Mariage Frères TeaThe French Art of Tea | 0 Comments
TEA: PASSION, SAVOIR-FAIRE AND TRADITION
Mariage Frères invites you to share its passion, to travel through an emotional and nostalgic world of tea, by discovering a particular «art de vivre» so called the French Art of Tea…
THE PASSION FOR TEA
Tea, like wine, is a product of ancient, noble civilizations, requiring patient cultivation, transformation, and perfection through careful handling. Tea has its own rituals, and is generally associated with love, friendship, and intense moments (of success and failure). Its multifarious subtleties make drinking tea a game of infinite permutations.
For over three hundred years, the Mariage name has been intimately linked to the history of tea. As the dynasty grew, sons were educated in the principles of their fathers, successors inherited the talent of their forebears.
Aesthetic refinement and a quest for perfection are now the hallmarks of Mariage Frères. A passion for tea has always guided us, favouring the elaboration of principles that today provide the impetus for twenty-first-century tea connoisseurship.
The original Mariage brothers were also steeped in French gastronomy, which helped them to develop, from scratch, the French art of tea.
The finest way to embrace the art of a “spiritual beverage” was to offer teas from all corners of the world, and then associate them with culinary savoir-faire that enhanced the gourmet experience even as it respected fundamental principles and practices.
Over the years, Mariage Frères tea has become synonymous with a lively, sensual, international lifestyle that skilfully combines cultural awareness with aesthetic and gustatory considerations.
Day after day, we ask ourselves what tomorrow’s tea should be like. So in the field we constantly seek the most delicate harvests, while in the lab we devise the most expressive blends.
Fifteen years ago, Mariage Frères launched flavoured green teas. We are pleased to note that tea connoisseurs recognize their excellence and that this new taste has caught on.
When it comes to tea, professional know-how is both a science—based on knowledge of techniques, geography and, indeed, chemistry—and personal expertise based on the taster’s sense of sight, smell, and taste.
The gourmet professions are characterized by inventiveness, the search for flavours, the use of a given region’s varied resources, and the discovery of new combinations of food and drink. There exist rules, customs, and sophisticated recipes, yet all call for a sensual awareness of aromas and gustatory effects.
The Mariage Frères taster is like an artist who relies on imagination, improvisation, and feeling; just as a perfumer juggles with scents based on familiarity with hundreds of fragrances, so a taster memorizes the characteristics of every tea—each estate, indeed each harvest, has it own individual properties—along with those of natural essential oils made from the leaves, bark, roots, and seeds of numerous plants, not to mention flowers, fruit, herbs and spices.
This heritage of acquired know-how, recorded in ledgers of blends and compositions, is one of our solidly documented production secrets. Yet perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Mariage Frères’ special art of tea is the way the company has methodically and patiently developed the essential rules for making a refined cup of tea, based on careful control of the steeping process.
This savoir-faire is constantly being extended and enhanced through new, original creations.
Thus the world is indebted to Mariage Frères for the invention of the first tea-flavoured chocolate (Chocolat des Madarins, produced back in 1860) and the introduction of tea jelly, tea-scented candles and incense, iced-tea muslin teabags, and hundreds of culinary recipes (from pastries flavoured with green Matcha tea to a Darjeeling quiche via madeleines made with Earl Grey Impérial).
When it comes to the art of utensils, each year Mariage Frères designs dozens of teapots, tea services, and accessories that play on shapes, materials (multicoloured Yixing clay, biscuit or craze-glazed porcelain, Japanese cast-iron, diaphanous glass), and colours (the yellow of daffodils, the milky white of mornings, the blue of sunny skies, the green of young leaves).
Finally Mariage Frères offers gourmet palates original gastronomic delights elaborated by its own chefs, from savoury dishes to tea-flavoured pastries (madeleines, scones, muffins, biscuits, cakes, truffles, pralines, and so on).
The French art of tea is a blend of past experience with ongoing sensitivity.
Its distinguishing feature is the selection of the finest harvests.Connoisseurs can pick from a palette of teas ranging from Argentina to Zimbabwe. Mariage Frères’ selection of teas is the most extensive in the world, exploring not only all regions but also methods (from compressed bricks to powdered tea to full leaf tea) and styles (from white teas to fermented teas).
Mariage Frères is determined to uncover the most remarkable estates. Only thorough knowledge of the field and trustworthy relationships with planters guarantee top quality. That is why Mariage Frères tasters visit dozens of estates every season, ensuring delivery of the finest harvests.
