Mariage Frères

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Recent Tasting Notes

50

For 50 euro, this is was truly disappointing. For anything more than 20 dollars this would have been disappointing. First of all, for such a price you’d expect Mariage Freres to provide a tin; it didn’t. Second, the leaves are coarse, unpolished, filled with yellow highlights, and unfragrant. I’ll attribute it to the fact that this is “organic.” The same goes for its lack-luster taste. I brewed it at 175 ‘F for 50 seconds with a slow pour but this might call for 160’ at 1 minute 20 because my first brew was lame. There was no umami-filled creaminess characteristic of a high quality tea. The steeped leaves were a brownish green as opposed to the vivid uniform green of better quality teas. Overall, don’t be fooled by the beautiful photo of dark needles; this tea is of poorer quality than the $12 Sencha Yamato from Upton Tea.
Update: I did actually try 164’F for 1 minute 20 with a slow pour and it was so much better. Still definitely not worth the price, but much better nutty, slightly roasted, rounder vegetal flavor. But you can still taste a certain “swampiness” that makes this tea markedly inferior.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp

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80

Despite limited baggage space coming back from Europe I just HAD to get this tea because it smelled so good.

First thing I was struck by is the colour. It brews up an impressively dark blue-green that I was not expecting, especially considering a reasonably short steep time at 2 minutes. It is beautiful and I almost wish I had made it up in a glass teapot just to really get the full effect.

In terms of taste, this is a lovely ginger and citrus tea and is by no means unpleasant. That being said, I really would’ve like a bit more of a ginger kick. Then again, I think I do often find French teas kind of lacking in ginger even when it’s a prominent tasting note. I think I’m just looking for something that really delivers a strong ginger kick and I’m not looking in the right places.

Flavors: Citrus, Ginger, Grapefruit

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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95

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Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 200 OZ / 5914 ML

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80

Recently went to Paris and actually got a chance to go to Mariage Freres and while I didn’t have the bag space or budget to get everything I wanted to (i.e. the entire store), I had to get some of this because it smells absolutely amazing.

Taste wise, this is very similar to how it smell. Very floral and almost perfume-y, though not strictly in a bad way. This reminds me pretty strongly of a jasmine tea. The oolong base is nice but definitely overpowered by the floral notes.

Definitely an enjoyable cup

Flavors: Floral, Perfume

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Violette by Mariage Frères
291 tasting notes

I got this since I thought I liked floral tea. After having many of Mariage Freres teas, I think I don’t. This tea is really overpowering of violet (given the name, duh!). It makes for an ok iced tea. I don’t like it hot, too much. I think it might make a nice milk tea. I think buying 50g of this tea is ok, I got 100g, it’s just a bit too much.

Flavors: Floral, Violet

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50
drank American Breakfast by Mariage Frères
291 tasting notes

I love love their Paris Breakfast. It’s a well put together tea. American Breakfast? It’s just not for me. I see this as a stepping stone for a coffee drinker trying to convert to black tea. It’s caramel flavoring came off fake, and too much of it. It’s a ok tea, I’ll drink the rest up with no issue, just don’t love it.

Flavors: Caramel

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70
drank Bloemfontein by Mariage Frères
291 tasting notes

This tea is visually just beautiful in the picture, but the product I got looks nothing like this. I found this tea just ok. I wouldn’t buy it again. It’s just rooibos with just light flavoring for floral. I am been disappointed with a lot of the rooibos blends I got from them. They all taste very familiar with no defining difference. The flavor of citrus isn’t really present without knowing it.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Rouge Provence by Mariage Frères
291 tasting notes

I think this tea would be heighten if there was some black currant flavor. This is a decent herbal, flowery rooibos. Nice amount of lavender. I prefer this iced at night.

Flavors: Berry, Lavender, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78

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Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 0 sec 7 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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77
drank Tanka Cha by Mariage Frères
19 tasting notes

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Flavors: Fishy, Floral, Iodine, Mineral, Vegetables

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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80

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80

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80

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Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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40

I tried. I really did. This is just not working for me. Although it starts out all Cap’n Crunch Crunchberries (yum!) there’s this weird floral thing that happens immediately after that just kills it for me. I wish I could describe it more specifically, but the best I can do is this: a perfume-y, floral taste that comes midway through the sip and insists on staying until the next Crunchberry sip overwhelms it. Then, there it is again. No apple, nothing that even resembles a macaron, other than a strange, sickening sweetness. I love, love, love macarons. Not sure how they came upon the name, but there is no connection for me. Out this sucker goes – I just hate it when a tea doesn’t work out, but that’s life, right?

Flavors: Berry, Floral, Perfume, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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40

Just a note right off the bat – this is an unfair review, since I finally got around to opening this baby up almost 2 years after buying it, and I disobeyed my own advice about not burning scented candles while eating/drinking anything. So, this tea is probably too old, and my tasting could be influenced by the scent of the candle that was burning in the room while I drank it. Rather than wait until I could do a completely fair review, I’m forging ahead anyway, since the tea will just get older, and not better, I’m afraid.

