Fortnum & Mason

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Recent Tasting Notes

92

Sipdown (108)!

Many thanks to MissB for the sample! I think I only have one more tea left to try now from the stuff you sent my way? I know that was a while ago but I feel pretty accomplished for making it through all of those sipdowns.

So this review is for the bagged version of this one; and dry it doesn’t smell like a lot. I don’t really know why but my first thought was “Fresh Linens” and then just simply “Fresh” when smelling, even though I couldn’t really identify anything in particular flavour wise.

Steeped up there’s something REALLY appealing about the smell; it’s just a tiny bit fruity and really, really floral. I know this is supposed to be orange/orange blossoms so I’m not really ‘surprised’ per say, but it’s a lot better than I expected. I really hope the steeped smell carries over into the taste! Also, I should point out that orange blossoms are actually my favourite flower and have been since I was in highschool and had to read the screenplay for Federico Garcia Lorca’s play ‘The Blood Wedding’. However, despite that, I’ve never actually seen one in person let alone smelled one so I don’t have a lot of familiarity (or really any) with how they should taste.

I actually didn’t like the first few sips of this; it seemed a little harsh and perfumey. However, once it cooled down a little bit the flavours seemed to calm down as well and I got really into this one! I don’t taste anything actually like orange and I don’t know if I should be – do orange blossoms actually smell like oranges? I wouldn’t think so. The description for this one is kind of unclear as well: it says “scented with orange” do they mean the fruit or the flower?

What I do taste is this really aromatic and fresh floral note that reminds me of rose, but not rose. I want to describe it as a combination of my Grandma’s perfume and roses on steroids – in a good way on both fronts! It’s making me feel like, ugh, I don’t know quite how to phrase it? The simile that springs to my mind is “Innocent young adult discovering her first love through a summer romance”. It’s like Nicholas Sparks version of tea! I’m totally in love with this blend! I need more!

If anyone has the loose version I’d be really, really interested in trying it! I can only imagine it’d be even better than this!

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80

This came from OMGsrsly in our recent meet up. I opted to have this one this morning without really knowing the flavour profile ahead of time, but I sniffed it, and it smelled good…so I made this. Still not knowing much about it, I added milk and sugar, as I do with most blacks, because I never know how astringent or strong a black is til I taste it, and taking it with me while it cools means I add milk and then go. That said, I think that next time, I might opt for it without milk to see how it is. It was a nice, mildly spiced cup, but I feel like I lost some delicateness with the addition of the milk.

Thanks again for the sample!

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76

I received this as a gift, so I don’t know if it’s expensive or not but I really enjoy it. It’s a very simple jasmine green tea, nothing special.

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77

Sipdown (120)!

Thank you MissB for the sample! I think this is the first Fortnum & Mason teabag I’ve steeped up from the ones you sent me? I made it when I got home from shopping/the bank today.

This review is for the bagged version of the tea, obviously. The leaf in the bag is kind of interesting looking; there are a lot of little white flecks and bits mixed in with the very broken up leaf. It reminded, purely visually, of crushed oreo cookie bits with little flecks of the white filling. I wonder what they actually are; tiny dehydrated peach bits? Perhaps lemon bits/peel?

I’m surprised by this blend; it’s more flavourful and robust than I was expecting – the peach flavour is very full on rather than more subtle. My initial thought was that it reminded me a hint of peach pie filling/cobbler filling. No crust, obviously – just plump, sugary sweet peaches! There are other fruit flavours I’m noticing – the lemon, obviously. It, too, it very sweet with limited to no acidity. It’s almost ever borderline like the filling from a Lemon Meringue pie? But there’s one more fruit flavour I’m noticing – and my gut it telling me it’s generic melon. There’s nothing that indicates that there should be melon flavour, though. So I think I’m just crazy.

Other reviewers are describing this similar to fuzzy peaches; but I disagree a little bit. While it’s certainly not a totally natural peach flavour I thought that there was some degree of realism to it; which is why, what with all the sweetness, I thought of pie filling. There’s real fruit in that – but also a lot of sugar and syrup/glaze.

The base itself was pretty nice; I thought it was present but didn’t over take the fruit. Honestly, this is the best bagged peach tea I’ve ever had – and it’s better than some loose leaf ones I’ve tasted too. If I had to go with a single defining word to describe it I’d likely pick “Plump”. Thanks MissB, this was a winner in my books!

Maddy Barone

That sounds nummy!

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Weird that no one else has tasting notes. Where were they filed?

Anyways, I have this big package from MissB that says “Christmas Spiced Tea” on the bottom, so this is what I’m guessing it was.

It was… way more delicate than expected. Even with the bazillion cloves I got in my mug, it wasn’t too clovey. Nice and gentle, went really nicely with milk. There’s lots of safflower (fake saffron, the really orange bits) in this tea, which makes it really pretty.

I think I quite like this one, and will be keeping some. Thanks, MissB!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Thank you MissB and Sil!

