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 1767 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 5360 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

80
922 tasting notes

Sippity-doo-down. Thanks again to Sil for making my Marco Polo dreams come true!

I think my favourite strawberry tea is still Steeps’ Chocolate Dipped Strawberry, though.

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94
260 tasting notes

Feeling inspired by JacquelineM’s post the other day, I decided to give this a try with sugar and milk. I almost always do my tea straight because milk and I don’t always get along so well in the morning and it’s carried through into my tea habits throughout the day. However, I am slowly learning that sometimes adding a dash of something can help bring out and bolster flavors in ways I could never imagine a tea capable of achieving so thoroughly.

This is a tea that I can firmly say that, for me, benefitted from additives.

Strawberries and I don’t always see eye to eye, because quite often they can be too tart for my liking. But, dress them up with some freshly whipped, lightly-sweetened cream and a warmed, spongey shortcake and I will nom that shizz regardless.

With a short tilt of cream and a shake of sugar, this tea boarded the train in Berryville and got off in the Hamlet of Strawberry Shortcake. The heavy richness from the cream swirled around the lightness of the strawberry and the sugar lifted the tartness just a smidge, but not enough to make it taste fake. And somehow, somewhere in there I was definitely getting that distinct flavor of those little bowl-shaped store-bought sponge cakes that are sweet with a bit of roughness and breadiness to them.

I never liked that Nestle Quik Strawberry Milk stuff, or even strawberry milkshakes, but this is like what I think would happen if Strawberry Quik grew up. Get outta here, cartoon rabbit.

I’m very happy to know now that I can get two distinctly strawberry tasting, though different, versions of this tea – one for lighter fare and one when I’m seeking out the richer fulfillment of strawberry shortcake. It’s especially lovely now, as I am a bit past indulging in winter and ready for the sunnier landscape of spring. Jumping into summer for a spell doesn’t feel unwanted.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Laura

“nom that shizz” – i LOVE your way with words. :D

takgoti

Hehe, thanks! It’s how I roll.

JacquelineM

I’m glad you enjoyed it with cream and sugar too :)

Auggy

Love this one – and I gotta try this one with sugar and milk now!

teaplz

That’s it. I don’t tend to doctor my tea up. At all. But for this, I just might. Put a little Very Vanilla Silk in there… a sprinkle of sugar… I can see it working out.

takgoti

@JacquelineM I might not have tried it had it not been for your log, so thanks!

@Auggy @teaplz Seriously worth it!

laurenpressley

Between this and @JacquelineM’s notes, I am going to have to move this tea up my list of teas to buy!!

takgoti

If I had enough left I’d send some your way, but I’m nearly out of it! It’s worth the slightly heavier price tag, in my opinion.

laurenpressley

Aww, thanks for even thinking of it! Seriously, though, with all the great reviews, I need to get a container of it. :)

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93
1212 tasting notes

I have been really anxious lately and I think it all revolves around the fact that a couple weeks ago basically out of nowhere my grandma had to be moved into a nursing home and this weekend will be the first time I see her and it completely terrifies me. Nothing has really made me feel better but with my nose over a cup of Marco Polo I actually felt like I could breathe well for once between this and pollenmania. I have not been getting anything done like I should and I can’t bring myself to do it. So now I have a microeconomics test tomorrow and really no idea what it is on.

It’s not that it reminds me of anything, it just smells right. Malty and fruity, a bit like chocolate, a bit floral. I think the first time I had it I put in milk and sugar immediately but I think I may like it better without. It’s a bit astringent, but so creamy. And then there’s the berry taste, and the floral finish. It’s really relaxing right now, yet you have to keep on thinking about it because it’s so complex.

On an indifference curve, there would be no substitute for Marco Polo, and your budget line is just going to have to deal with the fact you actually need to have this tea. That should be good for tomorrow, right?

Bonnie

I know that if I ever have to be in a nursing home, my daughter and grandkids will bring a thermos or whatever of tea along to share with me. What a delight it will be to look forward to that special time. Having tea to give to the caregivers now and then at the nursing home will make life better for grandma too. Small kindnesses pay off. The old people who receive no attention are the ones who end up with neglect and often more health issues. I am glad you care. I don’t mind being old. When I am feeble…it will be another lesson for me and for my family just as it was when I took care of my parents and grandparents.

