Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea
Flavors
Fruity, Malt, Raspberry, Strawberry, Vanilla, Flowers, Caramel, Berries, Jam
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf, Sachet
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Sivasubramanian
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 36 oz / 1057 ml

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239 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Yesterday's sprinkles gave way to real rain. You can just feel the tired old earth around me go "ahhhhhh." I woke up craving this. I must have needed an "ahhhh" too. This is lovely and fruity...” Read full tasting note
    97
    gmathis 1766 tasting notes
  • “SIPDOWN! I loved this when I first got it, but I did find it to be finicky - finicky, but worth it. As long as I keep the temp around 203F and the time around three minutes this is great. Hubby...” Read full tasting note
    ashmanra 1876 tasting notes
  • “It's been forever since I've had this tea. But not because I don't love it. It's actually the opposite - I adore this tea so much that I haven't been able to force myself to open the new tin of...” Read full tasting note
    90
    aug3zimm 911 tasting notes
  • “Sipdown! Had a small cup of this before tucking the rest ofth is away For cavocorax :) while I enjoy this one, it's not my favourite of the MF teas that I've had the pleasure of trying.” Read full tasting note
    82
    Silaena 5357 tasting notes

From Mariage Frères

Mariage Frères’ most famous secret is this mysterious blend that takes you to distant lands and strange countries. The aroma of Chinese and Tibetan flowers and fruit lend it a uniquely velvety taste. Its extraordinary bouquet makes Marco Polo the most legendary of flavoured teas.

Succès incontesté de la Maison Mariage Frères, ce mélange secret vous fera voyager dans les plus lointaines et mystérieuses contrées. Les senteurs de fleurs et de fruits de Chine et du Tibet lui confèrent un arôme velouté unique. Un bouquet extraordinaire pour le plus mythique des thés parfumés.

About Mariage Frères View company

Company description not available.

239 Tasting Notes

85
542 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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83
372 tasting notes

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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92
218 tasting notes

This tea… is gorgeous!

It tastes just like red-berry concentrated syrups that my grandmother used to make. You would add water to it to get a nice, refreshing juice. The last time I had it was probably nearly 20 years ago.

There exist some blends that try to imitate this kind of syrup, at least in Poland I’ve known some, they are usually herbal and bagged teas. Needless to say, they all would taste quite artificial. This one does not.

It retains this berry syrup flavor but also charms you with its delicately astringent base. And it feels like drinking this refreshing juice when I was a little girl. So amazing. I would not, not in a million years, expect this tea to take me back to an almost forgotten flavor of my childhood. Thank you, Mariage Frères!

And thank you, Anna, for a sample of this! I am glad that I like this one so much because it seems to be one of the more US-available of the French teas :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Anna

…and you’re officially a Mariage Frères fan! My devious plan worked!

Kat_Maria

And I have so many more from them to try, the sheer thought of it makes me want to squeal! :D

Sil

so wish i’d had time to organise MF with you before you left anna… though with terris teas it’s the last thing i need lol

Anna

Haha, aw, there’s always time, Sil!

Oh, and Kat – I got your package! It was there waiting for me when I came back on Sunday, so it got there some time last week. You sent me SO MUCH STUFF, and wow, thank you for being so thoughtful concerning my Tea Projects. ll be so much fun trying everything – thanks again!

Kat_Maria

Hell yeah, I am so glad you got it! I hope you will enjoy the teas! I am surely enjoying the ones from you. I was just getting ready to choose a green one from your swap :)

Anna

Oh, the site ate part of my note because I made a heart, haha. Steepster can be SO unromantic sometimes. I think it just said, ’I’m writing notes for everything as soon as I get a chance to try it, and it’ll be…’ and the rest you have there. =)

And yeah, also totally glad it arrived. I love sending packages, because it’s always like a small act of faith – it’s traveling, on its own, all intrepid. I usually think of my packages as the milk carton in that Blur video, but I’m terrible about anthropomorphing things.

Anyway, let me know if you’d like some more of this – I hardcore prefer the green one, and doubt I’ll use up all of the black.

Kat_Maria

You are right about packages. While I hate the idea of them getting lost, I kind of like the risk of that involved. The way that sending them makes you feel, like you have no control over it any more, even with tracking, anything might happen to it, really. And you cannot say that about many things in this digital age. We always know where our friends and family are, we can always stay in touch, no matter what. Whenever you send a bigger package it’s like people sending their children to faraway boarding school in the 19th century – hopefully they’ll get a letter back from them, 2 weeks later, in which kids say they are okay ;)

But yeah, anyway! I would love some more of this. We might organize another swap :D I just ordered from Lupicia a few days ago and I think you might be interested in some of my picks :)

Kat_Maria

Oh, and the milk carton in the Blur video mention (here I would put a heart, but I remembered it’s better not to).

Anna

Ooooh. You said Lupicia! Well, I’m all over this now, haha.

And thanks for nailing my ambiguous package feels so perfectly.