There aren’t a lot of teas left I’m super keen on trying, although I’ll be packing up one serving of each for myself as I divide the remainder. So many greens! :P

Anyways, this is a decent peach tea. I think I prefer peach and ginger, but you know. Plain peach works as well. The base is not bad at all either, and it goes well with milk. It’s a sort of candy-sweet peach flavour. Sort of. Not quite like Fuzzy Peaches, but not quite like a fresh ripe peach or a peach pie, either.

Thanks for sharing! :)

(2 tea bags, 2 minutes, 16oz, 195F.)

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90

Quite possibly one of the best Earl Grey blends I have ever tasted. Very scent of bergamot is very fresh, vibrant and fragrant and the texture is very smooth. I had the tea bag and you can brew one bag a several times and it will still be very flavorful. Very easy to brew. Hard to ruin this tea.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus

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66
drank Queen Anne by Fortnum & Mason
2893 tasting notes

Backlog time! Sorry everyone, posting a lot fairly quickly. Taking advantage of downtime while visiting Ottawa (it’s too cold to walk around, so we’re lounging and relaxing instead).

Thanks to MissB for these teabags – they’ve been a lifesaver at work lately, since I haven’t had much time to brew tea at home, and all my infusers are still full (and a big hassle to bring to work). Bonus – I have some time to write notes and email them to myself, although I admit I’m in a rather distracting environment, so the quality of the notes may not be all that wonderful.

I drank this tea completely blind, meaning that I have no idea at all what it was, other than a black tea. As it turns out – a fairly pleasant black tea! I still have no real idea what it was (I’m writing this tasting note without regular internet access), but I had a sip plain, and it tasted like a reasonably high-quality bagged black. I drank the rest with a splash of 2% milk and some sugar, and it was really quite tasty. A very good example of a bagged black. I’m curious to see which teas it’s a blend of (if that info is available).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Queen Anne by Fortnum & Mason
831 tasting notes

From the GCTTB3.

This one came in bag form. I was anticipating it to be either bitter or astringent.

But it wasn’t. It was actually quite smooth. The black base is very bold and strong, with only a slight but of astringency. There is a creamy quality to the tea, which was nice as I was anticipating having to add some milk.

Better than I expected for a tea bag.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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75

I enjoyed the tin, but am not sad it’s gone. It’s a bit malty, a bit astringent: it feels oversteeped at 3 1/2 min—I usually steep black teas about 4 1/3 min. I don’t even like the tin quite well enough to keep; it’s really hard to get the bits out of the corner.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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75

At 4 min, it’s copper-colored, astringent, a little murky in the way I think of oversteeped Darjeelings. Adding a splash of milk transforms all of that into a nice toasty toffee-flavor, but I don’t usually add milk to my tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

I picked this tea up on my first visit to London and even aside from the pleasant associations therewith, I adored it on its own merits. It is everything I look for in a breakfast blend. A round deep taste, a little bit brisk and delicious with milk. I could drink this all day, every day.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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76
drank Queen Anne by Fortnum & Mason
1399 tasting notes

Thanks MissB!
I had this a few days ago. Backlog.
SOoooooo peach?? Nu uh. I don’t get it.
Baked bread? Yes, that makes sense to me! A pleasant cuppa. On the mild side. I’d buy it, maybe

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drank Fortmason by Fortnum & Mason
1399 tasting notes

What a strange experience. While this steeped up, my nose kept telling me this was a bergamot infested tea. Uh oh. I did not want to end up going home early from work because I had some berg! (my allergy, makes me super queasy)
Anyhow, I looked up the ingredients and found that there was indeed no evil berg in the blend, but nevertheless every sip I took, my body protested. I suppose the scent was similar enough, being a citrus mixed with floral, that it set off my body’s natural defense mechanisms.
The funny part is that I didn’t hate the tea. It was… ok?! Sure, I wouldn’t go for something so floral on a regular basis but with a bit of milk to cut the floral, I could go for a cuppa every now and then.
It was a rather unique blend of floral and fresh orange zest that I’ve never encountered elsewhere.
Plus, this is what I imagine the infamous EG actually tastes like (hey it’s likely the closest I’ll ever get to knowing haha)
Thanks for sharing MissB!!

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75

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73

Everyone seems to love this tea but I didn’t really find it impressive… perhaps it was because I was having the bagged version instead of the loose leaves. I was actually a bit shocked to see that they use almost dust-grade leaves for the tea bag… so the tea was a pretty strong brew after 3 minutes. Perhaps too strong for my liking I should say! The bergamot flavour was ok though.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Fortmason by Fortnum & Mason
2362 tasting notes

I think I’m going nuts because in my mind the smell of this tea was a mouth watering cherry/orange liqueur type smell. However, there is no cherry in this blend so I have no clue where that came from. What I do know? This is certainly a floral black and oftentimes I find floral teas tend to have a dryness to them that’s just not for me. Still, I could continue to smell this all day so I am happy for the chance to have tried it. Once again, thank you MissB for the share!!

TeaBrat

maybe it’s a ceylon?

