87
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1292 tasting notes

ahhhhh now THIS is what I remember! my terrible marco polo experience from last time has now been banished from memory and replaced by this delicious tea sensation.
Fruity, floral, black tea. Mmmmm.
My only regret is that I played with the steep time and cut it down to 4 min. In contradiction to my tea-loving past, I like the flavours to come out strong. I like it best just before it starts to get bitter which can be a little difficult to time.
There was a day when I loved “weak” tea. Funny, I never thought I would see the day where I would evolve to enjoy it so!

Indigobloom

whew, what a relief! thanks QG :)

aisling of tea

We need to find a place to buy this in Toronto!

Indigobloom

I know!!!
Apparently the distillery district has some Mariage Freres, but I’m not sure about which flavours exactly.

ashmanra

Do you have a Williams-Sonoma there? They carry it in the US.

Indigobloom

yes we do! I shall check it out, thanks for the tip!

Jessie

This is the cafe that sells MF in Toronto (two locations): http://www.balzacscoffee.com/. I was told they don’t order stock frequently so what they have’ll depend on when you go, but they seem pretty helpful and if you call ahead they’d be able to tell you what’s in stock. They have Marco Polo and the vanilla rooibos as well as a few others to go, so I assume those would be the options to buy.

Indigobloom

ahhhh thx Jessie :)
Now I know where to go in the DD! Too bad it’s such a pain to get there… ah well, it’s so worth the walk!!

aisling of tea

I was at Sherway Gardens today and checked out their Williams-Sonoma. They did indeed have this tea…for $32. I promptly put it back on the shelf XD. They also had some Harney & Sons (English Breakfast and Paris) but they were marked up considerably as well. The Blue Banana in Kensington has a bigger selection of H&S teas for better prices.

ashmanra

OH MY! Did you that Harney sachet tins are only 10.95 at Barnes and Noble but are $16.95 at Williams-Sonoma for the SAME TIN? I have only purchased Mariages Freres at Southern Season so I have no idea how much it costs at WS in the USA.

aisling of tea

Yeah, that’s the general feeling I get from W-S. “Oh, hey, our stuff might look a bit nicer than the stuff from Wal-Mart or Sears, it works the same, but we’re gonna jack up the price anyway.” Designer kitchen stores make me sad…thank goodness I live five minutes away from IKEA!

Just curious, how much does it cost at Southern Season?

ashmanra

I am pretty sure we paid about $22 for a tin of their Vanille des Iles, which is why we switched to Harney and Sons Vanilla Black! Much cheaper, and tastes as good to me! I think I paid about the same for Marco Polo.

aisling of tea

Yowza. Of course, I’ve paid that for tins of DT, but MF’s tins seem so small! Harney’s too, for that matter. I guess it really just depends on how much that tea is worth to you.

ashmanra

The MF tins are 3 1/2 oz or 100 grams, so that is a bit pricey! I think we pay about $24 for one pound of Harney Vanilla Black, so it is quite a savings! But there are one or two special teas I don’t mind paying a bit for, especially if they resteep well.

aisling of tea

Yeah, I paid $22 for a tin of Whisky White today, but it’s so very worth it to me. Still made my heart stop at the price, though. I need to find a good Vanilla black, vanilla is my one true love.

Indigobloom

the price we pay for tea… and yet I will never have enough. Still, $22 for whisky white! I hope they keep that one around :)

aisling of tea

XD Have you see my cupboard lately? I so feel your pain. So far it’s still only around for Father’s Day, but hopefully it has staying power.

Indigobloom

I think enough people like it that they will keep it. Fingers crossed! SO much better than buttered rum, IMO :)

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Indigobloom

whew, what a relief! thanks QG :)

aisling of tea

We need to find a place to buy this in Toronto!

Indigobloom

I know!!!
Apparently the distillery district has some Mariage Freres, but I’m not sure about which flavours exactly.

ashmanra

Do you have a Williams-Sonoma there? They carry it in the US.

Indigobloom

yes we do! I shall check it out, thanks for the tip!

Jessie

This is the cafe that sells MF in Toronto (two locations): http://www.balzacscoffee.com/. I was told they don’t order stock frequently so what they have’ll depend on when you go, but they seem pretty helpful and if you call ahead they’d be able to tell you what’s in stock. They have Marco Polo and the vanilla rooibos as well as a few others to go, so I assume those would be the options to buy.

