Not As Expected

Sometimes high expectations and a lot of publicity can lead to disappointment. I have felt that way at several movies and plays and a few restaurants. When I first moved to Paris I visited the tea shop of Mariage Freres and loved the interior, the lovely fragrance of teas in the air so I expected a visit to the tea room that they have there to be a really great experience. I was disappointed.
The first time I tried it, it was packed with people on a cold winter day. It was an athletic workout to try and make your way to a table with a winter coat on and packages because the tables are so closely packed together. It was hard to get seated with other chairs filled with people and getting your coat off was very difficult. The desserts there at Mariage Freres are, I have to say, really good especially the Creme Brulee. The best I’ve ever had I think. But the tea doesn’t taste good to me. I don’t know why that is. I love the tea that I make at home using their mixes, especially Tea Noel and Marco Polo Rouge. It just doesn’t do it for me when I’m drinking their tea in the tea room.


I always love their windows. This window was foggy inside and I liked the things inside glowing in the light.

So, I was in the area with a friend and we decided to give it a try one more time. When we came in to the tea room we were informed that there was some sort of electrical malfunction with their water container and that it would be a few minutes before we could get our tea. It turned out to be thirty minutes. They brought in a big pot of boiling water which I guess they heated up in the kitchen. I wondered if they had a microwave. Surely that would be faster. We finally got our tea-we didn’t order anything sweet to go with it-and, darn, if it didn’t taste good to me again. It was then that I decided that I wouldn’t try their tea room again. I’ll have to try a couple of others and see how I like the taste. Maybe it’s just me.

13 thoughts to “Not As Expected”

  1. it is a cramped little shop but the smell of the teas — mmmmm.
    Oh – don’t bother having afternoon tea at the Ritz either – now that was a disappointment! The glass of champagne was fine but the food —– very commercial and probably frozen in advance and it tasted like it too !

  2. Someone gave us some tea from the Mariage Freres and I actually really don’t like it! It’s incredibly bitter tasting. I love their packaging but I think you’re right in that it’s a bit hyped up.

  3. So now you’ve tried it prepared in different ways and it still doesn’t taste as good as when you make it at home. Strange. Well, at least you don’t have to waste any more money there. I’ll be anxious to see the next spot you try.

  4. It is probably the water. For some reason the tea on Aer Lingus always tastes wonderful. And tea drunk in Ireland is always much better than in the US.

  5. Interesting…I’ve been disappointed too after all the hoop-la and I’ve been there when it was empty and full..
    Must make a study of where the tea is way better..going to Ireland would be a stretch though.

  6. Sorry it was a disappointment. Sometimes the little out of the way places that cater to locals are the best and the high profile ones just don’t cut it.

  7. I haven’t tried Mariage Frères tea or their tea room, but I know it’s supposedly “the best”. But much like Angelina and their hot chocolate, I love their hot chocolate but the tea room is run down and most of the desserts either far too sweet or disappointing in taste. So now I only go there if I’ve got an out of towner visiting, if they want hot chocolate.

  8. I meant to continue my above comment by saying: sometimes it’s the hype that makes something seem special, instead of the actual experience. And sometimes these restaurants, etc. get lazy about their standards of service because they think they can just trade on their reputation. Problem with that is, bad word of mouth will eventually kill their business. Dooce.com had a bad experience with repairs on a Maytag washing machine and used her blog and Twitter to get their attention, and it worked! She got her machine replaced and they gave her a second machine as an apology, which she donated to a women’s shelter. Power to the (internet) people!

  9. I kept on hearing about them when I was in France but I have never visited the shop.

    Sometimes, the hype kills it… I am always disappointed by “the best” places.

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