Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea
Flavors
Flowers, Caramel, Vanilla, 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 38 oz / 1133 ml

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236 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 1703 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 1813 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 4840 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.

236 Tasting Notes

92
6770 tasting notes

In words of CeCe Peniston…
Finally it has happened oh baby…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YfChrPvGPA

I think this was one of the first teas I actually put on my WISHLIST on Steepster! Well, Jaime made that wish come true! Thanks so much!!!

Smells like black tea and flowers but not pretty-girlie florals…more earthy/meadows!

This tastes like a sweeter black tea with a lovely mixture of sweeter florals as well as pretty florals! I can taste a bit of cherry or strawberry or something…well, fruity hiding underneath…I really like this touch!

This is really nice…my favorite part is the sweet tones this has!
Ahhhhhhh! So glad I finally got to try this and it’s all thanks to Jaime!!!! Thanks so much!

Jaime

Glad you like it!!

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93
1267 tasting notes

Seven samples finished in seven days? Yeah, I’m behind because this is number three! O.o

I have already covered how Cteresa sent me Brave Tea and Interesting Tea. She also sent me Coveted Tea. I’ve had this on my shopping list for just about forever, but never really got around to making an MF order. It’s the New Shop Syndrome. It’s really difficult to shop in a new place for the first time. I tend to have to decide to do so well in advance of actual shopping, otherwise I just end up stocking up of old favourites instead. So MF is one of those places that I never got around to. I don’t think I’ve ever even tried anything from them before, which doesn’t make it easier to shop there for the first time.

So Cteresa is hitting two birds with one stone for me here. If this one comes out well for me, MF is going on the list of the next shopping spree along with Yumchaa. (That just leaves one space open. I’m still undecided about that one, but I do have a few potentials to check out. Three orders at a time seems to be what I’m comfortable with. I probably ought to make it one order per month instead, really.)

Anyway, so let’s see about this much coveted tea. Strangely enough, I’m not actually concerned about disappointment should I turn out to not like it.

The aroma is very sweet and pleasant. It’s quite chocolate-y and also kind of cake-y and vanilla-y. There’s a vague hint of something fruity if you really look for it and knows about it beforehand, but it’s not noticable and it’s not directly recognisable as strawberry. I really enjoy this aroma. It’s like liquid sweets, only not as cloying as one might have feared. It’s very pleasant indeed.

The flavour, however, is strongly strawberry. I’m really surprised at how strawberry-y this is! I can’t remember ever having met such a very strawberry-y strawberry flavoured tea before. It’s amazing! I’m getting a little chocolate underneath, but mostly it’s just the berries. There’s something creamy about it too, and it reminds me of fresh strawberries served with cream or a fat milk and sprinkled with sugar, a very classic summer dessert in Denmark.

Yeah, MF is definitely in the next order group. No doubt about that. I knew there was a reason I’ve been wanting to try this one for so long!

cteresa

This one is special. Even non tea drinkers seem to get a mad crush for this one, With friends and family, this and Lady Grey and yumchaa´s rooibos mixes seem t cause special requests “you want me to go make a pot of tea?”. I am very glad you liked it.

I never ordered anything from MF site, though I have been eyeing it covetously – it is quite cheaper there than what I can get here, but with shipping it might end up same prize. And I am lucky enough that there are a few places around here which sell some MF teas by the gram, so I can pick 50 grams of this and that just to try it, and smell it before. BTW do not order wedding imperial without trying both it and yumchaa caramel sweetheart before.

Oh and one more thing, I know about you and rooibos, but the rooibos version of this, Marco Rouge is rather awesome! (be careful with MF Rouge Bourbon, it is fabulous but for people who like rooibos plain only. the vanilla is exquisite but very wimpy-ish, just there to make the rooibos stand out)

ashmanra

Hubby is stubborn about tea and likes very few. This is one he likes!

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70
902 tasting notes

Mr. Polo and I aren’t having the best of luck, it seems.

The first pot was way too bitter/astringent to be truly enjoyed. The second had me wondering what all the fuss was about. Yup, you’re right, this is only my third pot.

It’s not as astringent this time around, and I’m noticing more of the berry taste. Cream’s there as well, but not as much as I was expecting. Since many add milk and sugar, I went to do the same. Luckily, I noticed the date on my milk (which I will not post) and did the sniff test. And then I went and grabbed the french vanilla creamer.

I think I’m getting closer to finding the perfect way to brew this for me. With the creamer, it’s well, creamier, and the vanilla adds a cake-like note to the berry. I still need to fiddle with the time on it, and maybe even the temp. I want to taste what all the cool kids taste when they drink this one!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

My first cup was less tha stellar, but the second cup has me antsy to get some more! I usually don’t have additions with anything but breakfast tea, but this one needed milk and sugar to really sing, but with the additions it sang an aria!

Jaime

I usually don’t add anything to teas either, and working on getting the right stuff in the right amounts to make this shine is really hard for me. I’m going to buy some half & half and see if that helps. How did you make your aria-spouting cuppa?

ashmanra

Just skim milk and a little sugar, plus a quiet enough spot to concentrate on the flavor.

