408 Tasting Notes


Thank you so much Stacy fo having added this one to my order as a surprise sample.

I’m happy I can taste this upgrade version, I am now at my third steep and it has lost a part of its flavours to my opinion but I really enjoy the sweet malty notes and the honey notes.
On the first steep I had stronger malty notes but on still a fresh way and sweet.I also has a lovely honey taste.

This is a pleasant tea to drink espacially now in summer because the taste is there but it keeps (as the regular PTA)a light behavior, it almost gets some citrusy notes on aftertaste.

I have bought the classic version but no doubt I’ll consider this one as well for future purchases.

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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drank 1854 by Mariage Frères
408 tasting notes

That’s funny, do you know where I get this tea ? I almost have won it !

Last year, during the kermesse (this the name we use in France for a school party at the end of the year)at my daughter’s school, there was a lottery and I never play lottery.But my daughter’s best friend and her mother Karin do and they won this tea…I was just like ohhhhhh you have won tea ! how fantastic ! and it is a Mariage Frères Tea ! Karin told me she didn’t care for tea and never drink tea and she offered me her prize :)

I have forgotten it in my cupboard since but now I am trying to drink more and more straight teas, I decided to have it.

The dry leaves are made of mixed leaves and colours : white (silver tips), green, brown and I can see some jasmin flowers too. Very beautiful. The leaves are from different sizes as well, some are cut, other are full.

The colour of the liquor is really clear and very pale brown.
The taste is flowery but pure jasmin, without any essentiel oil around, the tea base is pleasant, present but I’m happy I have steeped the leaves 2 min only because it may become bitter with 3 min.
2 min are fine, no astringency but a real personnality : not smooth, not mellow but refined, medium bodied (low tannins to my opinion)

I love the way the jasmin flowers come here and how their taste lingers after drinking.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Wonderful! That is a great story!

Ruby Woo Scarlett

Lucky you! I love school fairs (I take it your daughter’s in primary school, then?) We’re lucky so many people don’t care much about tea around here :p Ihaven’t had jasmin in ages, this sounds really nice.


Sounds yummy!


yes it is really a very nice tea, no idea why I waited so long to have it !
@ Ruby Woo Scarlett : yes my daughter was in primary school until this year , now this is the big jump in junior high school…and she will learn properly English (she spent 3 years in paris learning Portuguese and just arrived in our new town in January with classroom mates learning English for 3 years ! what a shock for her)

Ruby Woo Scarlett

Aw poor lamb. I wish her a good beginning of term! Portuguese is a lovely language though, I hope she can get back to it in the future.

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drank Miel Orange by Hediard
408 tasting notes

I am sipping this one right now and it is really delicious.
I was sure orange and honey were pairing so well together but it is better than I thought.
I really love it, the honey is really natural (maybe an orange honey or acacia) and not over sugared, it perfectly balances with the orange, a sweet one, not a bitter one.
The tea base is classic and has no bitterness at all.

This is an Hédiard blend but we can recognize the Dammann one behind so my tasting note is valid for the Dammann Frères Miel Orange as well.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

this sounds lovely…


it is but I need to nuance a little I am a sucker for honey so it may biaise my feelings a little :)
I have 100g of this one so if you want I can send you a sample (along with other teas in my cupboard if you like of course)

Ruby Woo Scarlett

Oooo yum, that sounds really good. I have some honey in my cupboard that’s fruity and it’s a blend of orange blossom and acacia. I can only imagine the orange flavour would be greatly enhanced with such a honey pairing. Never tried Hediard’s teas but my grandmother’s a huge fan of their pates de fruits.


the Hédiard teas are made by Dammann Frères so they are great, just a little big much expensive…:)

Ruby Woo Scarlett

Do you think their other products are supplied by other companies as well?


I think so yes, as they are a luxious retailer but a retailer.They may have developped nice partnerships with some brands to get supplied and they surely have negociated some special products made in exclusivity for them but I don’t think they are manufacturing anything by themselves.
The point for them is to make the right selection for their market,to find out the right agreement and to rebrand everything with their marketing rules.


having said that, regarding the fresh cakes they are selling in shops, they have their own chefs (Fauchon is much concerned by that and you may remember Pierre Hermé was the Fauchon Pastry Chef before he decided to open his own business)

Ruby Woo Scarlett

That’s really interesting. I’m interested in makeup as well and since Chanel owns Bourjois for example you often find very similar products repackaged and given a different price tag.
I personally would just rather go straight to the source. I’ll stick with my usual Dammann/Mariage.

