The Green Earl Grey is my favourite Fortnum & Mason tea, but their Christmas Tea is perhaps the worst tea I have ever tried . . . ever!

The tea base itself is fine, but the ingredients are listed as “mulled wine flavouring”. Now, this could mean spices to flavour wine to make mulled wine, but I suspect there is actually some sort of “wine” flavouring because there is a revolting vinegar-like taste somewhere in the mix. This is so repellent and unpalatable that I felt ill after drinking it and I couldn’t get the wine flavour out of my mouth. I ended up getting rid of all 200gms of the tea.

On the plus side, the special edition tin is beautiful – I love the contours of the tin and the old world lettering and gold print. When I was a kid, we used to receive tins of biscuits, tea, chocolates, etc. from Harrods and Fortnum & Mason and holding this tin brings the memories flooding back. We had kept the tins but they were all thrown out when I had lived overseas for 10 years, so the only reason I bought this tea was to own a good, quality Christmas tea tin that would last for decades. Initially, I had hoped to find a unique blend of tea for the season in time for Christmas but now it will have to wait until Christmas 2013.

It is definitely an unusual tea, so it is worth trying if only for that reason. Perhaps someone will like the tea and can post a review to counterpoint mine.

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I always find intros difficult to write. Where to start . . . Sydney-sider working in insurance who has lived in London for ten years but returned to Australia in 2012. Despite coffee being the drink of choice in Oz, I come from a family of dedicated tea drinkers. Although I enjoy all teas – both black and green teas, either flavoured/scented or pure single-estate teas – I have a special fondness for Earl Grey and Ceylon teas.

With a cup of tea in hand, I love settling down with a DVD. I love cult films, anything visceral and slightly surreal – Shaw Brothers Kung Fu, Giallos, Spaghetti Westerns, Eurohorror, Hammer Horror, etc. If I’m not watching a film, I’ll be watching classic British TV like 70s Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, The Avengers, Danger Man as well as Prisoner: Cell Block H and the occasional Showtime or HBO series.

As much as I enjoy reading or art, I just don’t have the time for either these days.

My current favourites:

The Tea Centre:
Ceylon Pattiagalla
Darljeeling Selimbong FTGFOP1 1st Flush
Japanese Lime
Orange Blossom Pai Mu Tan

Oolong Fresh

Earl Grey De Luxe – Madame Flavour
Gunpowder – Temple of Heaven



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