It was on a sizzling hot summer day that my friend Lindsey and I stumbled upon an absolute haven of air conditioning and afternoon treats. Mariage Frères had installed a new tea room on the lower end of rue Clerc about a year prior to our recent visit. It was a welcoming wave of cool air that greeted us as a smartly dressed man opened the door. Aaaaah, service AND a pleasant atmosphere, what else could you ask for on a summer day? Oh yes, iced tea….
We walzed in to a perfectly empty tea room, I suppose either it wasn’t quite tea time or no one else knew about this gloriously air conditioned establishment. (Paris isn’t the most ideal place to wait out a heat wave). But the place was entirely ours, for a while.
Mariage Frères is one of my favorite tea brands. I first discovered them from my in-laws who served the Thé de Noël at breakfast Christmas morning years ago. And that’s when I switched from coffee to tea for my morning beverage. That’s how good it is!
I have since tried other incredible flavors from the Mariage Frères expansive tea collection. And some have become an occasional non-guilty pleasure. The Black Magic is one that I crave often, but as it is only sold in a rather pricey format ( a beautiful tinted glass jar) it is a splurge and I don’t get it very often.
Mariage Frères is a luxury tea brand that dates from the 19th century (I have a penchant for the 19th century) as a tea and vanilla importation company. It wasn’t until well over a hundred years later in the 1980’s that the company created the actual tea brand and sold teas under their label Mariage Frères. Now their tea brand is distributed in 60 different countries. Funny how they went from importing tea into France, to exporting their French branded tea to the world!
So back to our afternoon iced tea. The waiter told us we could have any tea we wanted iced. So of course I chose Black Magic! I also selected a scone from the pastry case, a hard choice to make because that lemon cake was calling to me…
More seakers of tea and comfort from the heat came in slowly as we sipped our tea, stirred our ice cubes and shared the latest events of our lives, Lindsey and I. It was the perfect place to be, with the right amount of calm, comfort and…tea!
What’s your favorite Mariage Frères tea blend? Tell me in the comments below. xoxo -Melissa