Indigobloom

ahhhh thx Jessie :)
Now I know where to go in the DD! Too bad it’s such a pain to get there… ah well, it’s so worth the walk!!

aisling of tea

I was at Sherway Gardens today and checked out their Williams-Sonoma. They did indeed have this tea…for $32. I promptly put it back on the shelf XD. They also had some Harney & Sons (English Breakfast and Paris) but they were marked up considerably as well. The Blue Banana in Kensington has a bigger selection of H&S teas for better prices.

ashmanra

OH MY! Did you that Harney sachet tins are only 10.95 at Barnes and Noble but are $16.95 at Williams-Sonoma for the SAME TIN? I have only purchased Mariages Freres at Southern Season so I have no idea how much it costs at WS in the USA.

aisling of tea

Yeah, that’s the general feeling I get from W-S. “Oh, hey, our stuff might look a bit nicer than the stuff from Wal-Mart or Sears, it works the same, but we’re gonna jack up the price anyway.” Designer kitchen stores make me sad…thank goodness I live five minutes away from IKEA!

Just curious, how much does it cost at Southern Season?

ashmanra

I am pretty sure we paid about $22 for a tin of their Vanille des Iles, which is why we switched to Harney and Sons Vanilla Black! Much cheaper, and tastes as good to me! I think I paid about the same for Marco Polo.

aisling of tea

Yowza. Of course, I’ve paid that for tins of DT, but MF’s tins seem so small! Harney’s too, for that matter. I guess it really just depends on how much that tea is worth to you.

ashmanra

The MF tins are 3 1/2 oz or 100 grams, so that is a bit pricey! I think we pay about $24 for one pound of Harney Vanilla Black, so it is quite a savings! But there are one or two special teas I don’t mind paying a bit for, especially if they resteep well.

aisling of tea

Yeah, I paid $22 for a tin of Whisky White today, but it’s so very worth it to me. Still made my heart stop at the price, though. I need to find a good Vanilla black, vanilla is my one true love.

Indigobloom

the price we pay for tea… and yet I will never have enough. Still, $22 for whisky white! I hope they keep that one around :)

aisling of tea

XD Have you see my cupboard lately? I so feel your pain. So far it’s still only around for Father’s Day, but hopefully it has staying power.

Indigobloom

I think enough people like it that they will keep it. Fingers crossed! SO much better than buttered rum, IMO :)

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Bio

Let’s see… I’m a tea and workout fanatic, I work in HR, and most of my friends consider me to be an egg. White on the outside, Asian on the inside :)
-from philosophy to food, I love it all
Otherwise, what you see is what you get! I can be very straightforward and yet shy.

Also, I’ve started taking tea sommelier classes and it is an absolute blast! Well, so far I’ve only finished the first out of eight courses, but I am really looking forward to the next one.

Anyhow, if your curious as to how I rate things, this is how I work…

0-25
Like eating dirt, or some other unsanitary indelicacy that mentioning in my profile here would likely get me banned.
I don’t think I’ve found cause to banish a tea to the wasteland yet though so who knows what it’d inspire ;P

25-50
You know that expression “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”? I imagine drinking that water would be terrible enough to warrant this rating!
I’d never make my enemy drink this, but perhaps I’d throw it at them. Good thing I don’t have any enemies!

50-70
This is “tea”?? I tried finishing the cup… but my body rejected it. There may be others who enjoy this tea, but it’s beyond me!

70-80
I tried liking it, and I can almost get there! I certainly don’t hate it, but something is holding me back. Allergies? Men in white suits? who knows… certainly not me!

80-90
Lovely tea! Not my all time fave but close. I likely wouldn’t repurchase, but may decide to based on many factors: price, accessibility, whether it fills a “tea gap”, medicinal applications, and how often I crave it.
Every once in awhile I find the sweet spot that bumps these up to 90+. Those are the days I need to buy a lotto ticket!

90-95
Sweet Camellia! this is realllly good tea! Don’t talk to me until I’ve finished my cup…

95-100
Tea of the gods. I would do anything to get my hands on more of this liquid gold!

Location

Toronto (Mississauga, but I work in TO)

Website

http://hrslinger.wordpress.com/

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