For several generations now, Mariage Frères ’ passion for tea has been governed by an aesthetic sense of refinement and a quest for perfection. It was back in the seventeenth century that the ancestors of the Mariage family established the principles that subsequently developed into a veritable French Art of Tea.
Around 1660, Nicolas Mariage made several voyages to Persia, the East Indies, and the Moghul Empire. He was part of a deputation dispatched by King Louis XIV and the French East India Company to sign a trade agreement with the Shah of Persia. Meanwhile, Nicolas’s brother, Pierre Mariage, travelled to the island of Madagascar on behalf of the same company.
A century later, Jean-François Mariage, born in 1766, was still trading in tea, spices, and other colonial goods in Lille, where he taught the business to his four sons–Louis, Aimé, Charles, and Auguste. Around 1820, Louis, Aimé, and Charles jointly took over the firm from their father, while in 1845 Aimé and Auguste, already living on Rue Bourg-Tibourg in Paris, together founded ‘Auguste Mariage & Compagnie’, thereby perpetuating the family tradition. Aimé’s sons, Henri and Edouard Mariage, in turn learned the family trade at their father’s side, and finally founded the Mariage Frères tea company in Paris on June 1, 1854. They did business with the most distant trading posts in China and Ceylon.
After 130 years of existence, Mariage Frères decided to enter the retail business, selling more than 500 high quality teas over the counter and by mail-order. In addition to supplying tea grown in 35 different countries, Mariage Frères perpetuates the fine art of serving tea through the design and reproduction of exclusive teapots, tea services, and other utensils.