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Fortnum & Mason

Recent Tasting Notes

80
drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
500 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil for this sample! This tea is heavy on the Assam, so I had to add milk and Truvia to calm things down a bit. It’s much more drinkable this way. Five minutes later and I can feel the caffeine jolt my system awake. Wow, I’m alert now!

This is a great first thing in the morning cuppa. Super strong and super bold. Meanwhile, my purr cat is keeping my feet warm. :) http://instagram.com/p/kPc4ZMF-px/

On another note, I just checked out this new “Flavors” section of the tasting note log. If you just click in the box, a dropdown menu appears with a ton of options. Curious, I scrolled through and found, among other things, “Roasted Chicken.” What tea tastes like roasted chicken??!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
scribbles

Ha! Roasted chicken – made my day!! :))

Starfevre

Yes, I was amused by that one too.

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81

TTB #16

Yummy! I don’t know much about elderflower, but it seems to taste a bit like prickly pear and a little bit like quince. It gives this green a cool spin. The tea is smooth and a little bit creamy. While it is not particularly complex, I could definitely see this one as being my default-go-to tea in the afternoons!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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64

SIPDOWN!

Yay! If I can get a few more down I may possibly be able to order some Earl Grey Cheesecake and Peanut butter cup black! I better spend most of my day drinking, which was what I was planning on anyway so yay again!

I remember how bitter this was from last time so I bumped the time down to 3 minutes, which I almost never do with black teas. I also found some of the Nestle Bliss creamer (only sugar and milk and cream as ingredients) so I wanted to give that a try in this to see what happened.

Hmm… By itself the flavor is a bit mellower but still bitter. I also think I’m getting some flavor contamination as I’m picking up some fruity notes which shouldn’t be there :(. Yeah, even at three minutes this is still a blend that requires additives.

So, a splash of creamer it is! This solves the astringency problem well but now I feel like I’ve lost the tea-ness of it. I don’t think there was any winning with this one for me: it’s undrinkable plain and not quite strong enough to hold its own at the minimum steep time. I’m glad I got to try it but I’d much prefer Uptons East Frisian BOP for my breakfast.

On to other teas then!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Jen M

“I spend most of my time drinking” +<3 just for that.

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76
drank Queen Anne by Fortnum & Mason
4043 tasting notes

Morning tea! i figured that i should really get around to trying the rest of my F&M teas since my parents are headed to london in a few weeks and are already asking me what i’d like them to bring back. Not that i need more tea but it’s an “easy” solution to things.

I sort of cheated with this one today and added a splash of maple syrup..so i’ll have to rate this later when i have it straight but so far, this is a decent cup that i quite enjoyed!

Yvonne

Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Sil :)
If you want tea London’s definitely the place to go – I’d ask for tons if I were you!

keychange

Omg, so jealous that you have tea transporters from London! Please let me know if you’d like me to likewise “help you” take advantage of your parents! ;) ;)

Sil

keychange – is there something you’re after that you really want to try?
Yvonne – i actually really want to go to FRANCE (not that i haven’t already been multiple times, but not since i fell in love with tea) London is for Dr who and the BBC hahaha

keychange

London is also a great place for MF, although didn’t you say there’s mf in Canada also? I’m going to break into my mf teas very soon, and then I’m thinking I might want to do a little restockeroo of some of them. And I’m in the market to try a few f and m teas also…how posh LOL

MissB

I’ve told my eldest that one day we will sit in some lovely high end tea shoppe in France, sipping tea, just because we can. (And then I’ll buy up so much tea I’ll have to ship it back home separately, however that’s a whole other conversation!)

Sil

Keychange – i’m happy to do a swap with you sometime so you can try some of the french teas in my cupboard. :)

MissB…me! me! take me!

Yvonne

I could probably fit in some luggage if you ever decided to take me along :D This way we can all go and save on plane tickets!

Sil

haha i dunno how you’d get back though yvonne…the second suitcase will be full of tea :)

keychange

How thoughtful, Sil! I actually have a few French teas, thanks to justjames, although I’m not sure how easily they can be found in London—so far I’ve tried a few from mf and df. Would they be able to get me some mf? Will you be getting some mf also? and we can totally swap. There’s nothing in my cupboard you can’t have :D

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100
drank Keemun by Fortnum & Mason
293 tasting notes

New caddy of this at work. One teaspoon of leaves in a brew basket made for four cups of tea of regular strength, and two lighter ones. I wouldn’t push it further, but it just shows that good tea can be economical, if you rebrew it.

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73

Wow! A great anytime-of-day tea!

Preparation
6 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Keemun by Fortnum & Mason
293 tasting notes

Had a cup of this yesterday at work, and today again. This is hands down my favorite Keemun, and one of my favorite teas. The smokiness vs. maltiness ratio in this tea is just perfect for me.

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81

Made a large batch of this at work, and it went down well. People do appreciate good tea, even if they don’t always know where to get it or how to make it themselves

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drank Breakfast Blend by Fortnum & Mason
608 tasting notes

You will be so awake! Yes.

