Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mariage Frères 2...

Mariage Freres silver tea scoop
Tea at Mariage Freres 2, original watercolor,
Brought back by special request and because I overslept and heck..Mariage Freres is a trip!
Yes, that's my reflection in the tea pot stealing a shot... This is what I ordered in the tea salon: One Matcha Green tea financier and one citron macaron.
The orange book lists the 500 teas you can order and a load of tea history, which you're in no condition to absorb. You're too overwhelmed by the glory of just being in Mariage many teas to chose from... You wander out of the salon and naturally turn into the shop in a semi-blitzed state of mind. The shop is a little bit small and a little bit dark and a little bit crowded with other blitzed-out tea drinkers.How to resist these colors? You've just come out of an opium den so to speak, so you're ready to buy anything and everything and it's all delicious looking AND the aromas!
And they understand your state of mind. The sales staff could not be more patient and understanding, unlike most Parisien shops. I couldn't resist the silver tea spoon and a tin of The a l'Opera (green tea flavored with fruits and spices). I needed them for still life purposes of course.
A contemporary craquelé tea pot The vitrine (windows) at Mariage Freres are so chic and so colorful! Not quite what you'd expect from the premier tea importers of France since 1854.
The story goes that in the early '80s two foreign students were exploring the Marais and "discovered" the old shop. Marthe Mariage (the last living family member) and her employee were inside sewing up cloth teabags for their catering customers amidst old tea chests. A bond was formed and together they evolved the "French art of tea" to it's present form and aren't we glad they did!
Even the l'addition (bill) is elegant at Mariage Freres.


Catherine said...

I've not wanted to go back to Paris for some time now, but seeing these pictures and their descriptions have changed my mind. I want that book more than anything; I never tire of tea history. Thanks for this post! said...

You really do capture things in such a beautiful way:-)

Peter Yesis said...

Coffee drinkers just don't get it. Poor things, they miss so much. I think they might be genetically flawed. Either that or we tea drinkers have special genetic material. Wonderful post as always, I hear my teapot boiling gotta run!

Anonymous said...

Almighty tea,
Of Mariage Freres.
Your fragrant leaves
Come from coffers rare.
Only the French
Comprehend your fare...

Merisi said...

I can't contain myself anymore, I want want want ... one of those little silver trays, black Mariage Frères tea containers for all my teas, .... sorry, I'm getting carried away (side note to Santa: please keep this list for next Christmas!).
How in the world did you paint that beautiful label on the tea container? Or did you mix real and painted? Anyway, I'm in awe.
Yours truly,
(on my third pot of tea)

Anonymous said...


Anita said...

Oh yes, the little tea shop opposite to the salon is worth a visit as well! I always go there when I am in Paris! Your photos are just ~~~~ oh ~~~~ .... without words, just wonderfull!
(I am going to e-mail you... check you mail, I hope it won't end up in your spam filter)

Anonymous said...

Oh if only I could have a little of this in Sydney...sigh

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Marco Polo is my favorite tea of theirs. They say it is one of their best selling teas. The moment they opened the cannister, I had to have it!

Can I stay here and drink
tea with you...I'll
bring the chocolates,(M&F, sale chocolates too,and the box is as lovely!)

I like how you added your signature
right under the scoop, perfect tea leaves you might say!

tlchang said...

500 varieties!??! I can't even fathom. Beautiful ware.

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