Mariage Frères History and Savoir-Faire
THE GREAT ADVENTURE
Nicolas Mariage makes several voyages to Persia, the East Indies and India during the Mughal Empire. He is part of a deputation chosen by King Louis XIV to sign a commercial treaty with the Shah of Persia. His brother, Pierre Mariage, sails to the islands of Madagascar also as a private envoy.
AUGUSTE MARIAGE & COMPAGNIE
A century later, Jean-François Mariage, born in 1766, still trades tea, spices and exotic foods in Lille, and very early on trains his four sons Louis, Aimé, Charles and Auguste in this same activity.
THE FIRST MAISON DE THÉ MARIAGE FRÈRES
Successors to their father, Aimé and Auguste, already living on the rue du Bourg-Tibourg in Paris, found “Auguste Mariage and Company” and perpetuate the family tradition. In Paris, on June 1, 1854, Henri and Édouard found the Mariage Frères Tea House after acquiring the ancestral experience through their father Aimé Mariage. The leading French importer of tea would continue trading with the most remote outposts in China and Ceylon. Leading French importer of tea, Mariage Frères supplies the best houses, the finest delicatessens and tearooms and the most renowned hotels. The excellence of its products and the French Art of Tea that it codified are still recognised and appreciated.
THE OPENING OF THE RETAIL TRADE
After more than three centuries, Mariage Frères opens up to the retail trade, offering sales over the Counter of several hundred quality teas from all over the world. Mariage Frères also perpetuates the Art of Tea by creating its very own teapots, tea services and tea accessories. Maison de Thé Mariage Frères, situated in the Marais in the heart of old Paris, remains the same: vintage tea crates from China, scales, filters, scoops and antique counters are still used, imparting a unique charm to the space. As soon as one enters, one is greeted with the fragrance of teas that have gently perfumed the woodwork and the walls over the decades. At the time, the Tea Salon was the first of its kind to offer brunch in Paris. It was an immediate success. Globe trotters from the worlds of fashion, cinema, theatre and press rush to get in: “brunch at Mariage Frères“ becomes an essential meeting place. Here one discovers a unique tea-flavoured cuisine and patisserie where tea occupies an important place as an ingredient in many recipes.
ARRIVAL IN JAPAN
Opening of the first Mariage Frères flagship store in the Ginza district of Tokyo, Japan. The Tea Shop and Tea Room, spread over five floors, perfectly reflect the refined atmosphere evoking the most charming establishments in Paris. Mariage Frères quickly becomes an emblematic brand and its teas, caddies and teapots become essential gifts for many Japanese occasions and festivities. The success is so extraordinary that other tea shops soon open in Tokyo, then in other cities across Japan: Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe.
The first Mariage Frères flagship store in London opens in the Covent Garden district. After opening a boutique in the prestigious Selfridges department store in 2012. Mariage Frères decides to open a Tea House unlike any other, on four floors in the British capital, housing the largest Tea Wall in the world. The address becomes the quintessential meeting place for Londoners and the jet set fans looking to discover the vast Tea Collection, the famous tea cuisine and the delightful cocktails made with tea.
3 CENTURIES OF PASSION
Mariage Frères continues to spread the French Art of Tea throughout the world with its many shops and Tea Rooms in France, Germany, England and Japan. Each house is rich with a collection of more than 1000 teas, blending original compositions with grand cru teas, the fruit of continuous and masterful work in the heart of the plantation. In favouring quality over quantity, each harvest is cultivated with the greatest respect for nature and mankind and negotiated directly with the planter for a fair price. The most beautiful parcels are reserved for Mariage Frères and many teas are conceived and “made to measure“ exclusively for the Maison. Almost all of the teas on offer now have the Jardin Premier label, a guarantee of the purest quality teas. Each creation is inspired by a spirit of discovery and innovation, composing a menu of incomparable richness, unique in the world. Welcome to the extraordinary world of tea!
Heir to voyagers who plied the seas and crossed continents in order to bring back the most exclusive teas and precious objects, Richard A. Bueno founded the Mariage Frères Tea Museum. Mariage Frères’ pride and joy, this museum takes you away on a poetic and fragrant adventure in the world of tea, through some of the rarest objects in history: painted oak blending casks and tea chests of beech tea caddies in precious woods, secret herbal boxes, tea pots in the most amazing shapes, wicker and leather travel kits for tea, sample cases used by travelling merchants and, to underscore the elegance of the museum, Chinese furnishings in carved and lacquered wood. These masterpieces are complemented by old archives documenting distant trade across the seas, Mariage Frères invite you to share our passion by taking a trip through an emotion-filled, nostalgia-packed world that incarnates one of the fine arts of living: the Art of Tea.