Mariage Frères is a gourmet tea company founded by Henri and Edouard Mariage in Paris in 1854. The company started as a wholesale-only business importing premium quality leaf teas from the Orient and trading them to first-class hotels and tea shops in France. Over the years, successive generations of the Mariage family continued the tea trade and expanded their business.
Transformation to a Retail Company
In 1983, under the leadership of Kitti Cha Sangmanee and Richard Bueno, Mariage Frères transformed from a wholesale import firm into a retail company. The first tea emporium and tea salon were opened in the same building where Henri Mariage had his offices over 150 years ago. Today, the company operates over 30 Mariage Frères points-of-sale within France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan, with five Mariage Frères tearooms in Paris.
Distribution and Online Shop
Mariage Frères is distributed through a network of resellers in over 60 countries, served in grand hotels such as the Meurice in Paris, Claridge’s in London, Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok and Singapore, as well as being offered to first-class voyagers on Japan Airlines. In the early 2000s, an online shop was launched with worldwide distribution in French, English, and Japanese.
Unique Production and References in Popular Culture
Mariage Frères has a unique production platform in Paris for Europe, as well as for the rest of the world, and another platform for distribution only in Japan. The brand has also gained recognition in popular culture, such as being mentioned in Episode 11, Season 3 of American TV series Gossip Girl. Blair’s mother, Eleanor, returns from a trip to Paris and enjoys Lapsang Souchong tea from Mariage Frères.