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Black Fruit Blend
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200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 7 oz / 200 ml

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10 Tasting Notes View all

From Mariage Frères

A highly original orchestration of the essences of selected fruits. Harmonious aroma and flavour.

Type of tea: Black Tea
Time to enjoy: Afternoon
Origin: Other Countries
Main flavor: Fruity

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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10 Tasting Notes

1183 tasting notes

I had an odd amount left over in the packet after transferring this to a tin, so I thought I’d steep it in the interest of clutter reduction. I suspect that I may have under rated some of the other Mariage Freres blends because I was feeling my way into my system for the teas with the French thing, a/k/a the je ne sais quoi, at the time. I would discount from this the ratings on the Earl Grey and the Breakfast Blends because those I would have rated much more along the lines of others of their ilk rather than the more mysteriously flavored blends.

I went a bit to the opposite extreme with this today. I overleafed and steeped hotter than before.

I think the happy medium is going to be overleafing, but slightly less, and steeping just a little cooler. The first time I had this it was a tad on the thin side, and today it is perhaps just a smidge too strong. However, I can definitely enjoy the flavors today.

What those flavors are is apparently a mystery. Mariage Freres’ description doesn’t say and some folks are getting tropical fruits from this. I’m not, really, though the banana reference makes some sense, because of the creamy interplay with the fruits. To me, it’s mostly dark red fruit. Berry, more raspberry than anything else but maybe a little strawberry, and some plum/prune/currant. Definite red fruit notes. And something along the vanilla/chocolate continuum. I found a seller on the internet who says this is chocolate and cassis. http://www.furansunocafe.com/produits.php?no=400&lg=en&base=salon_de_the That makes sense to me, but it’s not overly important.

With the magical French blends from Mariage Freres, Dammann Freres, etc., the individual flavors concern me less than they do with other blends. I’ve said before that I like to be able to distinguish each flavor even if the tea takes an ensemble cast approach.

But the French blends seem to beg for a more impressionistic tasting experience. I often feel while I’m drinking them that I’m tasting them through the gustatory equivalent of Renoir’s dappled sunlight, or Monet’s reflections off the pond at Giverny. Whether I can distinguish chocolate or black currant, or any other flavor for that matter is about as important to me with this tea as finding a hard edge in a Monet painting.

Which is to say, not at all.


Great note!


I really love the descriptions!


Thanks, ladies. :-). I really love French blends. I should drink them more.


I just realized that I have no idea what what gender OMG is lol. I just assume most people here are female because that seems to be the main demographic. Apologies!


Heh. I didn’t even notice the gender thing. But yeah, I’m a lady. :D


Morgana – I’m the same way. I assume most people on here are female although I didn’t when I started… Actually I think for a while I thought CrowKettle was a guy; no idea why! But I’ve only done a swap with ONE man about 20+. Seems like there’s a lot of ladies here.


Cavo, yeah, I think it’s a majority for sure. But I really shouldn’t make assumptions. It’s the internet, after all. ;-)

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257 tasting notes

Mariage Frères describes this tea on their web-site as: “A highly original orchestration of the essences of selected fruits. Harmonious aroma and flavour.”

Very helpful! What selected fruits are in the orchestra? They promise harmony and not cacophony. I got this tea based entirely on the name. I know that I’m a Pavlovian dog when it comes to names. If Lipton’s packaged their tea bags as “Beethoven’s Ninth Tea” or as “Van Gogh’s Struggles” or as “Jay Gatsby’s Jazz Age Party Tea” I’d probably be slurping it up.

Yes, name yourself or your tea “French Impressionism” or “Italian Opera” and you’ve got my credit card number. In this case, however, Mariage Frères did not disappoint me. I get a taste of vanilla and chocolate both along with a fruity mélange of perhaps strawberries or currents? The fruit is hard to pin down but I know it’s there. The aftertaste is not to be trusted but having had a full mug I will say this: aftertaste of banana? Or a little pineapple?

Yes, this is a symphony of fruity chocolate with some vanilla. Have you ever had a “banana baby?” They sell them in my local supermarkets: http://www.dianasbananas.com/our-products/

Anyhow, elegant tea is delicious and the aftertaste runs riot in the mouth mimicking the essence of a Diana’s Banana Baby. It seems like a very French thing to do—a bricolage of high and low art; bringing Vivaldi to the tropics; having Jerry Lewis be the lead tenor of a Bach Requiem Mass.

I’ve been tasting a lot of French flowery/fruity/chocolatey tea of late and it’s often difficult to distinguish them. What makes each one unique? Vivaldi has most certainly established itself on my palate as distinctive. As Randy Jackson might say to this tea, “You’ve made it your own”.

4 min, 30 sec

Love this review and the range of references from Gatsby to Randy Jackson.

I do agree w/your comments about the French teas. The ones that I have tried so far are flowery, fruity but hard to pinpoint the exact flavors… The French must blend their teas like they blend their perfumes…

Also, they do sell those banana babies at our local supermarket and now I am inspired to try some!


