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Macaron Queen review & unboxing [2021]


Macaron Queen Full Review and unboxing in 2021
TOPIC
DETAILS
GRADE
Price Too pricey. Each macaron is $2.70 each when the online average price per macaron is $2.10
4/10
Website Fair order process. No option to build your own set. No gift box (only ribbon).
5.5/10
Shipping Great shipping costs. $7.99 Fedex 2-day delivery, or $17 for overnight. Free shipping over $75.
7/10
Transit Order received in 3 days, transited for 2 days.
8/10
For events? No option to delay order for an event.
3/10
Who is Macaron Queen? The baker is identified as featured in The Profit on CNBC. The Macaron Queen is Finia Jahangard. This is a legit place.
8/10
Unboxing Amateurish look for unboxing. No branding. Tape was poorly applied and not sealed correctly. Shipping label was a sheet of paper.
4.5/10
Quality 5 out of 10 macarons were melted, 3 out of 10 were broken. I don't recommend to order these to ship.
3/10
Taste Macaron Queen uses too much butter, therefore taste is lacking, and macarons melt in transit.
3.5/10

 

Table of content

  • About this review

French chefs at Pastreez

Bonjour! My name is Anthony. My wife and I are French chefs and founders of Pastreez, an online bakery based in California.

We are experienced bakers from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. When it comes to macarons, I can see say we know our stuff.

The objective of this review of Macaron Queen, is to help you decide if it's a good fit for you, and what to expect when you order from their online store.

I conducted this review the same way you would order from Macaron Queen. I will detail the order process, shipping and transit time, unboxing, macarons quality test and macarons taste test.

  • Price

The price tag of Macaron Queen is higher than usual. I purchased 10 macarons for $27, which is $2.7 per macaron. It is higher than the national average of $2.10.

On top of that, add $11 of shipping cost, or $17 for overnight shipping.

Total cost including shipping for 10 macarons is $38.

Do you know why macarons are so expensive? Because it's a real challenge to make. It takes years of practice, and most bakeries are still struggling to get consistent results. The difficulty increases if the bakery wish to ship nationwide.

  • Order process

I have to say I am excited to review Macaron Queen. I am a huge fan of The Profit show on CNBC with Marcus Lemonis.

The Macaron Queen website is fairly built. With 90 products available, there are lots of choice.

But the pictures and products titles makes the website hard to navigate. I'm having a hard time understanding how many macarons are included in each set, and I ended up clicking on every product to find out.

You also want to note that you can't pick specific macaron flavors to build your own set.

At Pastreez, you are able to pick and see the flavors while building your macaron set.

 It's an important feature to have. Some of our customers like to plan ahead an event, and order only specific colors / flavors on their macarons set.

 I also notice a "store locator" that can help you locate the closest retailer to you in the entire United States. I think Macaron Queen has turned into a "wholesaler" of macarons nationwide after the show. That's a good thing for her business, but we'll find out later if it's a good thing for you as a customer.

The macarons you would buy from this retailer would not be the freshest. Most likely, Macaron Queen ships frozen macarons to their retailers.

Then, retailers keep the macarons until it's sold I guess. Business wise it's great for them as they sell more in volume. But quality will obviously decrease.

As a customer, I advise to buy fresh from the baker rather than from a retailer. You have one extra step that WILL make a huge difference in freshness, taste and shipping.

Since I ordered directly from their website, my report will be an authentic review of Macaron Queen macarons.

  • Shipping options

Shipping costs and options from Macaron Queen are good. It is $11 for a 2-day Fedex delivery, and $17 for overnight shipping. I ordered with the $11 rate.

Macaron queen shipping options

Note that there is Free shipping when you order over $75. As you can see on the screenshot, they ship only on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

It means if you order on Wednesday afternoon, your order would ship only the following Monday. Add the 2-day shipping transit, and you'll get your macarons on Wednesday, which is a week later after ordering. That is a fair shipping timeline.

I understand this strategy: They want to avoid weekend transit. Makarohn, Dana's Bakery and Chelles Macarons do the same.

This is most likely because their macarons are made with butter and ship frozen: They want the shortest transit. Macarons made without butter are better quality, travel safer and fresher (I will detail that later on).

With the shipping settings of Macaron Queen, ordering on a Wednesday afternoon with overnight shipping would cause my order to be delivered almost a week later.

