Coffee is immensely popular in the United States, but there are times when tea is more appropriate. In a world of increasing technology and single-serving brewed beverages, we can’t forget that tea bags were first patented 110 years ago. The only improvement that single-serving automated machines have made is decrease in time, but our belief is quality can’t be rushed. What’s wrong with waiting five minutes for fragrant, delicious tea?
When we stopped by Chantal Guillon on Bastille Day, not coffee but tea was the beverage offered, both hot and iced. August got a wonderfully special iced tea, so we were inspired to buy something to bring home along with an assortment of macarons. Mariage Frères of Paris has a history reaching back to the 17th century, with generations of a single family working towards “refinement and perfection.” There are Mariage Frères tea houses in Europe and Japan only, but luckily Chantal Guillon carries a selection to make your home a tea house.
Marco Polo is a blend of Chinese and Tibetan flowers, with an intoxicatingly fruity and floral aroma. The taste is smooth and light, and when August added just a touch of cream to her cup, she felt that the flavors of the tea better matched the scent. Like Marco Polo in uncharted waters, this tea is incomparable. We can’t say it’s like green tea, or with notes of rose, nor is it like oolong or lapsang souchong that we can tell. It is simply unique, its own flavor. It is the perfect kind of tea to sip slowly with at least two of the following three things: a roaring fireplace, a book, and a pet curled in your lap, with a tea to take you away from the mundane.