Earl Grey Classic

Tea type
Black Tea
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Bergamot, Citrus, Medicinal
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Edit tea info Last updated by joriba
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 3 g 12 oz / 347 ml

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31 Tasting Notes View all

From Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason, often shortened to just “Fortnum’s” is a department store and Royal Warrant holder, situated in central London, with two other branches in Japan. Its headquarters are located at 181 Piccadilly where it was established in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason. It is privately owned by Wittington Investments Ltd.

British Prime Minister Earl Grey gave his name to this hugely popular tea back in the 1830s, and ever since it has been thought of as a classic English afternoon tea. It is not a type of tea, but a flavour, made up of a simple black tea flavoured with aromatic and stimulating oil of bergamot. Drink in the afternoon, and serve fresh without milk or lemon to ensure that you capture the top notes.

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31 Tasting Notes

1112 tasting notes

Enjoying my Second Favorite Breakfast in the Whole Wide World: this Earl and a multigrain bagel with cream cheese. The hearty bread and creamy cheese play so nicely off the citrus-y good tea. Also, as I’ve said a zillion times before – this tea has magic properties and puts me in a fantastic mood. :) :) :)

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Hope your finals went well!


I hope so! It felt pretty good. I keep checking my email because my professor usually emails us when he’s done grading but no message yet (scream)!!


gmathis! He posted grades! I got a 99.05% average for the semester and an A in the class!


That’s a fantastic average!! Congrats!!! :)


Hooray! You deserve it!


Yay, you! Congratulations!!


Congratulations!!!!! And in regard to tea: just found out my order of this from Williams-Sonoma was backordered, again, until OCTOBER 2012! I canceled the order :(


Rabs – whaaaaaat? That’s super crazy (and makes me mad that I didn’t pick up the F&M breakfast tea!).


Hmmm, I better look for this tomorrow when I go to the city. I will be in Williams Sonoma. Last time I went they had several FM teas.


It just may be for the internet orders. Now that I live closer to a big city I should really see if there’s a W-S nearby and check their in-store stock.


@Rabs – the store in Durham has four tins but they won’t take credit card info over the phone. I was going to have it shipped here. My son will be back there in a couple of weeks so if they have any left I may buy it.

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171 tasting notes

I’m back at Tea Central (my house) today with real tea making equipment and a cup that is not composed of paper. I also have more than five minutes to make and drink some tea. Life is good. And, this is the perfect time to take Earl Grey Classic by Fortnum & Mason for a test drive.

When I pried open the lid of the tin, one of the freshest and most natural bergamot aromas that I had ever experienced hit my nose. I hoped that the taste would match this great smell.

Fortnum & Mason doesn’t include detailed brewing instructions on their packaging. After researching the procedures of other fellow Steepsters for this tea, I chose 205 degrees for three minutes as my method of madness.

The brewed liquor also had a fresh bergamot scent, although a little lighter than I expected. The color was golden brown.

The taste was black tea, balanced with bergamot flavor. The freshness of the bergamot scent did carry over into the taste, but the bergamot did not control the total flavor of the tea. Instead, it was a smooth, malty, and full black tea flavor with bergamot blended into the taste. There was no bitterness. The aftertaste was lightly shadowed with bergamot accents.

This is a fine and smooth Earl Grey tea. I would rate the bergamot power 6.5 on a scale of 1 to 10.

One thing that sets this tea apart and above some of the other Earl Grey teas I’ve tasted is the freshness of the bergamot flavor. It’s not as strong as the Rishi Earl Grey (still my favorite Earl Grey), which I would give a 10 on the bergamot power scale. But, this is a very nice tea that I would enjoy in the mornings or afternoons.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Donna A

Doesn’t look like you can get this in the US any more, and apparently the shipping is very high from the UK. Too bad Williams Sonoma no longer carries it, because I would like to try it.


Actually, I purchased it at our local Williams Sonoma. Have you asked your Williams Sonoma if they would order it for you?

Donna A

Good idea Stoo. Will give that a try.


If you got a chance then try to taste the Earl Grey blend from “Whittard of Chelsea”…then compare it to Fortnum & Mason

Donna A

As an update, I did get the Fortnum and Mason at my local Williams Sonoma for 75% off because it was about to go out of date. Nonetheless, I have enjoyed it-I got the best results brewing for 2 minutes 45 seconds. Keemun, I’ll put your suggestion on my list. I love a good Earl Grey Blend!


That’s wonderful, Donna! I’m glad you found it at such a great price and are enjoying it!