Macaron Queen uses Fedex . Fedex is more reliable than USPS, and fairly similar to UPS. The only drawback is that it won't ship to a PO BOX, when USPS does, and UPS Surepost does as well.

 Then, I couldn't find a way to order now and ship later. Remember when I mentioned our customers that order for events?

This is a feature that we have at Pastreez. It allows you to click "add an event date", and we'll ship fresh closer to your event accordingly.

  • Transit time

 Check below the timeline of my order from Macaron Queen:

    • Ordered on Monday August 23rd at 9:24am
    • Shipped on Tuesday August 24th at 8:18am
    • Delivered on Thursday August 26th at 1:12pm

Delivery time is great: Delivery took three days, with two days in transit.

  • Who is the Macarons Queen?

When I purchase macarons online, I always like to know who actually baked my pastries. And it's not always an easy information to find out. Check our Chelles review and Ma-ka-rohn review for example.

Here with Macaron Queen, the baker is clearly identified: Finia Jahangard. There is plenty of information available on the website and on blogs, which is a great point.

She is from Iran. Even though she is not French nor Parisian, The Profit aired on CNBC clearly shows that she bakes with love and passion.

Now the question is, does the Macaron Queen still bakes all these batches herself? I don't think so. They most likely focused on volume for their wholesale strategy. We will find out if the quality was preserved in the process during this review.

What most likely happened after the show, was to focus on a wholesaler strategy. I checked the store locator and found this retailer as an example.

On the retailer website, you could see the exact same pictures from the Macaron Queen website. Which is what usually happen with wholesale.

Here is the process when you have retailers:

The bakery ships frozen macarons to a retailer. They unthaw during transit, then the retailer also refrigerate, until sold. How old would be your macarons when you buy it? The answer is too old! It would have lost its taste signature.

I strongly advise you to buy straight from a bakery, and not from a retailer. Macarons are delicate treats.

At Pastreez, every single macaron is made in small batch by French chefs.

  • Macaron Queen unboxing 

I received my package from Macaron Queen on Thursday, I proceed to the review the same day.

Macaron Queen unboxing

I will be honest, the carton box looks amateurish. The shipping label was printed out of a classic home printer (no sticker label), and taped to the package.

The tape that sealed the box was poorly applied as well. See the picture. There was an air gap. A perfectly sealed package is important to keep the macarons fresh longer.

Coming from a "famous" bakery like Macaron Queen, I was expecting a better branding. There were no sticker or company logo neither, to help identify the package.

Buying macarons online is a journey. A sticker would add some kind of excitement and rush to open the box.

Note that there are two bright stickers, saying "FRAGILE" and "Refrigerate upon arrival", which is good to emphasize the hurry to refrigerate.

  • What's inside

    • Two cards

Once you open the carton box, there are two cards. The first one is the macaron menu from Macaron Queen.

Unboxing Macaron Queen 2021

And the second card is some explanation about how to best enjoy your macarons, informations about the Macaron Queen, etc.

Those are good reminders. The menu helps you identify which flavor you ordered, and the tips card helps if you need to keep your macarons for a while (refrigerating tips).

    • Tempguard

A Tempguard protection is an insulated cushion that helps perishable items to transit better. It is a good idea to use that.

Macaron Queen unboxing 3

But the macarons were not placed into an insulated pouch, so the Tempguard is useless.

As I mentioned in the previous topic, the carton box was not sealed correctly, and there were air gaps. So the freshness wasn't up to standards.

    • Ice pack

Using an ice pack with Tempguard might seems a great idea. Sadly same applies here: It is useless when used in these conditions.

The macarons box was not in an insulated pouch. It is useless to put an ice pack without any kind of perfectly sealed insulation wrap.

If you read my macarons reviews, you know what I think about ice packs.

Macarons do not need ice packs to transit perfectly, unless the bakery uses too much butter.

Especially with no insulation. With Macaron Queen, the ice pack was simply put in the carton box. Used this way, ice packs would stay cold less than 4 hours. It doesn't make any difference in a two days transit shipment.

I have to say I'm slightly disappointed so far. Macaron Queen being featured on NCBC in late 2019, I ordered in August 2021. I would expect almost 2 years after the show that the whole process was under control.

I really think that the Macaron Queen focused too hard on become a Macaron wholesaler, neglecting the direct retail to customers.