Cheryl

It will be hard to do Amanda, but she will be so glad to see you. If you are scared, imagine how she is feeling … (uggg).

momo

I know. She has dementia brought on by Parkinson’s and it just absolutely scares me because like when she would say she heard piano music, it was just like maybe it’s just something like the TV combining with outdoor noise. But then it turned into what could almost make a movie in October, and then two nights in a row she went outside when my grandpa was somewhere else in the house, and she fell down both times (and had already fallen and broken her wrist in December) and the doctor said it would be best to do that. Like I just absolutely cannot deal with how scary it is that your brain is capable of just absolutely screwing everything up about your life like that so fast. She’s not too far from where my parents & grandpa live but it just sucks because a couple days beforehand I was planning to help them out for a week in May while my parents are on a cruise and then suddenly it’s different.

Tamm

I’m really sorry that this is such a stressful time for you! I’m really glad that you can talk to us about it. I know that this can be very difficult. I can remember how different my grandma was near the end of her life. I hope I can send some of this love and care your way!

Dylan Oxford

Yeah, dementia is a tough beast. When I was younger, my grandmother was going through similar issues (dementia caused by Alzheimer’s). My mother (along with me and my sister) moved into her house to help her out… and it definitely had some sobering moments. She was slowly being de-aged by her mind, to the point where she didn’t recognize herself in the mirror (and therefore called the police on her reflection). It’s tough, and I have nothing but sympathy for you during this time.

Cheryl

Talk with your parents and grandpa about how you are feeling. Chances are, they are feeling the same way. Figure out how you can best help. Sometimes it’s the small things and most importantly, having no regrets. Hang in there!

p.s. If she fell twice, I hope she was diagnosed properly. I don’t trust first opinions any more : (

momo

Thank you all, I really needed to get it out somewhere and I thought this would be the best place.

She has macular degeneration too and was going outside at night so I really don’t think she had any idea where she was going :/ At least she wasn’t hurt the times outside and she only was in the driveway. This is a second doctor now who moved her after she spent a couple days in a hospital’s program. Whatever medication her original doctor put her on was not making things better at all so now hopefully it’s leveled out with more medical care.

I made some brownies for her last year because she loved them so much when I brought them I guess for Christmas, so I am going to make them again to take her some as a surprise.

SimplyJenW

Cyberhugs. You are a good grand-daughter. It is tough to see what the mind does when aging for sure. Hold very fast onto your memories of when she was well, and realize she would be in that mind if she could. The memories will get you through the rough spots with the dementia.

Indigobloom

Grandparent troubles are stressful. She will be okay, and I know she’ll love those brownies! she is lucky to have you big hugs

Indigobloom

and this is where I come to vent all the time! the best place for it I think :)

Kittenna

hugs My granny had Alzheimer’s, and it was a pretty scary time when she had to be moved into a home. Apparently my grampa put up with far more than he should have before she moved. However, she lived two provinces away so I was not as involved…
I hope she enjoys your brownies :)

Veronica

It won’t be easy, but you will be so glad you went. I hope it goes well, and good luck with your test. I know how hard it can be to focus on school when yucky stuff is happening with family. Also, I teared up when I read that you were baking your grandma brownies. You are a good grand-daughter.

Bonnie

I hope you understand the humor in this, because I am old and have a brain disfunction, but when my grandma got dementia she thought she was at a resort and I hope I have Cruise Ship dementia! Sure my grandma slipped away from reality but we learned to give our time for visits, to keep her memories for her and to honor her in small ways like doing her hair and holding her hand.

SimplyJenW

I am in agreement with Bonnie! I had one Grandma that in her dementia created a world that tied all of her happiest places in her life together. In a way, it was how her brain protected her. BTW, a Cruise Ship dementia sounds weirdly fun!

momo

Thank you again everyone. I can only wish that she starts to think she is somewhere better instead of the stuff that has been happening. For the most part it’s just been oddly innocent: a boy and girl live under their deck and are a band, so she hears their music, and one night they got married and celebrated in the street, but there’s been some scary stuff too. But I do feel comfortable about the whole music part, because I know every night she would sleep while listening to music.

Everything everyone has said really means a lot, hugs to you all (and cups of tea of course too).