Jaime

Well, I’ve done all that. Gotta figure out how much milk/sugar I think.

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100
99 tasting notes

OM NOM NOM.

Definitely wanted to start my day out with my new favorite tea! :D Glad I did! Yummmmmm.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
AJ

I will get my hands on this tea one day! ONE DAY.

the quiet life

I definitely hope you get some! It’s sooo good. :) If you would like me to send you a sample of it once I get some for myself (I just have a little sample right now), let me know. :)

AJ

Oh, that would be awesome. If you could, when you do (if you don’t mind shipping to Canada, that is).

There is a teashop downtown from me that apparently used to deal in Mariage Freres exclusively, but switched companies (to about a year and a half or so ago to O Dor). If only I had known of its existence then.

the quiet life

I don’t mind! :) I’ll probably get some this week or next week. I’ll let you know! Do you have a Williams-Sonoma near you? Apparently they sell it in their stores (but not online). I’m hoping the one near me has it. Otherwise, I’ll have to order online somewhere, and then I’ll have to wait! Horrors! :P

AJ

Hmm, the nearest one to me (so says Google Maps) is still quite a ways away and would take a complicated series of buses to get to, I suspect.

teaplz

The O Dor is supposed to be really good, though, AJ! Have you tried any of their tea?

AJ

One, in-store (tea to go); ‘Place Saint Marc’. I’ve only been there that once, though I plan to go back (I just haven’t yet, because it’s fancy and intimidating, and I am uselessly shy), but mostly just to try teas in-store (aside from their high tea, they’ve got tea to go, and a tiny little bar area where you can buy a pot and sit) until I find the one I’m willing to commit thirty dollars to (those tins are expensive).

They have a tea-taster and tea-tasting area, but I missed the person last time, it seemed.

the quiet life

AJ – Good news! I was able to procure the last tin of Marco Polo from my nearby Williams-Sonoma! :D If you would still like me to send you a sample, PM your address to me, and I’ll get it out this week. :)

AJ

You just made my day! Which was already going pretty well.

Lori

Hmmm…maybe I need to check out the Williams Sonoma store in my local mall…I would love to try this tea….

the quiet life

I highly recommend it, Lori! :)

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100
230 tasting notes

This was my after-court tea on way to the office. I so love my timilino that allows me to brew the tea at 7:30Am and its still piping hot at 12:30. I think I leafed more heavily this time and was getting a vanilla note that I had not noticed before. I am so in love with this tea. Yum!

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86
510 tasting notes

Marco Polo! I’ve been wanting to try this for ever so long! Well, kinda. Back then, I didn’t really like black tea much. So while I found Marco Polo intriguing with all the stellar reviews, I wasn’t really motivated to try it. These days, I find myself craving black teas quite often, though usually chinese blacks. I’m not sure about the source of the tea in this blend, but it tastes Chinese to me. It’s satisfyingly dark and rich without being too strong. There’s a lot of smooth vanilla and berry syrup flavors. Tasty! Not tasty enough to be worth $24 for a box of 30 tea bags… but tasty! Thankfully I acquired this box of tea with a Dean & Deluca gift card I got for Christmas. I would never buy it with my own money at that price. Crazy! Too bad they didn’t have this tea loose. I rather like their tins.

Uniquity

This is one that has sounded good to me for a couple years. I’ve never run across Mariage Freres in my part of Canada but I guess that’s probably good at those prices! :)

Mercuryhime

I think Mariage Freres is usually on the pricier side of teas, but Dean & Deluca overcharges for everything too so maybe you can find it cheaper elsewhere.

Sil

Uniquity – Williams Sonoma sometimes has this in Canada. Only place I’ve seen so far

gmathis

Love Marco Polo, but I’ve concluded that Harney & Sons Tower of London is very similar, and a little less finicky. Ashmanra sent me a sample of one that’s a doppelganger, too, from a small tea house. I’ll dig a little and see if I can figure out the name.

Mercuryhime

I’ve been wanting to try Tower or London. I should try them side by side. Also, just looked up Tower of London on Harney’s site. You get the same amount of tea bags in a waaay nicer tin for less than half the price of Marco Polo. Wow. Too bad the loose tea only comes in 1 lb increments. Too much!

ashmanra

GMathis, that was Anna’s Blend from Tin Roof Teas. Hubby and I like it better than Marco Polo now!

gmathis

Yeah, that was it! (Now I’ve got to go paw through my packet orphans to see if I have a cup’s worth left :)

ashmanra

Mercuryhime: if you order it loose from the Millerton shop I think you can get however many ounces you want, with maybe a two ounce minimum? You just have to order by phone! And you can get a tin cheaply and they will make a label for it! That is what I did, but I did order the whole pound, lol.

Mercuryhime

Thanks for the tip ashmanra! I could probably go to the Soho location but I’m lazy. :p

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77
387 tasting notes

This week, I got the most thoughtful and delightful package form Steepster’s sweet hearth Sil . She carefully chose and selected tons of teas for me try and I so thank her for that ;-)

This one was a special request. I really like French flavoured teas and the only ones I ever got to try were from the lovely Ysaurella last spring.

