Fortnum & Mason Advent Calendar 2021 – Day 7

Sigh. Why must you put all of the straight black teas in a row, Fortnum? It has me wondering if the flavored black teas are going to be the same way, and we’ll eventually have like six days in a row of fruit-flavored black tea, probably with the same base…

Being a BOP, it’s a very broken leaf, so I kept the steep to 2 minutes. I’m quite enjoying it, really. Obviously a late flush Darjeeling, it has a thick, chewy, bready flavor to it with oodles of raw grain and musty hay. Perhaps slightly mustier than I would prefer, but still. It’s strong and flavorful, and I think juuuust on the edge of being slightly bitter, but not quite there. There’s a slight astringency, but nothing notable.

I like this one as an alternative to a breakfast blend. Darjeeling has such a different flavor from the usual suspects, and it makes for a somewhat mellower cuppa. But this one is still strong enough that it would take milk well, if I were so inclined.

Let’s jam! Today it’s a split and toasted English muffin with butter and Bonne Maman’s Apricot-Lavender Spread. Now, I’m not a fan of lavender in food and drink generally. I enjoy it as a scent in cleaning and bath products, but I find it too soapy in taste. However. This is mostly an apricot preserve (which happens to be one of my favorites) with just a light accent of lavender. It adds a light floral, citrusy top note and I quite like it! So pleased at how subtle Bonne Maman is with these floral additions that could easily be very perfumey. :)

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Bread, Grain, Hay, Honey, Musty, Straw, Thick, Wheat

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

We finally mesh! This was mine today, too.

Cameron B.

Yay, we’ve converged at last! XD


It will be interesting to see what we each have tomorrow…

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We finally mesh! This was mine today, too.

Cameron B.

Yay, we’ve converged at last! XD


It will be interesting to see what we each have tomorrow…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

- January Sipdowns: 6
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 6

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I’ll also often use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, and honeybush. I love matcha and drink it often! Fruit tisanes are not a favorite, but I’m always willing to try them.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura, chamomile, and elderflower. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:


Austin, Texas



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