But Lori, please remember that I have the taste buds of a two year old. On the other hand, I have a friend aged 74 and his eyes always gleam with pleasure and light up with joy when he’s offered a Banana Baby.


That sounds so decadently delicious!


Man, I really need to go to that local supermarket w.those banana babies…


I need to get my hands on some banana babies!


Goodness, you do not joke about the name appeal. If there were more classic literature, art, or musical references as tea names, I would be nearly going out with a purse, blindfold, and a happy disposition. No regrets.

By the way, I will definitely put this tea on my to-taste list.

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408 tasting notes

Yesterday I went to a Mariage Frères tea room with my daughter and I picked this one out from the biiiiigggggg tea card.
I wanted to taste it for ages and it was in my shopping list.
Let’s say it was perfectly brewed as Mariage knows to do so.

I was weak to me, weak tea base, weak raspberry and blueberry flavours. I had a hint of Vanilla. I was very disapointed by this experience tea.
Especially as well because having a tea at MF is very expensive 10 € for a full teapot (it was 9 € 3 months ago ! and it was already very expensive !)
So I was upset against myself to have made a wrong choice.

It is not a bad tea but it is a meh tea for me.
At least I can take it off from my shopping list


That is always disappointing when you pay a lot for a tea and it doesn’t live up to expectations. But “meh” is better than “bleh” and you know you don’t need to try it again. :)


Oh nooo, that’s really sad considering that price tag ): I wonder if that might be because of the preparation rather than the tea itself, maybe the water they used wasn’t hot enough? So often do I order one of my favourite teas in a tearoom only for the staff to ruin it!


I think MF did a good steeping and I am afraid this is the blend…sure now I know I won’t buy it :)

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176 tasting notes

This is from Doulton! Thank you!

Mariage Freres does not provide much in the way of a description for this tea. So it’s up to me to try and figure out what is in this. I love a challenge – bring it on!

The scent is reminiscent of chocolate covered strawberries. Upon tasting, I’m getting something creamy (banana?) and the faintest hint of tart raspberry. This is most interesting. One of the things I’m enjoying about this is that it doesn’t seem to be astringent. It has some creaminess, like vanilla or banana, that calms down the black tea. I think adding some milk to this would put the creamy factor on 12.

I recommend anyone who wants a tea adventure to try this. Since it lacks a description, it doesn’t fill your head with subliminal thoughts of what you’re supposed to taste. And since I’m not sure if all of the notes I detected were truly there, I can conclude that this tea was full just general delicious things.


Ooh – how much fun! I’ve been intrigued about this tea called Vivaldi. All I think of when I see that name is his Four Seasons is his violin concertos. My silly question is which season does this tea evoke? I’m guessing spring or summer. :)


Sounds lovely!


It’s going on the list.

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6770 tasting notes

I only have one more cup’s-worth after this one…bummer…BUT…Today I paired this with some Chocolate Granola I made last night and I am chomping on that and sippin’ on this…and let me tell you it’s a perfect match!

I do see that I have to hurry up and get with today’s steepster trends…so stay tuned…I’ll play…why not! LOL


The only place I can find Mariage Freres is Dean and Deluca. Williams-Sonoma only has 2 kinds. Are there any other places you can buy this tea.


Actually I ONLY have received from friends and swaps! I cannot find it ANYWHERE near me…sigh…

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80 tasting notes

I broke into this black tea and swore it was going to be another berry or dark fruit monster. I don’t mean monster like The a l’opera, that’s strawberry shortcake on crack and I mean that in the best of all possible ways. Vivaldi has the aura of something so sinfully familiar to one who loves to bake or craft personal creme brulees.
There is a section in my cupboard of goodies devoted to the various forms of vanilla and to open this said cabinet is a delight. I honestly can’t say I can tell all the differences between my vanilla but I know what I use each of them in.

Vivaldi is a voluptuous bourbon vanilla in the strictest of senses. She is loud verging on fruit but soothing, dark and tempting… If Dita VonTesse was a tea, I might say this was her. This is not a tea I would share excepting with the “boyfriend who would draw me a bath on a bad day!”

I will place this tea in my “waiting for my prince to come” category, which includes the sappy chick-flick night.

5 min, 15 sec

What an evocative picture I have in my head of Dita tea fans self I think I read somewhere that she likes Mariage Freres tea too :)

Do you get your Mariage Freres from France or is there a source here in the US that has many of the offerings? I’ve only tried Marco Polo but I looooooooove it.


lol, haha great post =P

Haha, see Alicia everyone asks you where you acquired such an abundance of Mariage Freres and Kusmi =P


lol…this post made my day. I’ll admit…I have a total girl crush on Dita.


Oh Lena, me too!!!


I love her. Any woman who can saunter out of a champagne glass is tops in my book.
And no, I hit up the Mariage Freres website. Unfortunately I was blind to the shop when in Paris. I can only imagine had I known of it I would not have returned. LOL

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68 tasting notes

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