We have been on a somewhat Assam-and-Breakfast-Tea binge lately at work. This tea now comes in one of F&M’s new caddies (check out the picture here: http://www.fortnumandmason.com/p-5173-assam-tea-assam-superb-tea-indian-tea.aspx). The caddy looks great, but I wish they had kept the old design. The new design is a nicer colour, and has an easier to open lid, but otherwise is useless. You can’t stack it in the cupboard like their old caddies, and it has zero useful tea info on it. Nothing about the tea’s provenance , about steep times or strength. The design, touted by F&M as a change for the better, is indicative of the alarming change that I’ve seen in the company over the last few years. Gone are delicious blends like Piccadilly Blend, Fountain Blend and others. The only blends now have “Royal” in their name, or are somehow tied to the royal family. Useful information has been scratched from the caddies, they’ve become ridiculously ornamented, and many of them are available only for a short period of time. F&M, in other words, have become a tourist trap filled with “British” souvenirs or grossly overpriced “speciality” tea, and no longer a place where I can send people shopping for tea and know that they can’t really go wrong.
That’s a shame, because they used to have wonderful teas, and they still sometimes do. This “Assam Superb” was a very very good, bass-y, malty, deep Assam, brewing almost black in colour, and taking milk with great aplomb. High in caffeine content, we’ve had it several times over the last week or so, as a morning pick me up. Recommended.

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An Israeli computer programmer with a passion for tea (mostly bought in yearly shopping sprees in the UK), particularly black, oolong and white. I don’t generally enjoy flavoured teas or herbal infusions, but if a tea sounds interesting and smells nice I’ll most definitely try it. I drink several cups of tea a day, usually one or two in the morning, another one after lunch and one or two in the evening. My favourite tea so far is Lao Cong Zi Ya from Norbu Tea, but I’m constantly trying new teas. Only in the past year have I branched into Pu’erh and non-roasted oolongs. Finding good tea in Israel is difficult, so I import most of my teas from yearly visits to London, or from online retailers. If you see something in my cupboard that sparks your interest and you would like to swap with me, then please message me. I’m almost always up for a swap.


Tel Aviv, Israel

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