Mariage Frères Noël in Love Tea
Mariage Frères Noël in Love Tea
"It's the time of year when the world falls in love..."
This delicate creation of velvety blue tea celebrates the beloved Provence tradition of the 13 Desserts of Christmas. Delicious notes of hazelnut, citrus and candied fruits dressed with irresistible accents of nougat, calisson and other indescribable French delights creates a gourmet and sublimely sweet cup of tea.
Filled with the festive spirit of the season, Noël in Love is packaged in an elegant box of brilliant color decorated with discreet little hearts appearing to those who know where to find them. This exquisite collection of 30 hand-tied cotton sachets will transport you to Christmas Eve dinner in Provence and become your very own tradition throughout the holiday season.
Box contains 30 sachets.
Preparation Tip: Steep 1 sachet in 20cl (6.76 ounces) at 95°C (203°F) for 4 minutes. For best results, let water cool slightly from boiling before pouring over the tea.
Learn More About the 13 Desserts of Christmas
Les Treize Desserts de Noël, or the thirteen desserts of Christmas are a tradition in Provence. They are enjoyed after le gros souper – the big supper which is served on Christmas Eve. These thirteen desserts represent Jesus and his twelve apostles at the Last Supper.
There must always be thirteen desserts, but the composition varies greatly from village to village. However, they will always be served at the same time, on the same table and each guest must have at least a small taste of each dessert. The food traditionally is set out on Christmas Eve and remains for three days until December 27th. This allows the family to nibble as they pass the table.
Thirteen desserts may sound overwhelming, but as you’ll see, they are actually very healthy.
The first four desserts are “les quartre mendiants”. These four beggars represent monastic communities: walnuts or hazelnuts symbolizing the order of St Augustin, almonds for the Carmelites, raisins for the Dominicans, and dry figs for the Franciscans.
And then there is fougasse or pompe à l’huile. This is an olive oil flatbread eaten with grape jam made during the last harvest season. The tradition is to break the bread into individual servings with the fingers, rather than cut the bread with a knife. This is said to protect your wealth from bankruptcy in the coming year.
Two nougats are next: white symbolises good (made with pine nuts, pistachio and hazelnuts) and black nougat for evil (made with caramelized honey cooked with almonds).
While these first seven desserts are more strictly defined, the rest can vary considerably according to the region, but they could include:
- Dates (perhaps stuffed with marzipan) representing the foods of the region where Christ lived and died;
- Dried plums from Brignoles;
- Calisson d’aix en Provence – a marzipan-like candy made from almond paste and candied melon;
- Quince fruit paste or jam;
- Candied melons;
- Casse-dents of Allauch – a biscuit;
- Cumin and fennel seed biscuits;
- Fried bugnes - a fritter;
- Pain d’epice - spice bread;
- Fruit tourtes - Fruit pie or tort;
- Oreillettes – light thin waffles.
And finally, a platter of fresh seasonal fruit usually counts as one dessert, and is always served. It can be a selection of oranges (a sign of wealth), apples, pears, Christmas melon, plums and grapes.
What a treat! However, for les enfants, there is a catch: in some households, the children are not able to start eating until they’re able to name all thirteen desserts of Christmas on display.
* 13 Desserts of Christmas text courtesy of The French Affair
Learn More About Mariage Frères
Mariage Frères. The name is synonymous with luxury. In the French tradition, Mariage Frères has elevated tea to an art: the art of French tea.
It all began in the second half of the seventeenth century, when brothers Nicolas and Pierre Mariage voyaged to distant lands on behalf of French King Louis XIV in search of exotic goods. Visiting Madagascar, Persia and India, they settled on the sublime teas they found there. Generations later, the Mariage family continued in the tea trade and in 1854, the Mariage brothers Edouard and Henri founded the Mariage Frères Tea Company and opened their first wholesale tea shop in Paris. The Mariage tea merchants imported the finest quality leaf teas from the Orient and built their business supplying the world's most exclusive teas to grand hotels and tea shops throughout France.
Sourcing the finest harvests from all four corners of the earth, Mariage Frères has developed the gourmet approach to tea, now known as "French tea".
Direct from the Mariage Frères Tea Company in Paris, we are honored to offer a selection of some of the finest teas available anywhere. If you've experienced the teas of Mariage Frères, you no doubt understand the passion and reverence that tea aficionados have for these exquisite teas.
(If you're not familiar with the teas of Mariage Frères, you will undoubtedly thank us for this better-late-than-never introduction!)