Mariage Frères

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98

(Not exactly sure why Steepster marks this tea as unavailable, I just bought it in Paris) The first occasion upon which I sampled this tea blend, my nostrils were regrettably congested (whether due to a mere cold or something of greater concern, I could not ascertain). Upon finally being able to appreciate its aroma, I was nearly moved to tears. The sumptuous scent alone is an olfactory marvel. This exquisite tea, with its deep, rich aromas of sweet chocolate, ranks among the finest I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. I confess, I do harbour a particular fondness for chocolate teas. Although the packaging advises steeping for 5 minutes at 95°C, I reckon a slightly more delicate approach of 4 minutes at 90°C is ideal to avoid any bitterness.

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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73
drank Vert Amande by Mariage Frères
115 tasting notes

Strong smell of amaretto but also something else… vodka? treated wood? marascino cherry? Once brewed, I don’t get that strong smell any more, just a sweet smell of almond essence. It’s good, but I really think that this kind of flavour is best enjoyed with a tea that can withstand a warmer brewing temperature (in other words, black tea).

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87
drank Trois Noix by Mariage Frères
115 tasting notes

My nose is still a bit blocked from the cold but its smell is reminiscent of a dessert nut with a strong almond presence like marzipan. While other nutty hints might be there (pecan, walnut), the almond takes center stage. The first sip offers a robust black tea base, but the marzipan-like character translates beautifully. The almond essence isn’t overpowering, but it adds a unique and delightful twist to the classic black tea experience.

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74

Gonna be honest, I expected to not love this one but I thought it was pretty solid. In typical Mariage Freres fashion it’s basically impossible to find an ingredient list (which drives me insane), but it’s pretty clearly meant to be a dragonfruit forward blend and I did feel like it tasted fairly strongly of dragonfruit. That’s a tough flavour to emulate and commercial dragonfruit products sometimes just taste like fruit punch. I got some of that fruity punch thing here, but waaayyyy less sweet and with a ton more natural floral flavour which feels (to me at least) a bit more authentic.

The green tea base smooth enough with a pretty strong grassy note, but I definitely got the impression it’s the sort of tea that would quickly slide into coarse, bitter territory with hotter water or a longer steep time. The grassiness with this more subdued pink tropical note does feel right though, just emotionally. And of course I don’t only taste dragonfruit here – I feel like there’s maybe some guava sneaking in there and a bit of pear!? The pear is interesting though because people often say dragonfruit tastes like a watered down pear. So, am I tasting pear subconciously because I know that? Am I tasting pear because a pear flavour was added to the blend to lean into that comparison? Or am I tasting it because there’s truth to the comparison and it’s just a note I’ve isolated from the dragonfruit flavouring being used?

THIS IS WHY I WANT INGREDIENTS LISTS, MF!!!

Anyway… A gentle fruit blend with a tropical lean that I’m not at all mad about.

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I just finished off a mug of this and it was really delicious! Very, very strong spearmint notes but that sweet, crisp mint is so refreshing with a playful sort of tingly mouth sensation to go alongside the taste. I just taste a hint of the yuzu addition, but I appreciate the small bit of brightness it adds to the mug. Overall this is smooth and agreeable, and I think a really nice summery blend from MF.

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I’ll write a better tasting note for this another time but I just wanted to capture that I made a hot cup of this earlier in the week and though I drank it super absentmindedly while working at my desk I stil lfound myself very impressed with how smooth and pleasant the strong naturally sweet notes of spearmint were.

I’ll have to taste again, though, to better evaluate exactly how I feel about the whole mojito positioning – particularly the yuzu incorporated.

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drank Confucius by Mariage Frères
16045 tasting notes

Though still present, this is a more gentle smoke than your typical Lapsang Souchong, which makes it a perfect mid-afternoon cuppa when you want something full-bodied and aromatic. I’d probably recommend it to people curious about smoked teas but who are either intimated by the full blown flavour of a classic smoked Lapsang or who have, pun intended, been burned by smoked tea in the past. It’s quite approachable!!

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/C3n9OQvuxg0/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g6K4o0UKLY

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51
drank Habibi by Mariage Frères
16045 tasting notes

I think the name of this tea is super cute and, on paper, the idea of lychee, orange blossom, and rose all together sounds really pleasant. However, steeped up I found this to be very busy tasting. The lychee sticks out a little bit, but mostly it’s a weird combined mix of fruits and florals that morphs into something very generic tasting? Not unpleasant, and the body from the black base really helps keep this grounds since there’s so many aromatics at play. I just feel like there could have been a little bit of editing with the mix of flavours here to create something more balanced. Sort of a mid tea overall.