Now that I get to play with this legend of a tea, I say this: ALL IN!!! Why not? Yep, I put the whole sample in my giant 16oz mug and hoped for the best. And the best it was…What a nice fruity cup this is!

It tastes like creamy strawberries, with strong black tea as a base. I steeped 5 minutes and don’t regret it. I love that it is a tad bitter and assertive.

I know I’ve said it before, the French retailers know how to balance the flavours so that the beverage remains what it is suppose to be: TEA! Not pop or soda, just TEA with a kick, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you so much for this opportunity, sweet (but evil for the cupboard) SIL :-)

Terri HarpLady

Gotta love Sil’s boxes!!

Ysaurella

I should send you some additional one Mamzelle La Fée :)

Ysaurella

I meant oneS

TheTeaFairy

Terri, yes that was quite a box really :-)

@Ysaurellea: Oh, but you sent me plenty fist time around missy Y. !!! Let me get this stash down a little and we shall make a new transaction, I have full of new exciting straight teas for you to experiment with :-)

Sil

Yay!

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99
150 tasting notes

I’m on my third steep of this beautiful mystery because I wasn’t going to sleep anyway. Marco Polo has officially blown my mind. I’m holding the teacup under my nose to better inhale the exquisitely baffling aroma… with my eyes closed. Too much information?

The actual Chinese and Tibetan fruit and flowers blended with black tea to create Marco Polo are a famously guarded secret, but I smell berries. Something like strawberries only infinitely better. At first sip, I taste that gorgeous undetermined fruit. The fruity flavor develops into a bright, full, black tea body. And the finish is so sweet. This tea has a lingering sweetness that will bewitch you into forgoing sleep to drink another, and another cup.

I want to bathe in Marco Polo.

QuiltGuppy

I don’t know what’s up, but I didn’t go to bed either last night. Now that the kids are up, there’s no chance of it.

Jenn

Awww, we had sympathetic insomnia!

I always visit Steepster when I can’t sleep because LiberTEAS is usually posting reviews all hours of the night. She’s like a zombie-robot-superhero keeping the tea world safe while we sleep… or don’t sleep in our cases.

teawing

Not too much info at all, I agree with you completely on this one. It is one of the richest teas I have tried. And, three guesses who gave me a sample?

gmathis

This stuff is phenomenally good, isn’t it?

ashmanra

Even my hubby loves this one, and he doesn’t drink many flavored teas. This is the one I use to entice him to the tea table.

Jenn

Teawing, I’m going to go with a “fishy”, Santa like character. How does she have any tea left for herself? That one is generous to a fault with her “blanket” kindness.

Gmathis & Ashmanra, how will any other tea measure up now? I have the same feeling I get when I finish a great book. I almost resent the new book for not being the one I just finished. CRAZY

teawing

ding ding, you win. I have wondered the same myself, then decided she must be the tea fairy queen and just waves her wand….

Leah Claire

It, too, want to bathe in it. We would smell magical!

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82
972 tasting notes

It is always interesting to go back and taste the first teas you thought were outstanding. (Kind of like Dinosara did today with her Earl Grey!) This one was near the top of my list. As time goes on, and my palate becomes a little more experienced, I have noticed that some things just loose their spark. I am sorry to say, but Marco Polo is one of those. I am wondering if a shorter steep will help, or maybe less leaves? But this one is no longer a favorite of mine personally.

Does anyone have room to adopt about 1 1/2 ounces of Marco Polo? It needs a home where it will be loved. I would gladly send along some of Mariage Freres Rouge Bourbon so it could have a friend from home…… (I will send them out in bags rather than tins to whomever wants them!)

Dinosara

I felt that way about this tea, too, although it wasn’t a no-longer impressive as much as a not-initially impressed feeling. Which I totally never expected! And although I do enjoy the MF teas I brought back from Paris, I’m finding that I like Dammann Freres so much more.

SimplyJenW

This was from my pre-Harney/Upton days (my first order with Harney was last November, and I am in deep smit.). Marco Polo was my first fancy tea. And was considerably better than most of the flavored Adagio tea I had been drinking.

gmathis

The sample I tried was phenomenally good!

aisling of tea

We’d be happy to take that off of your hands! We are running low on our supply, and the local supplier, well, their prices are a bit steep, so we were preparing to say goodbye! We’ll be in the states in a few weeks, so we wouldn’t even have to worry about canadian shipping, if they’re still available.

SimplyJenW

@Rita…pm me your parent’s address and I will get it in the mail next week. Will that be soon enough?

aisling of tea

Yay! Thank you so much, you are awesome!

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87
796 tasting notes

Yay! I finally tried a cup of this today when visiting my friend Kate. It was Fabulous! However, drinking this tea just made me want to get it for my own cupboard, so that I could try it with different steeping parameters and add ins…. so now the big question is: should the next order be from Mariage Freres or from Samovar?!

Erin

My vote goes to Samovar! But then again, I’ve never tried Mariage Freres.

laurenpressley

Between your recommendation and today’s Steepster Select, I’m going with Samovar for this order, and MF for the next one. :)

takgoti

Yay Samovar!

laurenpressley

it’s heeeeeeeere!

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