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Mariage freres website

m
mrsjoujou Aug 15, 2007 09:38 AM

What is going on with their website? The english never works,but the asian(japanese?) works. I sent them an email asking if they sell thier tea in Rome,Florence or Venice(going there in fall) and I never got an answer. I live in Orange county and I can't find any in the LA area. I bought some online from the cultured tea and the quality was not that good. WS only carries three or four . Please help.

  1. omotosando Dec 28, 2007 06:58 PM

    I continue to be amazed by the speed of delivery from the Mariage Freres website. I placed my order on Tuesday (Christmas day). Friday morning the UPS delivery man was banging on my door with my package.

    The Moroccan style tea glasses are quite charming and were nicely wrapped - no breakage. The lacquered cannisters (I ordered the "Tea Party" style) are wonderful, although they are slightly too small to hold the entire package of the minimum order of tea. If anyone is looking for a gift for a tea lover, I highly recommend one of the beautiful Tea Party cannisters, together with some loose leaf tea. The lacquering on the cannisters is really lovely. (And if you are looking for an extravagant gift, order the cannisters is all the colors - white, green, fuschia, red, orange, blue, yellow and purple!)

    Oh, the tea. The Assam was pretty good. The Darjeeling lacked complexity (it was one of the mid-priced ones - not the most expensive, not the least expensive). Of course, the one drawback of mail order is that there is no one to guide your selections. (And the descriptions of the tea on the Mariage Freres website are not quite as illuminating as the descriptions on the websites of many U.S. based purveyors). But I am thrilled with the tea paraphernalia and the opportunity to have access to it without traveling to Paris. All hail world commerce. (And the beautiful lacquered cannisters are made in Japan).

    2 Replies
    1. re: omotosando
      c
      comestible Dec 30, 2007 07:12 AM

      I am glad you are finding some teas you like from MF, but like you, I prefer "straight" to flavored teas. (Kind of like preferring the nuances of single malts to mixed drinks.) I'm a tea nut, I suppose, but I've found some purveyors are better at some kinds of tea than others. MF seems to do a big business in flavored teas and black blends. I like sencha.com for Japaneese teas. Teance has its strength in Taiwan teas, as do some others. Teaspring for Chinese teas, etc. And of course all my tea friends are always complaining about the occasional shortcomings of all of them!

      1. re: comestible
        m
        MacGuffin Nov 5, 2008 05:37 PM

        Comestible, what happened to Sencha.com? I always mean to order from them, but they didn't even post any new teas this year and now they're gone entirely. For that matter Gray & Seddons seems to be more gone than not, too. Any info you can provide would be appreciated.
        For those who like Assam, tfactor.us has very high-end Assamese teas. They recently moved their US corporate base from Florida to Washington and I don't think they're quite back in the groove but I've never had such fine Assamese tea. It's a family business--the parents grow the tea on their plantation and the kids sell it here. They take great pride in their product and the fact that almost everything is done by hand. Super nice folks, too--Saunam is a riot.

    2. omotosando Dec 26, 2007 08:14 PM

      I finally found a Mariage Freres tea that I adore - it's not actually a tea from the tea plant, but rather a Rooibos from South Africa called Bourbon Vanilla (I guess I only like flavored teas when they are not really tea).

      I didn't much like any of the other Mariage Freres teas that I ordered (all black scented teas, except for Casablanca which is a green mint tea - the Casablanca is nice when you are in the mood for mint tea), but I was so enthusiastic about the Bourbon Vanilla, which I just tried last night, that I promptly put in another order with Mariage Freres - this time for Assam and Darjeeling. There were so many Darjeelings to pick from that I just took a stab in the dark on which one to order (there were only a handful of Assams). I am figuring that unflavored tea will be more to my liking.

      I also ordered some more tea cannisters (they have an excellent selection) and some Moroccan style tea glasses, which were very reasonably priced at 6 Euros for glass and saucer. Although the site is a pain in the neck to navigate through, they have an exquisite collection of tea cups and tea pots, many of which are pricey. Of course if anyone ever wants to know what to get me for a gift, I will point them right to the website.

      1. f
        Fleur Dec 6, 2007 10:32 PM

        When I lived in Paris, I made a pit stop at Mariage Freres weekly. My all time favorite is their Black Tea with Bulgarian Roses.

        The Wedding Tea and Marco Polo are their best sellers, along with their Christmas blend called NOEL.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Fleur
          omotosando Dec 7, 2007 11:23 AM

          There is no Bulgarian Rose tea for sale on the website. There is something called Darjeeling Rose Camélia and something called Darjeeling Arya-Rose d'Himalaya and something called Rose d'Himalaya and something just called Rose, but no Bulgarian rose.

          Palais des thes has a black tea with rose petals that is very nice, so I was hoping to try one from Mariage Freres to compare, but couldn't decide between the various rose teas, so didn't order.

