Spot of Tea: Mariage Frères Casablanca Tea


[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

Casablanca is one of my favorite movies. It has been since I was little, when I'd watch the film with my father, a man who probably still knows all the lines. He'd sigh over Ingrid Bergman ("Now that was a woman") while I slowly developed a crush on Bogie. I'm still holding out for a man who can make a bow tie look so sexy, and I'm still partial to anything I can associate with the romance of the film.

I'm explaining this because only such a deep seated nostalgia would prompt me to pay $22.50 for a canister of tea. Of course this is not just any tea, but Mariage Frères, the Mercedes of tea. These teas are typically amazing, but until last week I'd never sprung for any to drink at home. Then I saw the pretty black and gold tin for Casablanca tea, and I knew I would make an exception.

This is an excellent tea, and one that contains two of my favorite flavors. The first sip reveals mint. The flavor is cooling and distinctly like menthol, as opposed to a sweeter herb like peppermint. Then the bergamot hits, with its bright notes of citrus. The earthiness of green tea grounds the flavors but is far from overwhelming. In fact the green tea flavor is so mild and well integrated with the rest that for the first few cups I assumed I was drinking black tea.

Overall Casablanca is a particularly refreshing sip. It would make a nice afternoon indulgence for any fans of Lady Grey.

Available online and in Dean and Deluca. $22.50 for 3.5 ounces.