French Breakfast Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
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Astringent, Dark Chocolate, Smoke, Vanilla, Caramel, Chocolate, Malt, Tannin, Tobacco
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Edit tea info Last updated by CHAroma
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 15 oz / 453 ml

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49 Tasting Notes View all

From Mariage Frères

This perfect marriage of great and elegant black teas produces a rounded taste of malt and chocolate.

Its highly developed flavour is both powerful and refined. A felicitous blend in the best tradition of the French art of Tea.

With or without milk, perfect with a continental breakfast.

Amount of tea leaves: 2.5g
Best water temperature: 95 °C
Infusion time: 3-5 min

About Mariage Frères View company

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49 Tasting Notes

469 tasting notes

I thought I wanted this tea this morning, but it just isn’t hitting the spot for me at the moment. After having a tea yesterday that had tobacco notes in it, I realize that this tea does too. I think that is the flavor I wasn’t able to put a name to in a previous note. I steeped it at a lower temp, but it just seems bitter in a way that is distracting me from the rest of it today. Strange how being in the right mood for a particular tea can be the difference in a good or bad experience with it!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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3 tasting notes

‘Elegant’ is my best descriptor for this tea. It isn’t hearty like Irish breakfast tea: to me it’s more of an afternoon tea, to be lingered over. I have been drinking it for a couple of years and still not figured out what the subtle tastes are — perhaps it’s malt, as the blurb says. It doesn’t need to “go with” any kind of food. It’s interesting all by itself.

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19 tasting notes

This is my perfect tea. So many tasters on here are able to say such wonderful, insightful, things about the nuances of unflavoured tea and they always drink their tea straight. I “pollute” my black teas with milk and sugar/honey on a regular basis and I’ve just had to live with my shame. This tea however, rescued me. I can drink it straight. I can actually enjoy it sans milk or sugar. I like it better with both but I like it without as well. It’s not too bitter. I have to stop it at four minutes,45 seconds on the dot or it becomes bitter but at that precise time it is smooth and delicious.

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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31 tasting notes

I was so intrigued by this tea that I almost bought it instead of Marco Polo at Gumps. I ended up buying both.I have this thing for breakfast teas, I don’t know quite why, but I wanted to try this blend labeled “French Breakfast”.

So I crack the tin open, and take a whiff: definitely some Darjeeling was mixed, that or Nepalese. The quality was good, black leaves, with contrast, and scattered dark greyish greens. Because of the fact that it had some Darjeeling/Nepalese in it, I cut fifteen seconds off my brew to cushion. (I dislike brewing with seconds). I did this in my 24 ounce white teapot. It gave me a nice amber rose cup, with the taste familiarity of muscatel and the mix of earth and grass, nutty; the definite characteristics of a Darjeeling/Nepalese. I wouldn’t say it’s completely full bodied, but it’s take was smooth, and it’s finish was astringent. Elegant throughout.

The second cup I added light agave nectar which eliminated the sharp finish. The third cup I added agave nectar and 2% fat milk (I really wish I had WHOLE milk on hand). I think the body is lost, and my sweetener took over, something that happens if you ever try having additives to Darjeeling/Nepalese teas. Because of that this tea is not as versatile as some other breakfast blends.

I wasn’t disappointed with this tea. I’d recommend it to black tea skeptics, this or FF Puttabong Darjeeling. This tea was very enjoyable, and I was glad I purchased it from Gumps. There sure are better blacks out there than this though, and because it’s price for questionable quality leaves, its lack in versatility, and it’s production, Zhi Tea’s Classic English Breakfast still reigns supreme for my morning cup.

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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10 tasting notes

I feel like this blend has declined over the past few years, as it used to have a more robust flavor and flowery notes. The most recent tin I purchased had more cocoa hints and felt like a different quality of tea entirely, from the batch I had bought 3 years or so before. It is still a decent tea, but I must say, it didn’t really hold up to the first batch I purchased.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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2404 tasting notes

I had lunch with a friend in Hayes Valley today and couldn’t resist stopping into the shop Chantal Guillon, which has a large selection of macarons, and more importantly: Mariage Freres teas. I ended up getting this to go and I have to say it was a disappointment. I didn’t get the flavors that others picked up but I feel my cup was underleafed, perhaps. I had one teabag for approximately a 12 oz. cup of hot water. To me it just seemed very light, with faint cocoa and nutty notes. I wish I could try making this myself without having to buy a whole tin of it. Not giving it a rating for now.

5 min, 0 sec

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26 tasting notes

Great MF/French tea. A blend with rich notes. Chocolate/Caramel.

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3 tasting notes

Birthday gift from my sister in law who actually read my Christmas wish-list this year and looked up who Mariage Freres was. Delicious vanilla and bitter (in a good way) almond flavor. Silky followed by a kick of tannin. Crazy enough, I think I will use less tea on the next steep to pull out the lighter flavors and maybe not end up with such a dry tongue. :)

Flavors: Astringent, Dark Chocolate, Smoke, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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388 tasting notes

I need to logon to steepster from a proper computer and not an iPad to up this tea’s rating. It has become my favourite morning tea with milk brew. There’s something about it that just comes to life with the creaminess of milk.
Yesterday at around 17:00 there was another rocket siren. I was still at work, so we made our way downstairs. A lot of parents with kids were stuck outside the building, so on our way to the underground parking lot we let them in.
Hoping for peace and quiet. Drinking tea in the meanwhile.


I am tired for you. Will be praying for you today.


I am tired too. Praying as well.
There was a terrorist attack in Jerusalem just now. Things don’t seem to be looking up.


I wish I good just transport you here for at least a little while, so you could experience a period of peace and relative safety. Thankfully, I have never had to experience what you are going through, but I have had friends who have survived through civil war and assassination attempts even as children. I feel for all of you. Keep safe. Sending you warm thoughts and wishes for your continued safety and security.


Glad to know you are safe.


Thank you all for your kindness. I can’t tell you how much I rely on Steepster and Steepterites to keep my sanity lately. Bless you all.


i have an extra bed in my house if you ever need to hop a plane to get away from it all ;)

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22 tasting notes

I’m upping the rating on this one because it really is pretty much my favourite ‘simple’ black tea that I drink with no milk or sugar. I still can’t decide if there is added flavour in this tea or just incredibly aromatic black tea. I definitely can’t see any non-tea bits in it, so if there’s anything it’s one of those ‘added flavour’ things. Whatever it is, though, it’s a wonderfully smooth, not heavy yet very strong on character, black tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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