Sunday, August 23, 2015

Let's Talk About Éros - Mariage Frères

"It has made me better loving you... it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter." Henry James, Portrait of a Lady.  

Out of context, this quote from Henry James is truly beautiful. What poetic prose! If you actually read Portrait of a Lady, you realize Gilbert is a horrible sleaze. Still, it's a lovely sentiment isn't it? I can't seem to stop thinking about love these days. Even at church today, the sermon was on "Recapturing Our Lost Love." My friends reading this might giggle but well, what can I say. Love has made me better so I'm ok with that. In this vein, I naturally reached for Mariage Frères Éros for my afternoon tea. 

Éros is a very popular black tea from Mariage Frères, one of my favorite tea companies. I bought mine from Dean and Deluca but you can order it online directly from Mariage. Éros is a "flowery black tea for lovers." Why for lovers you ask? I'm not sure. It contains hibiscus and mallow and orange essence. According to the Language of Flowers, hibiscus (and other mallows) symbolize "consumed by love." A little intense I think. 

I love that Mariage seals its tea tins so well. The aroma and taste are perfectly preserved.
The dry tea leaves have a sweet, fruity aroma. Not too strong, but a little deceptive because there isn't a lot of fruit in here, just the orange essence. I'm not usually a fan of citrus tea but I heard many good things about the unique flavor profile of Éros so I wanted to try it. Once I brewed it, the sweet aroma is almost completely masked by the citrus aroma. 

Hibiscus and and blue corn flowers
It tastes like an assam that has been given a citrus tang. The tang comes from the hibiscus flowers. Have you ever had only dried hibiscus tea? It is very, very tangy. Again, I don't like tangy tea but I didn't mind this at all. The first sip had a lot of wonderful flavor nuances. There is no bitter or strong after taste, just a slight floral tone. I actually really enjoyed it. For the summer, I think this tea will be a very refreshing as a cold beverage. 

Isn't this Wedgwood cup charming?

Éros is perfect for these lazy summer days. I'm really enjoying sitting out on my balcony and writing, a cup of tea in hand, the cats basking in the sun nearby.

I hope Éros brightens your day like it does mine every day. 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  1 John 4:7 

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