Marriage Frères / Damman Freres Recommendations
Hi, I am going to Paris next month and would love some personalized recommendations for Damman Freres and Marriage Freres (I have read the tasting notes on what people like there but one persons awesome is another persons awful). My go to teas are listed below. Black, white, green, and herbal are all on my shelf, just not roobios and few with heavy rose notes. The only MF tea I have previously tried was Marco Polo and I found it overwhelming, cloying, and over flavored. I like teas flavored by flowers, fruits, etc vs oils. I used to love Harneys Paris tea until they changed the recipe and it became oily and cloying (they now sell the old recipe as Vieux Paris in 50 packs for anyone else that loved the old version). Any recommendations for what I might like at MF would be greatly appreciated. I plan to purchase a lot of small amounts to taste when I get home. Some of my favs:
Palais des Thes: arbor garden, blue of london, green tea with ginger and citrus, green tea with peach, montaigne blue, No 25 holiday teas (black, white, green)
David’s: cream earl grey
TWG: Napoleon Tea, Singapore breakfast tea, New York breakfast tea
Fortnum & Mason: Countess Grey
Harney: dragon pearl jasmine, chinese flower
Thanks very much!
my notes from reviewing reviews etc are below. Helping to strike or confirm these would also be super helpful. Thank you.
Fils de France
Fall in Love" tea,
Paques (easter tea).
thé au tibet
montagne de jade
Thé des Impressionnistes
I have a dream
The sir la nil
The de lune
Jasmin Chung Feng
Noël en Provence
4 Fruits Rouges
Jardin de Trocadéro
Nuit à Versailles
Charlotte au Chocolat
Noël à Venise
You won’t be able to buy a lot of small amounts. Most of the shops in Paris sell 100g as their smallest quantity. In some instances you can get 50g.
You may also want to check out the o dor while you’re there….also Benjamin and Barton are there as well as an incredible tea house that only sells non flavoured – Madison a trois thes.
Whoa, I had no idea about Vieux Paris and recently was asking about their new flavor on the Paris tea. They could have just mentioned their Vieux Paris unless it is very very new. So thanks for that news!
I know nothing about MF teas but I’ve tried a few from DF. I was going to suggest Noel a Venise, especially as it is already on your list (and you like David’s Earl… these two taste similar.) Another unique one is Noel Prague.
Glad to help with th Vieux Paris info. Warning though they are in new sashets that are no longer silk or even natural – they now describe them deep on the site as “silky nylon”!!!. Harney has been losing its place in my tea cabinet as it transitions to a mass product over the recent years. Paris turning into a cheaper flavored oily mess was one of the signs. Very disappointing.
In a recent e-mail, Harney said they had to change the flavor to something natural, but I just didn’t like the new flavor. It didn’t match the amazing of the original blend. I haven’t experienced the new tea bags yet.
Thats interesting because the new formula is gross and very unatural to me — there is a skim of oil at the top which isnt there in the former recipe. My impression is that the took out a more expensive ingredient and added a flavored oil. Like the nylon sashets replacing the silk ones, the changes harney is putting in are strking me as for mass production/cost savings not quality. its sad.
From what I can remember of the MF blends, try the The a l’Opera and the Buddha Blue. And the Paris Tokyo if you are into Earl Grey, its yuzu flavoured darjeeling IIRC.
Highly recommend having brunch at the Marais branch (35 Rue du Bourg Tibourg) and pop upstairs for the tea museum too.
Thanks very much to you all. SQT We will be staying near the Marais store so that sounds great.
My Inlaws went to Paris and brought home MF and DF last summer. Nothing on your list though, as my list was black tea leaning more chocolate and desserts. Out of the ones I got, I really enjoyed Cannele.
DF was actually quite a disappointment for me as all the teas I got were not good at all. Stuff was not good quality compared to MF.
But yeah, MF was all big expensive tins in the shops, no smaller items. DF was measured and put into paper bags with folding twist ties, which also lead to the tea not being stored fresh in shop/transport.
Depends on which MF shop you go to. You don’t have to buy their teas in tins. If you can store them when you get package them like the do teas and it makes them ridiculously cheap for the quality.
I say that because I brought back something stupid like 3KG of tea….
I’m with Sil: no small amounts available. Both shops in Paris though are very helpful and friendly (if you speak French, if not might be a bit of hand gesturing but you’ll figure it out). Let them know the flavor palates you enjoy and go from there. Here’s a photo from one of my trips – this is ONE corner in one of the MF shops in Paris: https://www.instagram.com/p/BMKnGt3jtOZ/
Otherwise, I’d recommend finding an O Dor and Laduree if you have the time. Last time I was there I created my own walking tour of all the tea companies – super fun!
If you get to London, definitely hit up the Twinings store. There’s a section dedicated to tea history, and you can buy one tea bag at a time.
I am hoping that if i am buying 20 teas they will do some 50 gram packets for me or that i can find a set of some sort that includes some of what I want to try (kicking myself for not going to the london store when i was there over the holidays and buying an advent calendar). When Palais de Thes was in NYC they would do 20 gram tastings for you if you were buying other teas.
I haven’t bought tea there in about 5 years now but the minimum used to be 100g. I recommend going early when they first open and are less crowded. Explain that you want to buy a fair few teas and would like 50g portions. You might get lucky.
Had a wonderful shopping trip in the Marais today. Marriage Freres and Palais de Thés are about a 2 minute walk from each other and both are a two minute walk from the best falafel in town at Rue de Rosier. It was crowded prime time on a Sunday afternoon but the staff was very pleasant. Most of the teas in my list were available to smell and look at in tins in front of each shelf of queue of boxes. About 10 teas were not on the shelves in the store and had to be brought down from the wall. The rule is 100g minimum for teas under 15 euro. Over 15 euro per 100g you can buy 50g bags. Many of the teas were overwhelmingly fragrant which is not my thing. The teas I ended up purchasing were
Alexandra David Neel