment. That experiment is weaning myself off of coffees every day. Hahaha. We’ll see how that works.

I needed something strong. Something flavourful. Something good with eggnog. And this tea is excellent.

If I could find it locally, I’d totally buy it. So delicious. But I do have some other strong black teas, so I think I’ll be OK. :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank CHA THAÏ BOPF by Mariage Frères
2194 tasting notes

As an eggnog latte.

:D

In other news, it’s raining lots but I have to go out and do shopping. Oh how I wish I had a car… :/

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank CHA THAÏ BOPF by Mariage Frères
2194 tasting notes

A tea from MissB! Thank you!

So since I love the intensity of a balled CTc tea, it’s no surprise that I love this one. im drinking it right now hot, with brown sugar and coconut milk. I need to open a can of sweetened condensed milk I think… That would be divine.

The flavour is super malty and thick, lightly spiced. I don’t know that I taste chocolate notes, but this is what I think of (minus the star anise!) when I think of a Thai tea.

Yum! So glad I snagged the rest of it at the tea meet.

2 minutes at 195F. Definitely resteepable. I’ll be making iced tea at some point as well.

Preparation
2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

yay!

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This is interestingly a bit almondy today in my travel mug.

Pretty good. I don’t know that I’d hunt it down again though, even with as freaking adorable as the little muslin tea bags are.

Sil

it shows up at holts every year if i’m not remembering wrong

Fjellrev

Yeah I think I saw this one there this holiday season.

OMGsrsly

Oh right. I tried to answer on my phone and it didn’t work.

“Hunting it down” means going out of my way to get it. And this isn’t worth waiting till Christmas and then paying the $25-30 for a box of bags. Even though they’re cute. If I buy a tea at Holts 9/10 times it’ll be Chandernagor. :)

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