I am a tea addict. I don’t drink coffee, I don’t really drink that much alcohol, but tea? I could drink it all day, every day. Black tea, green tea, white tea, herbal, you name it, I’ll drink it!
Living in England is definitely great, tea-wise – I’ll admit, they have the best classics: English Breakfast tea, Ear Grey, Darjeeling, Assam, good old Builder’s tea.. But the French, I have to say, make the best loose leaf tea blends I’ve ever tasted.
A number of tea houses come to mind – Hédiard, Fauchon, Kusmi Tea, or Dammann Frères, for example – but the best I’ve ever had is Mariage Frères.
Founded in 1854 by the Mariage brothers, Henri and Edouard, it has gone from simply being a tea wholesale importer to a retail company: today, you can find Mariage Frères shops and tea houses all over Paris, and buy one of their signature blends, beautiful tea pots and cup sets or sit down for a cup in one of their lovely tea rooms.
Mariage Frères comptoir à thé at the Carrousel du Louvre
I have a few favorites from Mariage Frères – it would be impossible to choose just one. Depending on the time of year, my go-to tea changes: Esprit de Noël during the winter and Christmas time, Marco Polo in the spring, Pleine Lune, a black tea with almonds, in the summertime… They have a shop in Selfridges in London if you want to go look at – and smell – their selection for yourself.
My ultimate Mariage Frères recommendation is a green tea called De-Stress tea: its light floral notes and hints of camomille, lavender and orange blossom, to name a few, make it a very relaxing tea perfect for any moment – I usually have mine in the morning, when I wake up early and have some time to spare to wake up slowly and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Try it. You’ll thank me.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, I usually use my Monkey Tea infuser to infuse loose leaf teas. It’s very cute and whimsical, and brings out the child in me 😉 I’m thinking of getting a diver one next!
Anyway, here’s a link to it on Amazon if you’re interested!