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65
2031 tasting notes

This is definitely one of those teas that I wasn’t super excited to go back to. This one less because it was bad than because it just didn’t wow me like expected. But everyone also says that you have to try this one with milk and sugar because it’s like strawberries and cream and so delicious… so I had to bring it home and try it!

I think I do enjoy it more with the milk and sugar… the strawberry flavor is very nice, and I actually get more florals with it this way, which I wouldn’t have expected with the milk. The milk helps to smooth out the odd tartness that I taste with MF black teas. Overall a very tasty pot of tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

omg I’m having a cuppa this as I type!! hehe. So good =D

cteresa

I was having an argument with somebody the other day , my argument being “seriously, try putting sugar and milk, it does improve some teas”. My friend did not believe me, more fool her. But yeah, it can work for some teas.

ashmanra

This one also gets a lower temp and shorter steep for me. That really helps. Made that way, I find it delicious with milk and sugar.

Dinosara

I don’t think I ever tried milk in my tea until I accidentally ordered a hot tea while traveling that turned out to be just Lipton (I thought the shop would have more selection/better tea). I needed to doctor it up a bit, so in went some milk and sugar, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! I am glad I found a way to drink some teas in my cupboard that otherwise would just sit there…

TeaBrat

@Dinosara – I’d like to try it. Let me know if you want to swap any.

Dinosara

Oh sorry Amy! All I had was a sample and I have basically used it completely up now. If I had any more I would have sent it to you.

TeaBrat

no worries!

Auggy

I’m with ashmanra on this one – it seems to be happier for me at a lower steep temp. I typically do 195° for about 2:30 and that seems to cut out some astringency and make it so lovely. It’s my “I’m having tea in an English garden” tea. :)

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65
2068 tasting notes

I have wanted to try this tea for so long. To me, it is THE tea you think of when someone mentions Mariage Frere so I was very excited when I received some in a swap from The Teaist. However, sipping on it now, as I procrastinate by watching Reign, I can’t help but feel sort of disappointed. This tea is smooth and has a nice hint of strawberry but there isn’t much more to it than that. Maybe I am crazy but I just don’t see what the fuss is all about. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a bad cup, just not really special either. I am glad I have more of this tea to play around with but as it tastes now, I don’t think I will be too heartbroken when it is gone. Thank you The Teaist for sending some my way. This isn’t an easy tea to get a hold of in Canada so you certainly helped me satisfy my curiosity.

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

It’s not my favourite….so many others I like better from MF

ifjuly

yeah, agreed, right down to the anticipation. but granted, for me it’s partly because i’ve slowly learned i’m not wild for strawberry flavored black tea. but i hear ya.

VariaTEA

Of the few MF teas I have tried, I can definitely say there are better options. However, none have blown me away yet (which secretly makes me very happy because I no longer feel the need to spend a billion dollars on their site :P).

Cavocorax

I think it was my first MF tea, w hich may explain why I rated it so highly!

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97
1054 tasting notes

This tea is magnificent. Beyond every expectation for sure, transendant, and just so, so delicious.
My sister gave me a little bit of this several months ago for my birthday, and I’ve been greedily hording it. Well, enough of that! Tea is for drinking! I still have enough for a small cup, when I will enjoy on a lovely day, and then, one day when I have been very good indeed, I wil order a full size of this for myself.

JustJames

what a lovely sister.

Rosehips

I’m fond of her. A fellow tea sibling!

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69
2606 tasting notes

Sipdown! 821.

Thanks to momo for this one. I don’t mind this one, but really am not getting anything other than “flavoured black” from it… which could be an age issue. It’s a tea I would like to try again, just because of all the glowing reviews, which mine is not. Ah well!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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51 tasting notes

Time to try a new black tea! That always makes me happy. First time having the fancy Mariage Freres, thank you momo! Mariage Frerraaaaarre ;p
The dry leaf smells slightly fruity on top of a strong black base.
Tried to make a half pot. Good with sugar. Its just a plain, good, nice tea.
I want their new teas and awesome tins, especially the chocolate one and the macaron one. Why on earth they have to be close to $40 per 4 oz is beyond me. Unless I’m calculating the currency exchange wrong which is possible.

TeaBrat

The tins are around $20 – $24 and you can get them here: http://www.markethallfoods.com. I got one at Williams Sonoma last year for around the same price.