Was a little freaked out at first—to me this is a tea that NEEDS milk, which isn’t something I say very often—but as soon as I add some it becomes scrumptious. Really good! I get hints of cocoa, and the milk smooths out some of the tannins but they’re strong enough what’s left is a nice velvety softness, with contours or bumps or something that are welcome, not uncomfortable. I also appreciate the opacity in the cup when milk’s added; like a good dutiful breakfast blend, it doesn’t fade to dishwater but turns that lovely “creamy coffee” hue, with those pearl pink undertones. I could definitely drink this first thing regularly (provided I’ve got milk!). Yum. Thanks so much Dexter3657 for giving me the chance to try it; I’ve been curious a long time about it and am pleased it lives up to my hopes! Makes me feel willing to, at some point when I can get back on the horse with tea orders (ha), give F&M’s classic blends a shot.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Even though I don’t like milk, after reading this, I feel like giving it a shot in some breakfast blend! Soy milk, maybe…

Dexter3657

Ifjuly – Tannins? Is that the bitter, or the dry mouth part of this? I am really happy you like it. I bought this at Holt Renfrew in November. I like A&D Double Knit Blend better.

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100

Had this with milk and sugar in the morning, and it was a bright, sparkly treat as usual. There is something decisively uplifting about Ceylon. Well, good Ceylons at least.

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drank Breakfast Blend by Fortnum & Mason
245 tasting notes

The leaf is a fairly broken orange pekoe assam that brews quickly to a deep orange red. It smells sweet and fruity with a liberal dose of malt. The flavour is kind of similar to Ahmad’s Kalami Assam without the baked goods note and syrupy texture and a bit more malt. Brewed at @ 92°C. There is a touch of sparkling astringency and dryness from the Tannins in the aftertaste, although the first sips are quite smooth. The tea itself is sweet, with hints of plum and sweet cherry above the malt. Nice uncomplicated breakfast tea.
1tsp/92°C/225ml
Thanks Dexter3657 for the chance to try this tea!

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91

Had some of this this morning, with honey, which overpowered the tea’s taste somewhat. I needed the honey for my sore throat. What surprised me was how dark and malty this tea can brew, considering that there is no Assam in the blend, only Darj, Yunnan, and Ceylon. Interesting.

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75

Backlog: woke up with this one this morning and it was good. Not particularly memorable though. Sorry Breakfast tea!

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100

My parents were over during the weekend, and this is my mom’s favorite tea, so we shared a cup. She likes her light, and with lemon, and I brewed mine darker, and with milk and a bit of sugar.

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91

I’m ill again (blame it on the open-space that I work in), and I needed something to brighten up my mood, the room, and ease my sore throat – hence this tea. It’s one of F&M’s better blends, and I’m still puzzled as to why it doesn’t appear on their site. A secret tea blend? It is beautiful enough to evoke The Secret Garden. Now I want to go reread The Secret Garden :)
I just got an email from Teabox, telling me that they apologize for the way FedEx treated me and my package, and saying that they will resend it via regular airmail, and refund me on more than half the purchase price for my troubles. Best customer service in the world, and I’m most certainly going to pay them a return visit! They have a lot of teas on sale, including a mind boggingly good deal on their Darjeeling samples.
Teabox.com is where they are at, and I am shamelessly plugging them because they have dealt with a problem that they hadn’t created, with grace and kindness and generosity, and so they deserve to be plugged.
If you are interested in my “tale of woe”:
Teabox sent my package with free express delivery via FedEx. I got a call from FedEx Israel while at work from a very snarky service representative that told me that I had received “a package from India”, and that the Health Department required an import permit for the tea that it contained. I was shocked. I’ve been receiving tea from abroad for over three years, and this is the first time that I’ve been told that I need a permit from the Health Department. I asked the lady if she was joking, as the tea in the package was all 10g samples (hardly import quantity), and this has never happened to me. She paused and unpleasantly replied that she is not joking, but they are more than willing to take care of the paperwork for me. At a cost. Out of curiosity, I asked how much, and was given the outrageous sum of “at least $60”. Around $20 for the paperwork, and another $40 for handling fees, plus they wanted around $2 for every day that the package was in storage while they “took care of the paperwork”.
Now the package cost me $56 total, so it was customs free, and “the paperwork” included filling in a few forms, and not paying a tax or anything on the goods. The lady made a great point of letting me know how difficult and time consuming it would be if I were to do the process myself, plus, I would still have to keep the package in their office until the process was complete. Now, here is where I got angry, and told her that she can return the package, or burn it for all I care, since I’m not going to pay them a dime.
1. They are the only party that stands to profit from this ridiculous “Health Department” process, and I’m sure that the Health Department doesn’t give a fig about my tea – otherwise they would have required a special form to be filled in advance.
2. Out of the hundreds of thousands of packages that arrive into Israel daily, customs just happened to zoom in on my package, which is below customs value, and contains tea samples?
3. If shipping and handling was prepaid, why do I have to pay $40 “handling fees”, and if the fees are required, why was the FedEx representative so eager to let me know that I can haggle over them?
4. I don’t enjoy being intimidated, and I don’t enjoy being talked down to, and I most certainly don’t enjoy being ripped off. Having all three happen at the same time – infuriating!

