When I sit in front of my computer for writing a new post in my blog I never start without a steaming cup of tea; it was yesterday, while boiling the water and choosing the leaf, deciding for one of my favourite- “Pleine Lune” by Mariage Frères- that I started thinking about this french industry.
The title tells it all: how can it possibly be called the tea choosen by the JAL (japanese airlines) for its first class costumers? If you need to know more, Mariage Frères is the same tea that is served at one of the Tea Guild of UK’s top ten tea room Claridge’s.
It’s becoming so popular that it didn’t even need advertisement!
Apart form that , it’s just enough thinking that french tradition of tea really started with this industry.
It all started when in 1660, the Compagnie des Indies and Louis XIV appointed Nicolas Mariage to go to the Persian countries, to convince the Shah of Persia to commerce with France. At the same time, his brother Pierre Mariage, was sent as a special envoy to Madagascar for a similar purpose.
But actually their descendents, Henri and Edouard Mariage, were among the firsts to have success with their activity of tea seller in France, selling it to retailers, tea rooms and hotels; it was only in 198o that their company started selling to the public too.
Now, they have three flagship store in France and four in Japan and a wide net of distribution all over the world, since it has become another point of excellence in the reknowed french culture; it’s even selled in the Opèra Garnier in Paris (where I actually bought it 🙂 )!
And, a book has been freshly published to confirm the established excellence of Mariage Frères: “The French Art of Tea”.
Personally I have to say that Mariage Frères makes one of the best tea I have ever sipped. So, from my blissful condition of tea-drinker…
… I wish you a very good brew! 😉