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I hate MF’s stupid gimmick of adding butterfly pea flower to oolong blends. The swampy green colour this tea steeps just makes it feel so much more cheap and tacky, and it’s a shame but I love the crisp, sweet notes of rhubarb with the floral undertones of the oolong. Marco Polo in general is such an iconic Mariage blend and this rhubarb flavour really does sing on the black tea base, but it almost like it more on the oolong. They just compliment really well.

That liquor colour though… So gross.

Crowkettle

I liked this one too!

At this point, I do what I can to avoid looking at the blue broth because it’s distracting and often psychological clashes with flavour profile – stare at the sky while drinking it, dump it in a travel mug, etc. XD

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93
drank Paris Ginza by Mariage Frères
78 tasting notes

I love this tea! I agree with Sil that it’s everything I had hoped Marco Polo would be. The combination of strawberries and caramel is perfection. I get a little raspberries too which is nice. To me, it’s like drinking a delicious berry dessert right out of a French pastry shop. It’s layered and balanced, and just lovely. It tastes as good as it smells, which I love too. I keep coming back to this one over and over.

Flavors: Caramel, Fruity, Raspberry, Strawberry

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

Added to my wishlist!

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I think I liked this??

This is a new MF blend that appears to maybe be for Lunar New Year? It’s supposed to be plum blossom flavoured which I thought was very unique and fun. Steeped it certainly has both floral and stonefruit notes but I just don’t know that I either make me think of plums? It’s tasty though, and plums are also a notoriously hard flavour to capture in tea.

What it does taste like is sweet, bright and lively apricots or nectarines. Not so sweet or cooked down to be jams or compotes, but more of a puree/curd type of vibe where there’s still some natural acidity and tangy. The floral is a little orchid-like, and does seem to be more from the oolong itself. I love the combo though – it’s very fresh and cheerful in tone and I think that words with something that’s in theory linked to fresh starts and celebrations.

All of that said… it steeps a dreadful swamp green colour because of Mariage’s stupid gimmick of adding butterfly pea flower to all of their oolongs. I wish they’d stop. It’s not very pretty, and it feels drastically at odds with the actual taste of the tea.

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I think I’d need to try this again to really form a proper opinion, but I definitely didn’t think it was bad. I personally love this more classic/mono-flavoured blending tea on black tea bases where it’s so tea forward with just a gentle flavour addition. My main sticking point here (which is why I think I need a retaste) is that while the tea had a fresh and tropical flavour I didn’t immediately clock it as specifically mango – and I think with this blending style you really do have to NAIL the namesake flavour for it to really work. Especially at Mariage’s price point.

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Hot cuppa from earlier this weekend. I was really craving vanilla quite a lot the past few days, and from memory I didn’t recall loving this blend but I wanted to revisit to reevaluate. It’s not that I was remembering it being unpleasant, but more just kind of whelming. I let it steep for a very long time, and honestly I enjoyed this mug a great deal. It was best as it was starting to cool down. I felt like that was when the more aromatic, borderline marshmallow-y notes of the vanilla were most apparent. Not creamy necessarily, but a little sweet with that smooth woody rooibos base acting as contrast. Almost like a boozier liqueur/alcoholic undertone and a smidge of red fruit. No complaints.

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Had a mug of this a few days ago and it was fine. Rooibos forward which is to be expected, and the vanilla notes had a slight fruity and almost alcohol lean but not in an offensive way. Better as it cools as that brings those elements more to the forefront of the sip. We’re talking authentic vanilla and not the more Westernized interpretation of the flavour where we really mean cream/custard. Kind of a boring vanilla rooibos, if we’re being honest. Nothing wrong with that, though! It makes it a very reliable/classic sorta tea.

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60
drank Phenix by Mariage Frères
113 tasting notes

This tea is supposed to be a vanilla / caramel / pastry blend. And it is! Or at least, it smells like it, but it doesn’t taste like it. Maybe my bar for Mariage Freres is too high (there have been blends from them that I didn’t like, after all) but I did expect more from this tea.

It’s totally drinkable and lovely when it’s warm and hot, but it doesn’t seem to hold the flavour very well, unlike many of their other teas. And once it’s cold, it just tends to taste like water, which is pretty disappointing. I still recommend it and if it were the only thing on the menu I wouldn’t complain, but I wouldn’t purchase it again.

Lots of feelings for a tea that is somewhat middle-of-the-road, lol.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Pastries, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 20

Lovely white tea with floral and stonefruit notes (cherry, plum). It also as a dash of maple, which rounds it out nicely. The hibiscus contributes nicely to this tart-sweet profile while creating a pleasing blush to the tea. Not a bad Rhapsody at all! Very spring-like.

Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Hay, Hibiscus, Maple, Plum, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tangy, Tart

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Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 21

This is a beautiful goji berry flavoured green tea. It’s fruity, buttery, and nutty. I also pick up sunflower notes, which is always a warm, cheerful thing to taste at winter. Overall, it reminds me a little of another of Mariage Frères tropical fruit green blends, Locombia Colombia because of the sunflower-ness); I liked that tea quite a bit.

I see MF has a zodiac series – all of which heavily feature goji berries. Interesting choice! I also like the advent’s reference to the upcoming new year here.

Steep Count: 2

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Fruity, Goji, Grassy, Nutty, Pollen, Red Fruits, Silky, Smooth, Summer, Sunflower Seed

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Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 10

I forgot to write a note for this one! It was pleasant – with an effervescent citrus quality to it. A refreshing and lively cup. One of the better “In Love” oolong blends.

Flavors: Bright, Citrus, Effervescent, Floral, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal

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drank Opera In Love by Mariage Frères
1442 tasting notes

Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 18

Just like Habibi Rhapsody was the first in its respective collection to truly appeal to me, this blend also is the first to make me feel love in the “In Love” collection (Marais was also pretty good). Vanilla, Chocolate, Roses, Red Fruits – all on a black tea base… Collectively, it tastes like a rich, creamy, chocolate raspberry filled truffle. I polished off the pot way too quickly!

Flavors: Berries, Creamy, Floral, Milk Chocolate, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Rose, Sweet

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Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 17

This might be the first of the Rhapsody teas that I actually enjoy. The signature hibiscus is toned down compared to others in the collection – allowing the gorgeous pairing of rose and lychee to shine through (always a winning couple in my book). A garnish of orange blossoms help emphasize the sweet floral notes of the blend and subtle base. Good choices were made here.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Hibiscus, Lychee, Orange Blossom, Red Fruits, Rose, Sweet

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drank Lung Ching by Mariage Frères
1442 tasting notes

Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 19

No, way. A Dragonwell?! I almost entirely forgive you for all past advent wrongs, Mariage Frères.

Truly, there’s not much I enjoy more than a Dragonwell tea. It’s what made me fall in love with green teas in the first place (I didn’t know green teas could be that good). I haven’t had one in my stash for way too long now and drinking this feels like a big, long overdue hug.

This offering is more floral (almost pollen) than I’m used to. It’s also characteristically nutty, silky, and pleasantly vegetable-sweet. It’s a stunning tea.

Flavors: Floral, Nutty, Pollen, Silky, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetables

gmathis

Dragonwell is definitely my favorite green, too.

Leafhopper

It’s a favourite of mine as well. Glad it showed up in your calendar. I’m surprised they carry such a nice version of it.

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Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 16

Today is a good day for the advents. This is a fancy take on a breakfast blend – with notes of caramel, red berry, and floral blush. Still, it delivers on the boldness that one expects in a breakfast tea though. What a comforting tea.

These are the kind of teas I’d like to see Mariage Frères feature in their advents: casual & classic staples. I wish this company did a more traditional advent to contrast this one that typically focuses on pushing new lines (last year’s offerings were pleasant and well varies, especially because it didn’t get bogged down with the “In Love” series).

Flavors: Bright, Brisk, Caramel, Floral, Malt, Raisins, Red Fruits, Round, Tannic, Vanilla, Woody

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drank De-stress tea by Mariage Frères
1442 tasting notes

Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 15

There were herbal flowers in this blend? Huh. I just taste floral green tea. It’s nice but subtle. (there’s lavender, chamomile, and citrus in this? No wonder I like it). It delivers on its name though, and I deeply appreciate that.

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Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 13

At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t get the chance to enjoy this in the Optimal Earl Grey Way. To my horror, I learned that the only milk in the fridge had gone, while not quite off per se, “unsettled.” Unsettled milk has no part in the Optimal Earl Grey Way. It’s an anathema to the whole process, actually. This unfortunate event has served as a cautionary tea tale – to always take stock of the milk’s condition before steeping up the Earl Grey.

Luckily for me, this is not my usual Earl Grey blend. No, this one is “fancy.” With Airs. Mariage Frères even describes it as “airy.” This tea thinks it’s too good for milk. What a world.

That bergamot is the good stuff though.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy, Floral, Light, Malt, Smooth

gmathis

Thanks for the giggle. I needed that this morning!

Cameron B.

What a world XD

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