  • The macarons: First look

Alright, it's time to take a first look at the macarons!

After opening the carton box, I found the 10 macarons in a clear plastic box. Around it, there is what's called "shrink wrap" that seal the clear box.

Macaron Queen macarons review

The packaging was nice. The sticker on top of that shows "Macaron Queen" is good quality. This confirms my thoughts about the focus on wholesale. Check this page from one of their retailers.

Same packaging, only the sticker changes. Now there is nothing wrong being a wholesaler. I just want to make sure you know what you buy, and from whom.

A reminder of the ingredients are located on the back of the package, which is good for allergy purposes.

At this point, I teared the shrink wrap paper, and opened the clear packaging box. 5 out of 10 macarons were melted, and 3 out of 10 broken.

Macaron Queen First Look

Few things to note here. On the pictures, you can see that some macarons are broken. This confirms the poor shipping / packaging I mentioned earlier.

There was no bubble wrap, air cushion, or anything that would absorb shocks during transit.

Then, you can clearly see that the macarons from Macaron Queen had "sweat". Let's understand why in this next section.

  • Macaron Queen: Closer look

Macarons that sweat are a very common issue with online bakeries that use too much butter in their filling. Every single review I have made so far had the same issue (see all my bakery reviews here).

Macaron Queen Unboxing

There is an explanation why macarons sweat in transit: They melt because of the butter inside the filling recipe.

    • Melted macarons: Explanation

Macarons have two components: shells and filling. And there are two main styles of filling: Buttercream and ganache.

A buttercream, is obviously made with butter. A ganache is more complex and uses white chocolate instead of butter.

Macaron Queen uses buttercream for its macarons. Pastreez uses ganache.

A good buttercream filling tastes great. But here, they used too much butter, making the whole macaron experience too fat and flavorless.

A ganache has many advantages: Less fat than butter, more smooth, better flavor, and mostly it do not melt easily.

Macaron Queen macarons review

The butter contained in these macarons melted during transit. To help you understand this, here is another example.

We find butter in the refrigerated section of every grocery store. What about white chocolate chips? Its in the dry area.

Once you purchased butter, you usually don't let it in your car too long!

That is exactly what happened with these macarons. Think about it: Shipping macarons with butter might be okay during Winter. But imagine shipping to Arizona in a hot summer day.

Let's continue this review and see if Macaron Queen provides good quality and good macaron taste.

  • Macaron Queen quality

Macarons are a real challenge to make. And there are few aspects you want to look at to make sure the macarons you purchase are authentic. It goes from texture, freshness, hollow / not hollow, color, feet, roundness and size.

To move forward, at this step of my reviews, I usually cut every single macaron in half.

Macaron Queen Quality test
    • Texture / Freshness

First of all, what do macarons taste like? A macaron should be crunchy outside and chewy inside. This balance comes from the perfect osmose between the two components of a macarons: Its shells and filling.

The two shells are at first hard. Adding a ganache (or buttercream) between two shells will start creating a crunchy / chewy balance.

This is why macarons are not ready to eat right after preparation. It needs at least a day or two for the filling to wet the shells, creating this specific balance.

The macaron signature taste is unique, and should be the same for any flavor.

What about Macaron Queen? The texture was fair. I would say that the buttercream being too "buttery", the macarons were slightly too fragile, closer to chewy than crunchy. Shells were also slightly fragile, depending on the flavor.

Macaron Queen quality test

These macarons freshness were hard to tell. I couldn't see traces of water inside, which would indicate that the macarons were shipped frozen (yes, it was the case on some of my previous reviews!).

Sadly 5/10 macarons were melted, and 3/10 were broken.

    • Hollow macarons?

Hollow macarons: What does it mean? It happens when air bubbles are trapped inside of your macaron batter, before to bake.

Your macarons should NOT be hollow, because it weakens the shells. It also alters the signature taste since the crunchy outside / chewy inside osmose won't happen the right way.

There is a simple way to avoid hollow macarons. When your shells are still an unbaked batter, you have to pipe it on a silicone mat (or parchment paper). Then, after piping, you need to tap your pan sheet at least ten times on your countertop table.

The action of taping the pan sheet will naturally release air bubbles, and densify your macaron batter (Learn how to make macarons with us, our new virtual class schedule is live here).