Thanks, Keemun. I’ll keep on the lookout for a chance to try that one!

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984 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

I have been eyeing this tea for a long time. While overseas ordering from Fortnum was a complete bust, I was able to purchase this one in person at Williams-Sonoma. I guess my curiosity won out over my feelings about the poor experience of ordering directly from them. I am very much willing to try any Earl as long as it is easy to obtain. I just happened to be at the mall this past weekend, so it was not even a special trip. I also picked up some sachets of Harney Organic English Breakfast for travel. I only travel with bagged tea anymore as the rest of the gear is kind of cumbersome. Yes, I have gone soft. Gone are the days of hardcore brewing no matter where I am. Convenience wins out most of the time.

The main reason why this tea intrigued me so was that it was a China black base. In reading the package it calls the base a “predominantly China blend”. I was kind of surprised at the leaf size. It seems pretty smallish like a BOP or even smaller. They are very dark and the smell of bergamot is bright and citrusy. The first pot I made had quite a bit of dust (now wet) in the bottom of my cup, meaning that it made it out of the infuser and then escaped the teapot. I guess I am not super pleased about the leaf quality for the price I paid. In the US it is about $16 for 125g. Lupicia is a much better value, but the shipping kills it for me since their Earl Grey is pretty much the only tea I would rebuy from there right now.

As for taste, it is very good. The tea base does make a rich cup of tea. The bergamot reads a little less bright than Lupicia, but not as musty (sorry about that descriptor, but I can’t think of a better way to describe it) as some Earls. I do like the packaging. Not sure if it would make the rebuy list, yet, but I am glad I finally got around to trying it. It is a good, solid cup of tea. (Rating started at 87)

Usual teapot method.

Edit to add: All of the dust in the bottom of my cup makes it pretty bitter by the end of the pot. I will drink this, but not replace it. Glad I tried it, though. (Rating took a serious hit by the end of the pot. Since the tea I brewed was measured from the top of the tin, I am pretty sure this is as good as it gets. Dust will be worse by the bottom of the tin.)

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

There’s a Williams-Sonoma at our favorite Ark. shopping venue, but I don’t go in often. Next trip, will have to pretend I can afford it and look for tea!


Nina’s Earl Grey has a Keemun base. I thought it was great! Have you tried it yet? They will send you a sample of you request it, I am sure.


Yes, Nina’s is on my list to try.

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3179 tasting notes

I’m not a huge fan or Earl Greys, but Tony is, so I like to surprise him with various Earls as they come my way. This one came from my trade with NofarS. I served Tony a cup of it this morning, in place of his usual version, & he said, “You can just leave the rest of that here.”


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48 tasting notes

A really good EG, specially with the fresh bergamot smell sneaking out of the tin, once you brew it, it’s not over empowering, just has this refreshing after taste. The black tea base is bold, like a nice wake up slap in the morning.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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57 tasting notes

A friend brought it from her trip to London…my first Earl that I have ever tasted. If I remember properly than I added milk the first couple of times…silly me.
Winter 1992…Bergamot, something that I never smelled before, spread its wings and took me for a ride.
I remember those shiny, moist looking leafs sleeping in the tin.
I always saved that one for breakfast on the weekends…
I should soon buy another tin of this, in particular as my wife is a big Earl-fan.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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51 tasting notes

This one was also on an airplane (bagged variety). It was better then the Royal variety and better then the Earl Grey Tazo. I think if I had some fresh leaf of this one it might be pretty good.

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11 tasting notes

A bergamot tea connoisseur once told me that this is the best brand for Earl Grey Tea but it’s from UK. Fortunately, a year afterward, Williams-Sonoma started carrying this so I get to try this wonderful tea. It’s definitely my favorite Earl Grey Tea along side with Dilmah.

I also used it to flavor ice cream and it was a hit among my friends.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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13 tasting notes

This is my favorite classic Earl Grey tea, the one I always goes to. No competition.

It’s the best earl grey I have ever tasted, and it doesn’t have that awful aftertaste that lingers in your mouth long after taking a zip.

This tea I purchase from Fortnum & Mason, again and again and again and again. Their tea is pricey, but the best.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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1 tasting notes

I love this tea and ever since I could not locate it locally have ordered it in bulk through their Us web site. As of this month I have to order out of their London store with a 25 pound shipping fee – OUCH!!! -I am deciding how to make this worth my while – or is time to try for a new favorite??!!


Hello! You may already know this, but Williams Sonoma is now carrying this tea. You can get it in the store and online. I just piced some up yesterday!

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