After getting lost for 45 minutes in not much more than a half mile radius northeast of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, there it was–the unassuming store front of one of the oldest tea stores in France: Mariage Freres. Upon stepping into the store, I was hit with the most deliciously fruity and floral fragrance, the smell of edible perfume. It seems as though the best and most beautiful scents of tea have literally seeped into the wooden walls of this sophisticated little shop in the trendy Marais district of Paris. Founded in 1854 by two brothers, this establishment has raised tea into an art form.
When you step into the tea room of Mariage Freres, it’s like stepping back in time. In the tea room, there are vintage French colonial posters of tea production from early 1900’s Indochina (presently Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) covering the walls, crisp white table linens, and breezy rattan finishes. Attempting to run down their impressive list of over 500 teas from over 35 countries, it’s easy to see why tea enthusiasts have Mariage Freres at the top of their to-do list when they come to Paris. I decided on the crème brûlée infused with their signature fruity Marco Polo tea, with of course, another cup of tea on the side.
The tea at Mariage Freres is so exotic and treated with such respect. There is a level of relaxed refinement at this tea salon sure to exceed the highest standards of any tea drinker. The good news is, one doesn’t have to travel all the way to France for some of Mariage Freres’ extraordinary tea blends. In America, these special teas can be purchased at William Sonoma, Market Hall Foods, and Dean & Deluca. And for the most special of occasions, Mariage Freres ships out tea, tea accessories, and gift sets directly from its famous flagship store on Rue du Bourg Tibourg…Paris, at its finest, in a cup!
Mariage Frères, Salon de Thé
Address: 30 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 75004 Paris, France