Paris - Mariage Freres, what teas? Anyone been?
I’m lucky, going to north-east Paris for a few days before Christmas, & i’m going to visit Mariage Freres – anyone been before?
As they are pretty damn expensive (only 100g pouches from the online shop anyway.. ehhh) any recommendations? I am going to try a few teas from their tea room (also, do they drink purely western style?)
Their Darjeeling looks pretty good, but I do laugh that they have trademarked Oolong as ‘blue tea’ lol
Are there any shops much better than others?
oh many if you’re going to Paris, i recommend also checking out Damman Freres, fauchon and The o dor. There are a ton more shops as well without giving you a giant list.
MF specifically – If you like vanilla blacks teas, try black orchid, but otherwise, just go, enjoy smelling all the teas and find a few you like. While they ARE 100g quantities, the pricing is still relatively cheap all things considered. I brought back 3.5kg when i went to paris lol
I think i’ll just peruse the Darjeelings, I doubt their Oolong skills if they just sell ‘Feng Huang Dan Cong’
I wouldn’t buy a ‘German Sports Car’
i you want pure teas, i highly suggest visiting maison des trois thes. Likely more up your alley, though MF has some wonderful straight teas. Ysaurella may also have some other suggestions for you
I just built the Eiffel tower a few hours ago. Is that strange? Apparently Parisians hated it when it was first built. There was a whole TV series called Paris: Next Stop that did neighbourhoods along the Subway. Canadian ahow.
The minimum purchase for their First Flush Darjeelings is 50g. I actually purchased he full gamut of the 2016 FF Darjeelings offered by Mariage Freres, and while they are all good, there is no single estate which has stood out from the group.
If the tea salon in France is similar to the main tea salon in Japan, then I have this to say. All their teas are prepared according to the parameters they choose. After the tea is steeped, the leaves are filtered out and the tea is transferred to their metal wrapped tea pot. The amount of tea they serve is around 3 cups. Although there is a menu, you can choose any tea offered in their retail store.
There are lots to peruse, not only the teas. Teapots, teacups, canisters, tea utensils, books, gift boxed sets. They should also have some of their prepackaged seasonal teas. Some of their teapots are priced north of 1800 euros. They will have a variety of over 500 teas and their walls will be lined with their large tea tins/bins. They offer opening the bins letting their customers smell their teas.
If it is not crowded when you visit, the well trained and knowledge staff is always a delight to talk to offering a wealth of tea knowledge.
Yeah I noticed that about the tea – am actually quite looking forward to someone else (hopefully skilled) making me something – i’m always up for recommendations so I will get my gf to ask, my French is terrible.
50g is a lot more doable than 100g
Omg. House of 3 teas was amazing. Thousands of teas. They had like 10 different Milan dancong, for example.
Spoke with a lovely Japanese lady for half an hour about dancong & puerh.. shame I didn’t have much budget but bought some really fruity gui hua xiang with some age on it & a puerh from pa cha which from the first try is pretty rich.
Also some Darjeeling from rishikesh which smells divine.
I’m going to go back a lot
YAY! I’m so glad you loved it. I wish i’d had more time to spend there when i went.
I wish I had more money.. they had a biodynamic red tea the lady said had zero malt, maximum fruit & you can smell it from the other side of the room, but was pricey like 1 euro per gram. And other Dan Cong for 2 euro per gram… I only had £100 for tea.
She had hundreds of puerh. Next time I’ll taste some prior but only had few days to see Paris. But I’ll go back!
Sounds like a wonderful time. Interested to hear what you think of the teas you bought.
I want to go back! Such a good shop. I’ve tried the sheng in one cup with boiling water on the train and it isnt too strong. It’s one of those supple smokey shengs
This is going to be a thing, as my lovely new girlfriend is Parisian … But crikey I need more money. Maybe I can curate a buy the next time I go. Their website is nothing, just one page. I will ask for a menu
.. It’s really intensive
yeah man, talked to the japanese lady there, we had tea banter for ages – she had a big book of stuff. I only mentioned mi lan xiang as its an obvious favourite, she showed me half a page of them… different plantations, numbers, everything. A proper nice store, but with zero online presence. I could have bought puerh from at least 20-30 different regions that were in my price range. My Pa Sha was about 60 euros. I’m guessing a bit of markup for the shop but it was so cool to be there, its ace :)
what I also liked is that she really listened to what I was talking about & tried to find me something I was after.
Gongfu session 20euro/head so (for me thats pricey but) i think if you are buying she will let you taste stuff. A days trip for sure if you want to spend a couple hundred euros i think.
Sounds exhilarating! I am delighted to enjoy your trip and teas vicariously.
I should have taken pictures – Mariage freres have rather ghastly gold-looking teapots, but House of 3 teas had nice yixing & a big puerh mushroom tuo, bigger than a football :) The other shop i went into (i go the DJ from) had some nice pots as well, but i didnt see one gaiwan for sale as i would have bought one if cheap..
Also, a shop dedicated to just honey was pretty amazing, everything from avocado honey to eucalyptus honey haha
i’m going to go back sometime – in the spring?, and have sent an email to Maison des trois thes asking for a menu & i’ll set up some sort of group buy if theres any interest?
I’m seeing a lovely french lady so will hopefully be doing it a couple of times a year, she wants to show me france
I would definitely be interested.
I’d also be interested in a mariage freres group buy too.