          1. re: omotosando
            f
            Fleur Dec 7, 2007 02:18 PM

            Thanks for the information.

            I wish I could run over the Mariage Freres this minute, but I now live in NYC.

            I'll check out the website, and the Palais des thes as well.

            FWIW, Mariage Freres is a terrific shop, and I love the Tea Salon. It is a great of you are in Paris. Their tea is of excellent quality, and the variety is enormous, but I think most teas are available in the States, at a good shop like Two For The Pot.

            1. re: Fleur
              c
              chocolate Dec 27, 2007 06:28 AM

              Bergdorf Goodman in NYC also carries a small assortment of their teas. I liked that they had boxes of their 30 count tea bags that you could buy vs the loose tea in tins often seen in stores like William Sonoma. I bought the Darjeeling Himalaya tea when I was there but haven't yet got around to trying it.

        2. f
          french roast Dec 5, 2007 09:01 PM

          So sorry you didn't like your selections. My all time favorite tea is a Mariage Freres, and it is an unflavored black tea called "Sultane". It's a Ceylon mix that is just delicious--almost a chocolate undertone. I was so excited to find out that The Cultured Cup carries it, but I haven't gotten my order yet--hopefully it will not be as disappointing as yours.

          1 Reply
          1. re: french roast
            omotosando Dec 6, 2007 09:38 PM

            I ordered Sultane! Haven't tried it yet - ordered so many teas, I'm working my way through them.

          2. julietg Dec 2, 2007 12:32 PM

            There is a great tea shop in West Hollywood- I bought three tins of Imperial Wedding for my bridesmaids. I am sure they will UPS to you

            -----
            Algabar
            342 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: julietg
              omotosando Dec 2, 2007 02:18 PM

              Great to hear that Algabar has reopened! They used to be on La Cienega and then one day they just disappeared. I see from the website http://www.algabar.com that the owner decided to take a hiatus from retail for a few years.

            2. omotosando Dec 1, 2007 03:10 PM

              Well, it took hours and hours, but I finally succeeded in placing an order on their website. After all the difficulty in placing an order, I never got a confirming email. So, I assumed given the cumbersome nature of their website that the order did not actually go through. There is no way to contact customer service through the website and no way to look up an order. So I just wrote the whole thing off.

              However, a couple of days later my tea arrived from Paris (quicker than from some U.S. vendors). With the exception of Casablanca, which is a green mint tea, I only ordered black teas. I'm mostly a Japanese green tea drinker, but with the colder days of winter, I find myself craving black tea. Plus, I figured there were better places than Mariage Freres to buy Japanese tea.

              So far, I have tried the Casablanca, which was very nice, and Marco Polo and Wedding Imperial, both of which I hated. The latter two are black blends which tasted like cloying dish soap to me. I will report back as I make my way through the rest of the order.

              My favorite thing from the order was a bright yellow lacquered cannister to hold tea. They have a very nice selection of cannisters.

              2 Replies
              1. re: omotosando
                m
                mrsjoujou Dec 2, 2007 10:22 AM

                I love Marco polo and Wedding imperial. I guess you like more pure falvors. I posted about how happy I was, when their English version was up. I got three old flavors and three new one. I love their tea.

                1. re: mrsjoujou
                  omotosando Dec 2, 2007 02:25 PM

                  Yes, it's probably a matter of taste. Before I toss the Marco Polo and Wedding Imperial in the trash, which was my first instinct, I will try them iced and see if I find them any more tolerable that way.

                  This morning I tried the Ruschka tea, which is a black tea scented with citrus. I didn't love it, so I wouldn't order it again, but I didn't hate it and want to throw it in the trash like the Marco Polo and Wedding Imperial.

                  I had pancakes and syrup for breakfast and I thought the Ruschka was a nice foil against the sweetness of the syrup. So I think of Ruschka as a dessert tea. It is not something that I would just sip by itself, since I think it needs the foil of a dessert.

                  I'm looking forward to making my way through the rest of my Mariage Freres order.

              2. omotosando Nov 25, 2007 11:05 AM

                I tried to use the website last night. The English is now working, but the website was so cumbersome and hard to navigate that I gave up. Literally, it was the most awkward website I have ever used.

                Has competent website design not crossed the Atlantic? I doubt the French read these boards, but if anyone from Mariage Freres does, I say splurge and hire a competent website designer.

                1. yayadave Aug 15, 2007 01:53 PM

                  I also have noticed strange results on their web site. You might try calling them, remembering the 6 hour time differance from the east coast to Paris.

                  BOURG-TIBOURG
                  30 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, Paris 4e
                  Tel. : +33(0)1 42 72 28 11

                  Maybe you'll be able to figure out how to get them to send you some tea.

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