I love macarons. Love them. I’ve actually made them myself on a few occasions, and they are VERY difficult to make – that’s how much I love them. But, macarons come in all different kinds of flavors – vanilla, caramel, pistachio, raspberry, chocolate, champagne, you name it. So how can a tea be named “macaron”? What does that even mean? I’ll hazard a guess and say that it just means kind of dessert-y.

Dry leaf and brew smelled faintly like Crunch Berries cereal – I think I may have observed the very same thing about another tea that I reviewed, although I can’t remember which one. But yes, Crunch Berries for sure. No apple to speak of. A bit floral on the finish – but was that from the tea or from the candle? Other than a general faint, sweet fruitiness, with a tinge of floral, that was it. Final impression was, meh. I did have it with milk, maybe that was a mistake. I may have underleafed a little bit, but I don’t think so. Since I have a whole tin of the stuff, I’ll have ample opportunity to try this again, no candles, no milk, more leaves, etc. and if I change my mind about it I can always write another review saying so. Until then, “meh” is the bottom line on this one for me.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

The review comes a little late. I had tasted this tea at the end of last year during a sensory evaluation exercise at work. It did not really work for me too well. While the tea is not without its own character, it is one that I would recommend.

Flavors: Nutty

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 350 OZ / 10350 ML

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60
drank Kimberley by Mariage Frères
291 tasting notes

The description of this tea sounded delicious. Red tea flavored with flowers and fruits from distant land…oh my! It is really good red tea, I’ll give them that. But that all it tastes like. I can’t even really pick up any of the dried flowers that should flavor this tisane.

It is really good red tea, that’s why I am giving it a 60 rating…it’s mellow, not woodsy. But that is all it is. It’s not what it is labeled. It’s a shame…it is a beautiful tea visually when dried, speckled with all types of flowers!!!!

Flavors: Rooibos

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97
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1 tasting notes

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Flavors: Chocolate, Cream, Strawberry

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73

GCTTB

I made this as a latte and this is probably a terrible description but at first sip all I could think was “this tastes like the air smells during Christmas time”. Fresh and spicy that reminds you of home cooking with a touch of orange and nut to keep things sweet and rich. It is quite nice actually and yet I feel as I have had this tea many times before. This is very much representative of a standard Noel tea and as lovely as it is to sip on now, it is just not a flavor I reach for often and it just seems I can get this much more easily from another company for a cheaper price. So, even though I wouldn’t turn away another cup, this is not something I will be pining for when its gone. Nonetheless, thank you Shezza for the share!

Evol Ving Ness

Perfect description. Orange and clove. And possibly nut. Not that I’ve tried this tea, but I suspect I know exactly what you are referring to.

VariaTEA

Well, there is still some in the box so hopefully your impressions match mine when (if) you give it a try.

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90
drank Vivaldi by Mariage Frères
2 tasting notes

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Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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100

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Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Honey, Lavender, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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50
drank Poire by Mariage Frères
439 tasting notes

From my sample basket, most likely from Sil.

This most definitely has both a pear scent and taste, but I am not loving it. There’s some sort of bitter unlovable after taste and leaves my tongue with a sort of sickly feeling. Imitation flavours? I don’t know. The tea in general is bringing on both a headache and a tummy upset that I didn’t initially have. Perhaps I used too much dry leaf in making this.

Thank you, Sil, for letting me try this one. For me, it’s a big nope.

Flavors: Pear

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

Oh no, that’s too bad to hear. Hope you were able to quickly recover from the experience!

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, Fjellrev. Perhaps it is any multitude of things coinciding. I have enough to try the tea another time to see.

Sil

dope. Well at least you get to cross it off the list.

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100

This morning I was fortunate enough to have an hour or two at home to drink tea. I drank this one. Delicious. I tried to stay present with this tea and savour every mouthful, but truthfully, the deliciousness disappeared quite quickly.

CrowKettle

My favourite teas seem to be short-lived too- probably because I chug them :(

teepland

Those kind of moments are few and far-between. Glad you got a chance to enjoy one today!

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100

Last night, I was awakened at 2:30 am by neighbours’ cellphone notifications at the adjoining wall in my bedroom. I was then awakened at 5 am by more ringtones. Girlfriend lost it. Something within me snapped and at 5:20 am, I got dressed and stomped next door and rang their doorbell four times in the middle of the silence of the night. And then I stomped back home.

Even though I felt better for having stomped, I still woke up feeling like hell having had something like three or four hours sleep.

I had a morning medical appointment, so I needed to pull it together. This morning called for a reason for living in a cup. I pulled this out of the Sil bag.

Thanks, Sil, for the share. Just exactly what was needed today to bribe myself into the world.

Sil

My fav vanilla black… all gone now heh

Fjellrev

I hope those idiots will just get it through their heads already, but that’s asking for too much.

I’m glad you treated yourself to something fantastic, though.

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, Sil, for sharing this one with me. I really have been enjoying it. If you are thinking of ordering more, I am in.

Fjellrev, we are making progress. The thing is that they are self-absorbed, mindless about their impact on others, and completely ignorant about the space they inhabit, namely how sound functions and travels in that space. I resent having to find words to educate them and repeatedly, but I am comforted by the fact that they do not appear to be inherently evil.

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