The slogan of the World’s Fair held in Paris in 1931 was, “Travel around the world in a day!” A similar trip can be taken in any Mariage Frères retail shop. Wonderful new surprises appear on our list every month. Remain curious!
Mariage Frères has a wide-ranging selection of teas from all over the world. Here are a few examples from their collection.
BABYLONIA – Iced Green Tea – French Summer Tea
History can also be written on a hand-cut jar of hand-blown frosted glass.
The legend holds that Babylon, a city on the banks of the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia ringed by walls that reached the sky, was famed for its hanging gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The stylised decoration on the Babylonia jar recalls the profusion of majestic trees, fruit and flowers that cascaded over the city’s terraces, while the very special blue of the glass evokes the glazed brick panels decorating the Gate of Ishtar, namely the royal entrance to the ancient city guarded by winged lions.
The eye first detects the colourful fragrances that are confirmed by the palate—green tea, red fruit (including pomegranate), and citrus fruit, enlivened by pieces of orange peel, berries and cornflowers in a highly original, gourmet composition.
MARCO POLO – Black tea
Mariage Frères most famous secret is this mysterious blend that takes you to distant lands and strange countries.
The aroma of Chinese and Tibetan flowers and fruit lend it a uniquely velvety taste. Its extraordinary bouquet makes Marco Polo the most legendary of flavoured teas.
LILY MUGUET- Lily of the Valley Flavoured White Tea
Lily-of-the-valley is a bright, bell-shaped little flower that brings good luck.
Mariage Frères returned from a stroll in the woodlands of France with the highly original idea of composing a tea that features the light, bright scent of freshly picked lily-of-the-valley. The airy, tender flower with satiny sheen provides the smooth, sweet charm of its sun-kissed petals. Inside its white and silver lacquered canister it meets the cool notes of a grand white tea. This appealing bouquet of fragrant emotions is a gift that opens like the gates of heaven—forever. It’s always time for LILY MUGUET.
VERY FRENCH – New Collection – Fruit Tea
A brand new, 100%-original line from Mariage Frères.
The Very collection is a line of ‘fruit teas’ composed from highly select fruit. Veritable odes to nature and flavour, they should be steeped like tea, hot or cold. With this new VERY FRENCH, discover sweet scents of vanilla and caramel, pieces of apple, flowers of eglantine and hibiscus, macadamia nuts.
HERITAGE GOURMAND – Festive Black Tea
Where the splendour of 17th century France gone?
Its Gourmet Heritage involved a profusion of flavours, of inventive ingredients and dishes presented in overflowing vessels of silver and gold – not to mention exotic teas that had recently arrived from mysterious, far-off places. Today this heritage can be found again in a majestically shaped canister draped in ultra-violet paper decorated with a silver escutcheon. The festive, fruity black tea is enlivened with a hint of citrus and spices highlighted with mauve and Royal blue cornflowers
GOLDEN RULES FOR MAKING TEA SUCCESSFULLY
For black teas, matured teas, blue teas, and flavoured teas:
1. Pre-heat the teapot, after inserting the tea strainer or filter, * by rinsing it with boiling water.
2. Place a teaspoon of tea (roughly 2.5 g) per cup in the warm strainer* and let it stand for a few moments, allowing the steam to begin developing the leaves’ aroma.
3. Pour simmering water on the tea so that all the leaves are covered.
4. Let the tea steep (refer below)
• About 2 minutes for fannings
• About 3 minutes for broken leaf teas
• About 5 minutes for whole leaf teas
• Barely 3 minutes do the first flush Darjeeling (slightly increasing the amount of to 3.5 g per cup)
• 7 minutes for blue teas
5. It is then essential to remove the strainer or filter*containing the leaves. the tea must then be satire (another important step) and finally poured. Teas from great gardens should not be drunk too hot; let them stand a few moments after steeping, so that the palate can better appreciate the most subtle of fragrances.
White and green teas:
1. Pre-heat the pot or chung (cup with cover) as above.
2. Place the appropriate amount of tea per person or cup (refer to chart). Let the tea leaves stand for a few moments to allow the steam to begin developing the aroma.
3. Place the appropriate amount of tea per person or cup (refer to chart).
4. Let the tea steep (refer below)
• For green tea, 1 to 3 minutes
• For the white tea Yin Zhen, 15 minutes
• For the white teas Pain Mu Tan, 7 minutes
5. Remove the tea leaves, stir and serve.