CupofTree

Oh wow that is awesome! Thank you for that link! So getting some.

cteresa

Depends on your currency and where you are, but indeed 40 dollars (if american!) for 100 grams (I guess? though 100 grams is closer to 3 ounces) is unbelievably expensive!

The regular price in France is 13 euros for the tin of 100 grams – that should be dunno, 16, 17 dollars. In my other EU country I can get this from 16 to 20 euros, depending on seller is really filling their pockets! 40 dollars, yikes, I love this but it´s not worth that much.

The non-tinned version it´s 8.5 euros per 100 grams directly from them, and I can buy it for about that price or 9 euros per 100 grams – that would be dunno 10,11 dollars per 100 grams, which I already think steep for flavoured tea (but worth it. But then again Mariage Fréres has a talent for pricing things precisely at the upper limit of what i would consider paying!)

CupofTree

Oh wow, $16 or $17 sounds much better. I was also factoring in shipping as well but yeah, its so expensive to get it from them!
Thankfully the link Amy oh posted sells the classic ones cheaper which is awesome but I still want the new ones. http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/UK/collection-heritage-gourmand.html

cteresa

Ah if you were talking about special edition tins then the price really is like that! Their price there is 25 euros, here I would get it for at least 30 euros and 40 dollars seems not too extortionate then! I never get those limited special edition tins of theirs so not really sure if worthwhile (well so far I have thought it unlikely to me!). I have tried some of the special tins tea before (maharajas and some other) and it was not better than the classical teas. I think the special editions are more geared at being bought as gifts or for tin collectors rather than tea lovers.

I admit I love and lust after those tins always and this new line seems appealing. Be careful of one detail, these tins are paper lined – meaning they can not be washed or steamed and reused as easily and will show damage soon. I live tins and admit to have considered it, but paper lined tins are a no-go for me (TWG for example)

CupofTree

Oh really? I had no idea they were paper lined, thank you for pointing that out! They make it look like a real tin in the photo. That certainly changes things, I feel better for not needing to have it so much now :)

cteresa

A lot of the special teas are in real tins, I have had them in my hand and drools oh wow (though not 30, 40 euros worth of wow). But these “cakes and desserts” tins are paper lined “It has been lovingly wrapped in a colourful, paper-covered canister with decorative silver motifs harking back to the blissful days of yore.”. It is probably very nice thick and somewhat resistant paper, I suppose like TWG tins if you know them (drools more), but I do not think that no paper will resist 5 years of use, and certainly not being machine washed or steamed fiercely which is what i do to tins to reuse them! I avoid those gorgeous washi paper japanese tins precisely because of that as well.

CupofTree

I have some washi tins and they are perfect on the inside and the paper on the outside holds up pretty nicely as well but I haven’t had them for long.
I don’t know about TWG but wooaaa I just looked them up and found this http://www.deandeluca.com/coffee-tea-cocoa/tea-by-type/silver-moon-tea.aspx?ref_code=GoogleMerchant&gclid=CPL1wcGf8rMCFQ45nAodvyoAYQ
want!!

cteresa

TWG has got the nicest, nicest tins. And they have this little inner stopper even, which I really like. I have been flirting like mad with their tins. BUT here their tins cost 20+ euros, 21, 22, 23 something like that, a bit more than Mariage Freres´ classic teas which I know and trust already. And the beautiful tins are printed, paper sort of glued strongly but is just paper, not sure if they would resist being washed or even just normal wear and tear. Real tins are different.

And the TWG teas themselves smell delicious but not that amazing and the reviews of their teas I have read are a bit “meh” so have avoided even thinking of getting one. I can get 3 *100 grams of loose Mariage Freres or Theodor tea or from other sellers I know and trust by the cost of one TWG tin, no way. Speaking of tins, one day I will buy a Kusmi tea for the tin, as soon as I find one of their teas I like enough! I found one which was nice enough, but LOL I do not like the tin for that one.

TeaBrat

Yes those TWG tins are lovely, aren’t they?

CupofTree

That happens to me all the time! When a tea company has an awesome tin but you really don’t want the tea that’s in it. and the tea that you DO like is in a tin you don’t like. I hate when happens haha

cteresa

It happens to me a lot – or you like the tin, the tea seems interesting but is way too expensive. The pains of loving tea tins! With Kusmi, I will love one of their teas (with a pretty tin) yet.

