Nothing like a weekend in Paris to attend a tea tasting workshop hosted by the famous Mariage Frères! A friend and I had the chance in April 2014 to bask in the colonial ambiance of this Parisian tearoom!
Arrival and Introduction to the Tea Club
It’s 10:30 on a Saturday morning as we arrive on the rue des Grands Augustins to attend a tea tasting class. We’re unconditional fans of this brand and we’d like to learn more about tea in general. We walk through the doors of the left-bank boutique and get comfortably settled on the upstairs floor, in the restaurant section. Large tables donning white tablecloths await the participants on this chilly morning, with ten or so people in attendance hoping like us to learn more (and have fun!) through this hour-and-a-half-long course.
Time for the Tasting
Our professor for the day is a specialist in the field, and he’s thrilled to explore with us the secrets of tea. The Tea Club’s theme today is black tea, which is perfect for me as I generally prefer it over green tea. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to say why I enjoy a particular tea, to put words to what I taste and sense. But thanks to this exclusive class, I’ve learned a number of things, and tried brews that I would never have been brave enough to test otherwise (like the famous Pu-erh, a very ripe tea with an unusual and highly pronounced taste). We use all of our senses to try to describe the various beverages: while my friend easily manages to make out the different fragrances, I realize that my nose is not as powerful as hers… but no big deal, we’re here to learn!
A large sheet in front of us explains the steps to tea-tasting, and little by little we try all nine high-quality varieties: some are very fruity, while others are woody or malted. In short, there’s something for every tea fan! We can take notes in our tasting notebook if we’d like, all in a very pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. A financier cake and matcha-flavored macaron is enough to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth (even mine).
And That’s Not All…
As this journey through the world of tea comes to an end, we jump on the chance to continue the adventure with a brunch. It’s absolutely delicious! It goes without saying that we’ve spent nearly the entire day in this superb tearoom! I’m already excited to come back for another workshop, perhaps to learn more about green tea.
- Three initiation workshops are available, with five more workshops on offer to build on your knowledge.
- Private lessons are available (360 € for one person, 480 € for two)
- Group workshop: 65 € per participant (reserve online through the Mariage Frères website)