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I received my Butiki Order yesterday and I cannot resist to begin by this tea.
It’s as good as in my memory.
At the moment it’s from far the best straight black tea I ever had.

I get the bread notes , the fruity ones and the famous honey.
I bump up the rating because it’s too good !

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Yes I am having a Christmas tea for breakfast in the middle of Summer…I wanted to taste it for ages and now I have the opportunity thanks to a sample I received with my Instant thé order.

This is a classical blend more than clearly the same kind as Thé de Noël from Compagnie Coloniale exactly the same ingredients cherry,ginger, cornflower on a black tea base.

I need to make a special tasting with a cup of each but I have the impression now that the tea base of Dammann is maybe a little bit stronger vs Compagnie Coloniale.

Well this is clearly not my favourite christmas tea even if nice but these flavours change from cloves, orange, mandarin…

I am gloomy today as I have to come back to work on Wednesday and I really would have loved to remain in holidays – That’s so weird to me as in my previous job I was always so happy to wake up to go to work.
I know what it means so…

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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Thanks so much to Ruby Woo Scarlett for sharing this tea with me.

I wanted to try this one for ages and here I am : classic Dammann tea base and greedy ingredients such as chocolate, hazelnut + blood orange.

It is really quite similar to Velours Nacré (same tea base, same ingredients at the difference it has almonds in place of hazelnuts)

it’s a pleasant tea, not one I would buy as I own Velours Nacré but I’m happy to have had the chance to taste it

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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second steep, less steep time (2 min) it is really better. As promised by the salesman I get strong honey notes.
A little astringency remains, I need to play more with this tea (I bought 50g as it was quite an expensive tea 16,50 €/100g and wanted to be sure I like it before buying more)
I think asap I’ll find the right way to brew it for my taste it can be a staple.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

:) yay! I’m glad you don’t hate it


I think the preconisation of 5 min is due to a lazy preparation of the website, they should have put 5 min by default for all black teas…
I think I will love it

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brewed 4 minutes at 95°c(in place of 5 preconised by MF) it’s very bitter…otherwise the tea seems really nice…pfffff I was SURE I shouldn’t buy an assam. I’ll retry with 2 minutes and retain for now my rating.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Just saw this…MF recommends FIVE minutes! Ew! I’m sure I never steep this one more than 3

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This one came from a sample I requested with my Mariage Frères order today in the shop Place de la Madeleine.
This is something I dislike with MF, the fact they NEVER propose any sample even if you have bought 3 or 4 teas (and even if you buy more…), if you request one or 2 they would add them to your pretty bag Mariage of course but from a trade view I cannot understand them : why do they wait the client to request, why don’t they propose systematically to gain another possible sale the next time if the customer had appreciated the sample ? Bizarre…vous avez dit bizarre…comme c’est étrange…

So I requested this one because and only because of its name, it was reminding me l’élixir de longue vie from Honoré de Balzac that’s the only reason, I didn’t know what the ingredients were.

The dry leaf scent was absolutely strong on sweetness.
Immediately after steeping, it was a kind of bitterness, cooling it disappeared (thanks God !)

I wasn’t able to drink it hot but only warm because of an over perfume-y taste.Too strong on the essential oils for my taste.
Cooling, it was a very acceptable and decent tea, high on aromas of flowers (rose and lotus in the leading roles) and on fruit (citrus, even if I was not certain to recognize really bergamot, it probably was + orange-probably a bitter one.

Vanilla was lingering on aftertaste and gave this tea a kind of festive intonation.

Something was disturbing me with this tea,it may have been the presence of lotus as I already noticed some teas with lotus were not among my favourite.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I’m always shameless about requesting samples from MF. It’s the only way. I agree with you, though – complètement bizarre.


Consider myself a lotus-twin of yours. Lotus just does not work for me.

I kinda liked this, it was not bad, but did not love it either – it reminded me of Thé au Tibet though I much prefer Thé au Tibet, maybe because it has no lotus.