I never have enough tins and I think tea keeps so much better in tins than in anything else ( opaque ziplocs are not bad either but not pretty) so I have been improvising tins. I reuse tins which are OK for tea or ugly tea tins by wrapping pretty paper around them and putting a label on them, it´s fun if not too durable. And buy empty caddies now and then. If you are into flowery girly stuff, Greengate tea tins are so so lustworthy.

CupofTree

I just looked up greengate, those are some really girl tins haha.
I love the Kusmi tins!

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80
389 tasting notes

I haven’t had it for a while and in my memory it wasn’t my kind of tea.
Kindly cteresa sent me a large sample of it as I can drink it again.

It’s a a nice tea, smooth tea base, round, with strawberry and vanilla taste. And that’s it for me.
I’ve never understood why this one especially is the best seller of the brand – It’s a nice tea but really some others are really better to my opinion.
Now I have to confess strawberry is not my favourite berry and by the way not my favourite flavouring.
Having said that, Marco Polo is, without reserve, a very good tea but I do prefer a lot of others MF.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
cteresa

I love strawberry, so this has a special place in my heart – but I think I might love Marco Polo Rouge even better. And strawberry is one of the most difficult flavours to get right I think. But you are right, MF has so many other great blends – I think of their regular tinned blends my particular favorite might be Thé sur le Nil. Nobody loves it as I do, though!

I am worried this tin I have of Marco Polo has aged a bit, I think it is noticeably less intense than what it should I think.

I will never understand one thing – why call this Marco Polo?!? Marco Polo makes me think of spices and smokey caravans and something medieval, or maybe Venice. Not this so very refined so very french (compliment) strawberries and vanilla tea.

CHAroma

Marco Polo makes me think of playing the game by the same name in a pool. Marco….Polo!!

cteresa

I never heard of a game called Marco Polo, what is it?

CHAroma

Really?? It takes place in a swimming pool. One person is “it” and closes their eyes. That person then has to try and tag someone else to become “it.” Since his/her eyes are closed, he/she can only find the other people by hearing them. So, the “it” person calls out “MARCO!!!” And then the other people reply “POLO!” And you just keep saying it over and over and over. “Marco…Polo…Marco…Polo…” I played it all the time when I was a kid.

cteresa

Never heard of it, sorry.

But keep in mind there were not a lot of private swimming pools around when I was a kid, maybe even now – and that sounds precisely like the type of game adults will stop you from playing.

CHAroma

I don’t see why they would. It’s harmless.

cteresa

I mean that it sounds noisy and splashy and active, and so likely to bother other people in the people, at least in public pools (there are not a lot of private family pools, at least not in the circles I know!)

Ysaurella

well I never heard of this game neither, probably not a game we play in Europe -that sounds funny ! I’ll see MF blend with another eye now…

Sil

we used to play it in fields outside as well :)

Ysaurella

Teresa, why Marco Polo for this tea…my personal feeling is Marco Polo was an adventurer, a merchant… he went in various countries but especially those where tea was present…China, Tibet,Mongolia…but he was Italian…can we consider this Marco Polo blend is an homage to his travels and to his european origin ? Italy was cultivating strawberries in gardens at Marco Polo’s period.
It may be exagerated …but…it is just my feeling :)

TheTeaFairy

Hi y’all! Don’t really know why the association with strawberries, but I do remember those:

http://www.amazon.com/Marco-Polo-Candy-Strawberry-7-Ounce/dp/B00472OV02

Just wanted to put my 2cent in the conversation, haha!

Ysaurella

how that’s funny !

Shmiracles

haha i always thought of the pool game too. hours of fun.

cteresa

oh, we had candy exactly like that, though not that brand name. Though LOL very appropriate.

Ysaurella it is a lovely theory, maybe… But MF is weird about names, Thé au Tibet is even frencher than Marco Polo (bergamot, vanilla, roses…), Prince Igor which should be russian is not but Aida is a “russian” tea ….

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1616 tasting notes

FINALLY this last cup tasted SO MUCH like strawberries! What on earth! If it was this good every time, I’d buy more. As it is, this is a lovely send-off for this tea. :)

Over ice, with a little sweetened condensed milk.

Thanks for the really old sample, CrowKettle! This is from the Victoria meetup last year!

Cavocorax

I wish it wasn’t so finicky!

OMGsrsly

Exactly!

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