15 Jul2005

Mariage Freres Tea

by Marketman

My inventory tracking systems have had a nervous breakdown! aatea1Poking around the pantry for just the right tea to have with a dense slice of fruitcake, I pulled out a can of Mariage Freres Earl Grey Tea with Blue Flowers, twisted it open and stared aghast at the last remaining tablespoon of tea leaves! Yikes! And there are no trips to Paris planned in the next year or more! I drink tea. I do not, for some reason like coffee except in ice cream. And I like lots of different brands and flavors of tea though for special occasions or that once off need for something particularly refined, I like Mariage Freres. Perhaps it’s the nicest black packaging in the entire tea world, or the seriously light and delicate leaves that are packed inside, or the flavorings that are so unique and gentle…but it is very good tea indeed. The hue of the tea when infused in water is refined as well…it doesn’t turn a deep brown like mass-marketed crushed teas in tea bags…instead it is a rich light to medium caramel. The aroma is better than most of the other teas I have tried.

My everyday tea is a Twinnings Earl Grey (regular or decaffeinated if on a diet) that turns a deep dark brown if you leave the tea bag in too long. aatea2It is good but clearly made with bigger, less superior leaves (the finest ones being the newly sprouted leaves that are picked in the early morning just a day after they have unfurled). Tea bag trivia – did you know good tea bags have abaca fibers in them? Yup, the stuff from Bicol and used more commonly in scratchy placemats! But when I want a special cup of tea I take out my private stash of English and French Teas – Fortnum and Mason, Hediard, Mariage Freres. The family Mariage has been involved in tea since the 1660’s. In 1845, the company as it is called today was formed by the brothers Henri and Edouard Mariage, hence the name Mariage Freres (Mariage brothers).

The Mariage Freres tearoom is stunning. aatea3With over 500 blends of tea on offer, it is a tea lovers paradise. They pride themselves in developing several new teas a year and they try to experiment and seek new combinations and uses for their tea. They have even introduced the use of tea in jellies and other desserts. They are also totally anal about how they serve their tea. They infuse the hot water then remove the tea when just right, bringing the insulated teapot to your table without any remnants of tea leaves left. This differs from the English or even Chinese manner of serving tea. Mariage Freres – 30 & 32 rue du Bourg-Tibourg 75004 Paris. Wickedly expensive.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. schatzli says:

    my every day tea is TWINNINGS ORGANIC EARL GREY almost like £2.00 more than the regular one. Of course few other stash from F & M and other shops but never had this Mariage
    Freres. Would you believe this of all the years of going to France I never set my foot in Paris?? Though I already have clipped all the guides from Conde Nast and Saveur?
    Time comes… and if I make it to Paris before you do I will look for this place and maybe I see you sipping your
    afternoon tea there!
    Few days ago I was talking to a friend that there is NO
    PROPER TEA HOUSES IN ATHENS… what we meant is English Afternoon Tea with all the dainty sandwiches and cookies.
    I have become English ;-) I adapted well the English life (speaking of a 3rd culture kid I am)

    Jul 15, 2005 | 8:19 am

     
  2. sister says:

    Do you need an emergency supply shipment via Johnny Air? I buy my Mariage Freres from Berdorf’s. I’ll be there tomorrow for other reasons so I will pick up a couple of cans for you. It is good with fruitcake.

    Jul 15, 2005 | 8:45 am

     
  3. Michelline Suarez says:

    Hi Marketman! After lurking around your boards for a while, I finally decided to post my two cents, as among my two favorite things in the world are good fruitcake and tea. Your tea is available on the Amazon.com website. Try sneaking it in with your next cookbook order. Although you are lucky enough to have a sister in NY…that sounds like an even better bet.

    Jul 15, 2005 | 8:57 pm

     
  4. stef says:

    Francis Ford Coppola sells these too! & i’m sure you’ve also had oregon’s finest “Stash Tea”. right now numi’s rooibos teas are my fave. so… since you’re a tea lover, perhaps you would consider joining this month’s IMBB event? would love to see you there!

    Jul 16, 2005 | 6:40 pm

     
  5. Marketman says:

    Stef, what is IMBB? I think Is My Blog Burning? But I don’t know much more, care to clue me in? Thanks.

    Jul 16, 2005 | 6:48 pm

     
  6. stef says:

    here you go:
    Is My Blog Burning Ronald’s site — where it originated. and this month Clement of A La Cuisine is hosting! Sali na!

    Jul 17, 2005 | 1:45 am

     
  7. schatzli says:

    hey you should join IMBB I did once, Stef, Karen, Stel
    and Celia are active with the events.

    Jul 17, 2005 | 4:49 am

     
  8. Alicia says:

    Mariage Freres is one of my favorite teas as well, and a pilgrimage to there Bourg-Tibourg shop and tea room is a definite must for any tea enthusiast… perfect for this weather is a cup of their Bourbon Tea.. makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over! Closer than paris or New York, you can find a full range in The Mariage Freres shops in Tokyo (although more expensive) or in City Super in Hong Kong.

    Another recent tea find and largely due to its pretty packaging as well is Fine Teas from Marie Belle in New York.. A tiny tea and chocolate shop in Soho. Check it out Next time you are there if you haven’t already. Enjoy!

    Aug 12, 2005 | 5:02 pm

     
  9. Patricia says:

    i was delighted to find a Mariage Freres shop in Kyoto – on Kawaramachi-dori close to Sanjo-dori…i believe it was on the east side of the street…tucked inside behind a clothing store.

    Sep 9, 2005 | 6:52 am

     
  10. gabriele ivanac says:

    I would like to buy Mriage Freres tea. What website you could recomend me to visite so I could order this delocious tea.

    Thank You

    Jan 19, 2006 | 4:43 am

     
  11. Marketman says:

    gabriele, I have never ordered this tea over the internet so I am not certain who carries it. Perhaps you can try the large French retailers, La Grande Epicerie at Le Bon Marche or Galleries Lafayette? Good luck.

    Jan 19, 2006 | 6:08 am

     
  12. Yanyi Zeng says:

    Dear sir:
    I am going make a kind of tea blend called truffle tea
    or Pu-erh truffle tea in Yunnan provice China. I wish to
    be a supplier of the tea blend (truffle tea) to Mariage
    freres. If you are interesting about the idea, please let
    my know! I am watting for an answer from Mariage freres.

    regard

    yanyi Zeng
    Aug 15 2006

    Aug 15, 2006 | 1:55 pm

     
  13. aileen antonio says:

    i would like to inquire if where can we buy Numi earl grey tea here in Manila, Philippines? Thank you.

    Apr 24, 2008 | 4:23 pm

     
 

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