I plan on never using FedEx again if I can help it in any way possible. I plan on purchasing again from TeaBox and spreading the word about their customer services, and hopefully soon also about their tea, which I understand is very good.
End of rant :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec
TheTeaFairy

Wow, quite a story! But I always say it is not about the mistake but how it is handled. I will definitely check Teabox.com :-) hate FedEx, had to also deal with them about a parcel stuck at customs, terrible customer service, at least with my own experience with them.

Feel better!

caile

Gosh, that sounds like quite an ordeal; nice that teabox is going to resend your tea by regular mail!

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Thanks Sil for this sample. I’ve been drinking it at work today and was pleasantly surprised. I would say that I normally like single teas rather than blends, but this is a good one. It’s just a little “brisk” for my tastes, but all in all pretty good.

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Another BBBB offering from Sil, even bolder & maltier, this one has a bitter edge like coffee. It’s called breakfast blend, but I’m having it as an after breakfast blend, while we watch the first episode of the 5th season of Supernatural. Addiction runs deep…

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85

MMMMmmmmmm this is a great tea. Thanks Sil
I’ve been drinking this for most of the evening, and it’s really nice. Nice gentle strawberry. Nice black base – is that a hint of malty chocolate way in the back from the base – maybe, or it’s wishful thinking – either way I like this.
It’s not fake in your face flavors, it’s just nice and subtle but no question it’s strawberry. I really like this with a hint of sweetener and a dash of milk. It makes me happy.

OMGsrsly

Yours is the third or fourth positive review I’ve seen, so I’m adding this to my (distant future) shopping list! :)

Dexter3657

It’s different that what you would expect from Davids or Della, more natural somehow, more subtle, but yet oooozes strawberry. I really like it. If I saw it, I would buy more. :))

OMGsrsly

Excellent… :)

Sil

It’s quite nice. If I had more I’d send some your way but it’s been parcelled out. Heh

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81

This Darjeeling tea is strong with the Darjeeling force. It’s scent warns you as you approach that this is not a tea for the feint at heart. It is perfumey, acidic, astringent, and slightly dry, and some sugar does go well to taming it. The diametrical opposite of bass-y teas like Assam, or trombones like Yunnans, or domicile cellos, err.. Ceylons, this is a brash young trumpet that is lively, fierce, unforgettable – but not suitable for all occasions. Drink with care.

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83

Goodbye yummy black Strawberry tea!

Happy New Years Eve to everyone. :)

We are doing nothing special today, but I did watch about 4 episodes of Supernatural (hello season 5!) so I’m very happy with where the day went! We’re almost out of Christmas cookies and chips and all that junk so that’s also a bonus. Then I won’t be tempted to eat all the bad things if it’s not sitting in my cupboard, taunting me.

Sipdown (157)

Fjellrev

Sounds like my NYE. TV and junk food. Ugh!

OMGsrsly

TV and junk food is perfect for me. :)

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83

And this was another extra sample from Sil!

It’s really good, although it sorta reminds me of Ruby Pie? Maybe just because I had it yesterday and the memory of the strawberry is lingering on.

This is a nice tea. I have enough for one or two more cups, and I’m looking forward to them.

Sil

It’s nice as a cold brew

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drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
1404 tasting notes

Woah. This tea is bold! It’s almost milk&sugar bold, although I’ll probably finish this first cup plain.

Ok – time to roleplay – i’ll finish this later. :P

Sil

i know nofars suggests this is a must have milk tea.

NofarS

Yes, without milk-and-sugar this tea kind of gives you a kick in the knees

Cavocorax

Thanks! The milk helps smooth it out!

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82
drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
293 tasting notes

Had this with milk and sugar, and blueberry muffins that I just made. This tea is rather on the rough side without milk, and improves immensely with it

Sil

good to know…this is in my cupboard but i haven’t tried it yet heh

Terri HarpLady

Did somebody say ‘blueberry muffins’?

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100

I had another cup of this last night, with milk. Ceylon has been used to death, and so many tea lovers have fallen out of love with it. Buy good Ceylons are versatile, if a little astringent, friends, and they make wonderfully fragrant brews, both hot and cold, with milk or without. They are also make for an unobtrusive base for any home-made blend that you want to make, and go well with lemon, Moroccan mint, mint, oranges, etc. This tea is my favourite BOP Ceylon blend, and is fantastically well behaved and dependable. And I just love the very “tea” smell of it when I open the caddy.
Don’t give up on Ceylons just yet, that is all that I’m saying. They are the bread and butter of tea, IMHO.

gmathis

I’m glad to see another supporter of a decent Ceylon. It does get a bad rap, doesn’t it?

NofarS

It does, and I think that it’s probably because it’s been overused, and not used well.

Sil

i’ll have to see if i can find this hear just to try it out :)

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