Anna you have the right attitude, at the price of the teas it’s better to ensure we would like one before buying


Teresa, it’s a pity because I enjoy the scent of these flowers but I really don’t like its flavour in tea


I live in France and have gotten used to the “you don’t get it until you ask for it” in almost every situation …. Including directions! I have never requested a sample at Mariage, what a great idea, thanks! We are so accustomed to the American idea of Living Large and the holding back of everything is simply one more cultural difference …. Probably comes from the ancient need to conserve everything, odd I know in a country now very abundant, but they sure do make wonderful things here!


well Qwendy I think it may come more from the position of Mariage which is very snobbish and considers their position in the tea market as a Luxious position. The fact of proposing a sample should be like “depreciate” their products in their mind… they don’t offer as a mecanism because their teas are so good :
we don’t need to
we don’t want to borrow the clients by proposing something to sale in the future (propose something = commercial harrassment)…it should be something like that…
But you’re right too much often the French retailers make a retention of their advices and friendly attitude. Thanks God I wasn’t like that when I was working in retail :)


Very interesting observation Ysaurella, I think it holds true for many commercial pursuits in France. I live in the provinces and people in stores of all kinds are very friendly, but the idea of leaving people alone instead of bothering us is the rule, instead of what I might consider as sharing information rather than being pushy is a fine line. I do appreciate the privacy in a way although I would love a bit more participation and just ask for it when I need it. I worked for years in retail in the US and perfected a way to be open without being too pushy, but so often one feels that they are trying to hard to SELL, almost the opposite here! All the best from sunny Brittany, drinking Balthazar iced.


How filled with tourists are the Mariage shops usually? Any you particularly recommend? and how to ask, is it échantillon? And can you ask for any of the teas (reasonably priced ones, I mean?)


Oh, and just to add, I have assumed this was one of those MF teas named after an opera – they do seem to like those, though they seem to change the italian or russian names to english! Swan Lake (ok, that is a ballet), aida, prince igor, parsifal, madame butterfly.


@ Qwendy : you’re sooooo lucky to live in Brittany my favourite area in France (well with Corsica and Ardèche too…) You should add your reviews here on Steepster about Balthazar and other teas you’re sipping in the beautiful Brittany :)


Teresa, well the shop rue du bourg Tibourg and in the carrousel du Louvre are crowded of tourists.
The one Rue du bourg Tibourg (near Chatelet and Hôtel de ville) is the first, the “original” one.
My favourite is the quietest : rue des grands Augustins (St Michel area, quartier latin) : here you can have a tea or lunch and buy tea.
Another I go often (for aquestion of geographical area only)is the one place de la Madeleine (near the department stores Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps)

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This is a subtle tea with natural notes of wood, and warm roasted chestnuts.
It has none astringency and is absolutely sweet and mellow.

We know that oolongs have naturally a nutty taste and it’s just as if DF had just poured some roasted chesnut in for some time to add this specific natural taste, delicate and refined.

A very comforting tea.

A very well blended tea, thank you Ruby Woo Scarlett for sharing this sample with me.

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

I think I may have a teeeeny smidge of this left, and your description makes me want to leave my desk and go dig in the basket for it. (Of course, today, anything makes me want to leave my desk. :)


oh lord, I’ll be in the same situation next week when I’ll come back at work -yes this is really a wonderful tea

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First, please forgive me for my English and all the grammatical mistakes you’ll find in my posts.
As English isn’t my mother tongue it sometimes makes things more difficult to express cleverly and accurately what I feel.

I was mainly in black flavoured teas, green as well if not bitter.
I’m now drinking much straight teas because my palate is now developed enough to appreciate them .

My favourite brands are : Taiwan tea Crafts, Teavivre, Mariage Frères,Theodor,Butiki Teas,Dammann Frères, Betjeman & Barton.
My ratings are as follow :

100 to 95 : my darlings; always in my cupboard (or very often ! )

94 to 90 : Excellent tea

89 to 80 : very good tea, a pleasure to drink it

79 to 70: not bad even quite nice, why not having it sometimes, but well,it’s not so urgent !

69 to 50 : Meh, deceptive or just not for me – but has some qualities

49 to 30 : I just don’t appreciate it

Under 30 : is this thing supposed to be tea ?!?!?

My tea blog (in French)


Paris, France



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