It's an important thing to check. It shows the ability of the bakers to make good quality macarons shells.

Macaron Queen shells were good quality, and macarons were not hollow.

    • Color / Roundness

Color is usually not an issue when I conduct my reviews. Here, the macarons have good colors.

The natural color of a macaron is cream. Colors come with food coloring that bakers add in the shells.

But that's not it. Colors can turn slightly brown, if left too long in the oven, or at too high temperature. It wasn't the case here.

Roundness of the macarons is also a quality aspect. It doesn't have to be perfectly round though. Like all handmade products, a macaron shape is not always perfect. Each is unique. That is what makes them so chic.

Macaron Queen macarons roundness were great. I suspect they use a macaron depositor machine.

What is a macaron depositor? It's a machine that pipes macaron batter automatically, without human action. It is used for mass production.

I personally like to order from artisans that bake in small batches. It adds authenticity.

    • Macarons feet / Size

What do we call macarons feet? It's the swollen part of the shells. It should be present for a macaron to be "authentic".

Now there is no rule on macarons feet height. But let's say it has to be about half of the shells.

What are macarons feet: Explanation

Macaron Queen feet are good.

Also, a Parisian macaron is about 1.7 inches diameter. Here at Macaron Queen, they are about 1.9 inches diameter, which is slightly bigger than average.

  • Macaron Queen Taste test

 This is the final round! I tried every macaron I purchased, and I am now sharing how it tastes like.

Important to note, I ordered the "French mix". But there was no flavor selection on my invoice. I had a hard time figuring out which flavor is what from the menu.

    • Pistachio macaron

Pistachio macaron from Macaron Queen

Not good taste in general. The only real Pistachio was on the top of the shells.

There was no real Pistachio inside the filling. It is too buttery and have too much artificial extract (I could smell it off the macaron before to even try it).

    • Vanilla macaron

Vanilla Macaron from Macaron Queen

The taste was OK. To me, It felt more like biting into butter than into a smooth Vanilla Buttercream macaron.

    • Double dark chocolate macaron

Double dark chocolate macaron from Macaron Queen

It tasted good. It felt like a brownie in terms of texture, slightly chewy.

    • Mango White Chocolate macaron

Mango white chocolate macaron from Macaron Queen

When I read "white chocolate", I thought it would mean this macaron would be filled with ganache instead of buttercream.

Sadly it was not. Still too buttery, and no taste of Mango.

    • Capuccino macaron

Capuccino macaron from Macaron Queen

It tasted great. The coffer buttercream was good quality.

    • Lemon macaron

Lemon macaron from Macaron Queen

I usually like fruity flavors. They are more refreshing in summer times. Here, it was a good flavor, I could feel the lemon taste, without being overwhelming.

    • Nutella macaron

Nutella macaron from Macaron Queen

I would call this one "Hazelnut macaron" instead of Nutella. This was the wettest / most melted macaron in my selection. So it didn't taste good.

Nutella in France is like PB&J in the US: Every kid grows up with it. So it is very important to have real Nutella in your filling when you call it "Nutella macaron".

    • French Strawberry macaron

French Strawberry macaron from Macaron Queen

I'm not sure what "French Strawberry" means, we have the same Strawberries that in the US. On this flavor, I couldn't recognize the flavor, I did felt a fruity taste though (Raspberry? Strawberry?).

It was very wet and the shells lost its crunch. The macaron signature taste was not here.

    • Mystery macaron

Mystery macaron from Macaron Queen

I couldn't tell which flavor this was. There was no flavor selection on my invoice, and it wasn't on the menu card either.

It tasted like a very sweet orange candy. Shells were red. What is this macaron flavor? I'm really not sure.

  • My conclusion

The famous Macaron Queen from The Profit was interesting to review.

I could tell they really turned into a Wholesale macaron company, because the shipping experience to customer is lacking: No sticker label, lack of branding, poor packaging tape, no air cushion or bubble wrap inside, etc.

The quantity of butter they use in their filling makes it a real challenge to actually ship fresh macarons nationwide.

8 out of 10 of my macarons were either melted or broken. That is not something a customer should experience.

If you live in Georgia, I'm sure it is worth it to pick up though.

At Pastreez, all the macarons are handmade by French chefs and ship fresh to your door. We offer 7 macarons Free on every $42+ orders today. Don't wait and redeem below!


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