A few weeks ago, I went to the press presentation of Mariage Frères. Do you see this great tea house founded in 1854? Fans like me will know her without a doubt! This great luxury brand therefore invited me to their presentation where I had the opportunity to discover their magnificent new collection of teas and pastries. Among these, an unusual and very unique tea caught my eye, the Grand Cru tea from Gyokuro!
I am really delighted to have participated in this event. The iconic Mariage Frères tea is exceptional and of high quality! As soon as the lid is open, the flavors scent our nostrils with the fruity and gourmet scents of new teas. Besides taste, sight and touch, it is thanks to smell, in part, that we recognize good tea.
This is why without further ado, I am taking you with me to the heart of the amazing world of tea! In this article, I therefore share with you my many finds and favorites.
The new gourmet ranges of Mariages Frères
Within their new products, three ranges have appeared. In view of the approaching spring, Mariage Frères has released a first range scented with cherry blossoms. Available in green, white and blue tea, it will satisfy all tastes. I also find the way in which a flavor changes depending on the color of the tea, sometimes light, sometimes more full-bodied and bitter, impressive. Personally, my favorite is green tea because it has, I find a perfect balance of flowery note (neither too much nor too little).
On the other hand, the second range is more festive, specially concocted for Easter. The result is really successful in every way! In fact, in addition to its magnificent packaging in bright Easter colors, the gourmet crème brûlée, vanilla and citrus scents are delicious. The latter is then an excellent idea of gifts to offer for the festivities.
Who says tea room obviously says pastries!
Consequently, for the most gourmets among you, the pastry chefs have concocted desserts in perfect harmony with each of the teas. A crunchy flavored with cherry blossoms or a caramelized chocolate millefeuille, how not to resist these little wonders? Desserts are as much a taste as they are a visual pleasure. Indeed, their delicately worked aesthetic, sends us to the heart of universes very different from each other.
For my part, I could not resist the dessert flavored with Sakura tea! Indeed, although the time is not suitable, the temptation was greater and could not face this astonishing pastry in the form of a blue dome. After all there is no time for gluttony! Thus, topped with a crunch of sugared almonds, the dome covered with a delicate foam of almond milk hid a fruity heart infused with cherry blossom tea. This dessert is ideal for pastry enthusiasts but also for the most reluctant. Indeed, the precisely dosed flavors complement each other and offer a very slightly sweet dessert. Moreover, before concluding on this one, I wanted to inform you that there is no addition of chemical ingredients. Each color of the desserts is made from natural dyes, such as dried flower leaves for example.
Focus on Grand Cru tea from Gyokuro Hakuyocha Umami
As we now know, Mariage Frères represents a famous tea brand around the world. So, even if its name means nothing to you, you have surely come across one of its famous drinks such as Marco Polo (available on Amazon), this legendary infusion with sweet fruity and vanilla flavors! Well, quite procrastinated because I could still spend long hours talking about their teas that I idolize.
Now let’s start the mysterious Grand Cru. Among the various Grand Crus already existing, that of Gyokuro is extremely rare and unique. Indeed, unique and in limited edition, Gyokuro Hakuyocha Umami tea, more simply “white leaf tea”, comes straight from a plot of Mount Fuji. A land specially dedicated to Mariage Frères. It was following a specific request from the luxury brand that the Grand Cru was born. From then on, the planter made a green tea from young pearly buds. Thus, thanks to the particular elaboration of green tea, this is the first time that a liqueur has succeeded in providing vast emotions through fresh and fragrant touches.
In addition, like the other lines of Mariage Frères teas, the Grand Cru has the “Jardin Premier” label. This slip guarantees users the high quality of the tea they consume. The specificity of the Jardin Premier label is the suitability of the teas to the strict European standards (EC).
The development of this green tea is extremely meticulous and studied. In addition to its rarity, its production does not exceed 10 kg per year! Moreover, this is why the tea bags are sold in very small quantities, approximately 20g. I grant you, it is a pity that such a tea is consumed so quickly. But don’t worry, it can still be infused 7 times! This Grand Cru will always surprise me.
Preparation of Ombre green tea
In reality, Grand Cru green tea corresponds to Shadow tea. Yes yes, you read that correctly, Shadow tea. I also made a funny face when I heard that name. Certainly, tea fanatic, there is still a large part in the tea business that I do not know. In addition, black, green, blue, white or even red tea, Ombre tea is added to the already long list!
Thus, the principle, admittedly simple, is relatively long. Certainly, Ombre tea embodies a Japanese technique dating from the 1860s. At the time, rice straws were used to cover the plots, about three weeks before the harvest in May. Today, this process still exists, however black nets act as protection. As a result, once the harvest is done, the tea is inserted into teapots deprived of light for nearly 25 days. Photosynthesis as well as chlorophyll production are then slowed down by the shade, then causing unique and unequaled flavors.
It is so impressive the practices and preparation of teas are meticulous. It is then thanks to the time devoted to each step and to the multiple techniques that we benefit from exceptional teas.
Mariage Frères: to taste your tea
Mariage Frères offers a nice line of products to prepare and taste your tea. The idea is to have accessories that match their precious product.
We then find the emblematic service of the brand but also cast iron and glass teapots and specials for left-handers! All products are available online and in their wonderful stores.