The company (“Mariage” is the family surname; “Frères” means “Brothers”) started trading in tea in the 1660s when Nicolas Mariage traveled to Persia, the East Indies, and the Moghul Empire as part of a trade delegation. A descendant, Jean-François Mariage, was still dealing in tea 150 years later in the northern French town of Lille. In 1845, Aimé and Auguste, two of Jean-François’ sons, founded Auguste Mariage & Compagnie in Paris.
The company as we know it came into being on June 1, 1854, when brothers Henri and Edouard Mariage (Aimé’s sons) founded Mariage Frères. The firm has stayed in the same building – at 30, rue du Bourg-Tibourg – all this time. Today Mariage Frères has three tearooms in Paris and a recently opened boutique named, aptly, Thé Français.More than any other person or group, Mariage Frères has been responsible for creating what can justly be called the “French art of tea.”
Mariage Frères enjoys an exceptional reputation: it is the world’s leading and most respected luxury tea company. Having cultivated excellence for centuries, Mariage Frères has now become the most unique, exclusive tea company in the world—its famous “tea-lined walls” display rare harvests and blends that add up to a selection of no less than six hundred teas.
Today the French drink the widest variety of teas in the world – from Darjeeling to Gyokuro to Lapsang Souchong. Perhaps even more popular are the blends, which at Marriage Frères are given intriguing names: Genghis Khan, Balthazar, Yin Yang, Zodiac, “Thés des Poètes Solitaires” (Tea of Solitary Poets), and “Elixir d’Amour” (Elixir of Love) are just a few.
If I can recommend, try those in winter – RUSSIAN STAR ( joyful green tea and velvety blue mallow ), PARIS + GINZA (black tea with notes of red fruit and caramel ) and THE DES IMPRESSIONNISTES ( green tea with a flowery vanilla taste ) .
Mariage Frères – official online store
Flamant – shop in Prague, Czech Republic