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62

Another tea courtesy of MissB and it is really nice, especially for a bagged tea. The peach flavor smells and tastes like fuzzy peaches, minus the sour/tart element. The base is maybe a little heavy for the summer-like peach flavor but it is still a pleasant beverage. Thank you for the share, MissB!!

MissB

Fortnum & Mason is another must-see when you go to London. The tea area is a bit of a zoo, and they do sell loose leaf but only in 100g quantities. Inexpensive tea though, and very Royal… pretty sure it’s the one with the Royal Seal, but I could be wrong.

VariaTEA

I shall try my best. And if I do go, I will take pictures and hopefully grab some tea we will see how that goes though seeing as my bag gets weighed at each leg of the trip :P

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drank Fortmason by Fortnum & Mason
2893 tasting notes

Review is for the bagged version, courtesy of MissB.

Another tea where I’m not sure of the ingredients, but I feel like this is a flower-scented black. Not entirely sure what the flowers are; maybe a bit of jasmine, perhaps rose… Mostly I think it’s a mixture. A bouquet. Haha. It’s also very strong, considering my 2 minute infusion, 8 oz. water. Not overly fond of it – too floral for me. Rating 58.

adagio breeze

I think it’s supposed to be orange blossom.

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65

Review is for the bagged version I received courtesy of MissB! Will merge into a new listing later if need be. Anyhow, wasn’t overly excited for this one (not compared to the caramel and toffee teas, anyhow!), but went straight to my boyfriend’s place after the tea festival, and all I had with me was the tea from Sil (no infusers), so it’s a perfect time for some bagged tea.

Aroma and flavour were both somewhat peachy (think fuzzy peaches without the tartness), which was better than some peach teas I’ve had, which was nice comsiderkng it was bagged. Black base was pretty unremarkable, but that’s better than overly astringent! Overall, not bad at all, but fruity-flavoured teas are not faves anymore, so I’m fairly indifferent. Thanks for the share, though, MissB! (Brewed 2 min at 100C).

Preparation
1 tsp

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70
drank Queen Anne by Fortnum & Mason
972 tasting notes

This was one of several individually wrapped tea bags that Sil thoughtfully included as bonuses in her “swap” package (she never told me what she would like in return!). I don’t usually gravitate toward black tea blends for whatever reason, so I’m glad others see fit to send me samples of them! This one is apparently a blend of Ceylon and Assam. Mine is a traditional paper tea bag, so obviously the leaves are extremely broken. Dry scent is mildly fruity.

This is actually quite good for such small leaf pieces! Fannings, really. It’s not bitter or astringent, which surprised me a lot. It does have a bit of that “generic” tannic quality to it, but it’s softened by some lovely soft stonefruit, specifically peach, notes. There’s also a tiny bit of breadiness to it. Overall, pretty good, especially for a tea bag.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Peach, Sweet, Tannic

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
OMGsrsly

Send her a bit of everything to try and explode her cupboard! :D

whatshesaid

Yeah that!

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85
drank Countess Grey by Fortnum & Mason
15 tasting notes

Bought this after becoming addicted to Twining’s Lady Grey (with milk!). For whatever reason, I hate Twining’s Lady Grey without milk, but LOVE it with. It’s the opposite for F&M’s Countess Grey. I strongly prefer it without milk.

Annnyyywayyy. Super orange-y. Very bright and juicy. The black tea base is of good, but unremarkable quality.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus Zest, Orange

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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72
drank Christmas Tea by Fortnum & Mason
1264 tasting notes

I’m a bit shocked by the other reviews of this tea. I grabbed a tin of it (smallest I could get), had a cup, and passed along the rest to Sil for sharing. Perhaps it’s a different blend every year? Dunno. Regardless, this is amazing hot, but cooled it’s extremely drying and astringent, a bit surprisingly so. Hot however… oh wowie. Spiced like a plum or orange with cloves in it, rich and full bodied, it’s quite lovely. Not as creamy as the Twinings Christmas Caddy Tea though, so I think that one’s my favorite at this point.

Flavors: Astringent, Cloves, Drying, Orange, Plums, Red Wine

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

My go-to morning tea. This stuff’s aroma and taste could seriously raise the dead, goes straight into the synapses and provides a needed, very decent caffeine kick.

Favourite Assam, no doubt. When I first tried it, it was like finding the answer to a question I hadn’t even asked myself, because as much as I’ve always loved Assam, I never thought it could get as good as this. I mean, it was already crazy good, but this is exceedingly crazy good!

Not sure if it’s because Assam is the tea variety I’ve reached to most frequently since I started this journey, but I’m not sure I’d describe this as ‘bold’. It sure is the strongest black tea I’ve tasted (not getting into smoked varieties), but this is what I’ve come to expect of morning time teas: appropriate caffeine amount and intense, comforting taste.

I brew it with boiling water for the whole 5 minutes recommended on the tin and add a splash of evaporated milk, then stir. If I’m feeling in need of some cajoling out of going back to bed, I drop a couple lumps of rock brown sugar into the cup before I pour the water and leave sugar, tea and milk be, à la East Frisian. I’m that weak-willed.

Flavors: Bitter, Dust, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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