Kat_Maria

Great, it’s set then! I actually got a notice not so long ago from Lupicia that they’ve shipped my order. Now I just have to wait so that it crawls from west to east. I am NOT good at waiting ;D

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73
504 tasting notes

1.5 tbsp for 375 ml
Flavours are a bit strong. Black tea is a bit too astringent for my taste. The berry flavouring in the tea tastes artificial and is overwhelming. I will try to infuse at a lower temperature for a shorter amount of time

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML
Sil

try just under boiling for 2m45s

Raritea

I’m recording those settings in my app for the next time I try my new tea! Thanks Sil!!

Sil

this also makes a really nice cold brew in summer…i started to prefer it that way after a while.

keychange

Is 5 tsp for about 13 oz typical for this tea?

Raritea

I usually measure in tablespoons. Not sure how well it translates when you’re measuring out tea. I might try to back off to 1 tbsp next time as well. I generally assume that 1 tea spoon = 0.3 tablespoons. I prefer the tablespoon because I can’t seem to get those long white tea leaves to stay in such a tiny space.

keychange

Oh ok. I tend to be a bit of an overleafer anyway; I just wasn’t sure if mf called for several tsp in one cup or not…because you never know.

Sil

1 Tablespoon is roughly 3 tsps, depending on your tablespoon and your teaspoons..

Angrboda

I would say it’s significantly overleafed. If I was making it, I’d use one teaspoon for that amount of water and steep it only 2-3 minutes and less than boiling. I find in general that flavoured teas give me the best result if I make them the same temperature as I would an oolong, so it’s been ages since I’ve steeped a flavoured with boiling (on purpose).

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70
2260 tasting notes

Sipdown (203/205)!

I’ve done a really good job with sipdowns today! Yay me!

Anyway, made the last pf my sample of this from VariaTEA in a timolino and drank it on the walk home from work. That means it sat in the timolino for a good, solid 8 hours. I point this out because it wasn’t even the SLIGHTEST bit bitter – so that’s fantastic.

However, as far as the other taste goes I found it nice, if maybe a little too floral (I don’t mind floral teas too much, but I dislike that flavour quality a lot in black blends specifically). On a whole, this is SO generic though! Like, if I hadn’t made it myself and known what it was there’s nothing about this tea that distinguishes it enough for me to go “Oh yes, that’s a cup of Marco Polo! Nothing else like it!” and for that reason most of all I’m glad this is gone and out of the way.

Sil

Ooh almost back under 200!

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90
31 tasting notes

Okay okay, so I finally see what all the fuss is about. And now that I have tried it, I am torn.

First, this is an awesome tea. It is essentially the closest thing to my all-time favorite black tea (TWG 1837 Signature black) I have ever had. It has all the rich and dark wild European berries you’d find from blackberries in Germany’s Bavarian woodlands to the prized bilberries people hunt for in Lithuania’s peat-covered pine forests where they filmed “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves”. It successfully muddles them with fresh black Vietnamese sugarcane you’d buy at a roadside vendor on the way from Hanoi to Mai Chau. It’s got that unique hint of wild and rare flowers in the background. The black tea adds that subtle but perfect touch of tannins, as if you brewed your cuppa in some monastery’s old wood barrel they once used to age berry wines for decades. It’s fragrant, it’s fruity, it’s rich, it would have earned a perfect score of 100 and made it to my all-time top list, were it not for the fact I was already spoiled and had tried something a little bit better.

Marco Polo’s berries are ripe, dark, and sweet, but they’re missing that handful of indulgent over-ripe berries, the kind that fall apart with the slightest agitation and dye your hands deep blue and purple hues. It’s also missing that hint of hot caramel your mom would make on the stove with fresh cream and butter from the farmer next door. And this is why I am torn. TWG’s 1837 seems like a copy of Marco Polo (don’t let the 1837 fool you as those guys only started in 2008), but it’s not some cheap Asian knockoff. They actually managed to improve the already decadent flavors and even enrich them.

So, I love this stuff but it doesn’t dethrone my current favorite (scented/flavored) black tea. Bonus points, however, as this is much more readily available and cheaper, and I can have MF ship it direct to my house. Downside of 1837 is that I’ve tried the bags from Dean & DeLuca and they don’t do any justice to the stuff you buy at their salons in Asia.

I can’t wait to try them side by side, that should happen in about 6-7 weeks once I restock the 1837. But for now, I am sooooo happy to have over a pound of this in my cabinet, I will be drinking it daily for sure. I’m liking Mariage Freres more and more with every new tea I try from them – and while I haven’t moved on to their “purist” (read: not scented/blended/flavored) teas, it’s something I will definitely have to consider next time I order or drop in on them.

Flavors: Berries, Flowers, Jam

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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78
17 tasting notes

I don’t typically like flavoured black teas (other than Earl Grey and bergamot-based teas), and Marco Polo is a rare exception. It’s flavourful without being overwhelming, making it easy to drink, and perfect for a cold morning.

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

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99
22 tasting notes

Delicate and delicious, full of flavor!

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82
1 tasting notes

A delicious tea with or without milk, especially comforting on a rainy day.

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5 tasting notes

Very good, but not as good as French Breakfast imo.

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