2838 Tasting Notes

Fortnum Sachet Advent Day 5

Another tea I have not only had before, but it is also in the tin advent! It is what it says it is – a classic Earl Grey. I consider this to be mild in the bergamot department, and a fairly smooth base that did not in any way make me wish for milk or sugar. I experimented with adding a cardamom, saffron, and cinnamon orange marmalade to my oatmeal and oversweetened it accidentally (I usually add just a little touch of honey and some cardamom) and the light briskness did cut the sweet nicely,

Nattie

Ooh that sounds like tasty oatmeal!

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Fortnum Sachet Advent Day 4

When I saw that today’s tea was herbal, I saved it to enjoy tonight while I unwind from a big family gathering. We went with the tin advent for morning which was Black Tea with Peach and is one of their better blends.

I don’t usually love strong ginger and while it comes second in the name, it comes first in the ingredient list. The scent of the tea is so familiar but I haven’t pegged exactly which tea it is reminding of. I needed it and enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. There is so much lemon in different forms, and it really does taste nice with the ginger.

It makes me think of a tea I would have when sick, but one I would look forward to having when sick. The lemon is so bright and overall it was a comforting mug of tea to finish off the evening. I didn’t sweeten, but I bet honey would be awesome in it.

Dustin

Adding Sicilian to the name makes it sound potentially more exciting.

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drank Black Currant by Elmwood Inn
2838 tasting notes

Youngest brought this today for a family gathering at my house. Black currant will probably always remind me of Ireland, and of our breakfasts in the little café, trying every scone they carried (not all at once! A new one each day!)

They (some of the folks we were with) drank a lot of Ribena and just black currant water ordered by the pitcher in restaurants. Black currant was not something I grew up with, thus the powerful association of that trip.

As for this tea, it was deliciously fruity and was a guaranteed winner for having a Keemun base. We had it hot, but I see the company recommends it as an iced tea, which is probably delicious like Nostalgia, another black currant tea that I love given to me by Youngest. I like this better than the Harney version, because I prefer the base.

gmathis

Sounds just lovely. … Ribena?
David found a webcam pointed directly at the Temple Bar in Dublin and we’ve been having fun watching passers by. Today, 11:30 their time, he said there was an odd parade of people in costume, including a human traffic cone.

ashmanra

Dublin was really something. I wish we could have spent more time there. That webcam sounds fun!

Nattie

Haha, as someone from the UK who knows a whole host of people who go there for the same reason, I can quite confidently predict that the traffic cone parade was most likely a stag do.

ashmanra

Oooooh, that makes sense, Nattie! Thanks!

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drank Assam Superb by Fortnum & Mason
2838 tasting notes

Fortnum Advent Day 3

I am not an Assam aficionado. This was fine while the bagel lasted and after that, really really brisk. My mouth was so puckery!

Last year, Ashman added a lot of milk and sugar to his, but this year he drank it plain!
Usually we polish off the whole 36 ounce pot of tea at breakfast, but there was a bit leftover of this one that was poured out. If I had put out milk and sugar we probably would have finished it. This is fine with food, but the only way I would drink it by itself is with additions.

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drank Jade Oolong by Fortnum & Mason
2838 tasting notes

Fortnum Advent Day 2

A tea that wasn’t in the big advent! Yaaaay!

Ashman was unexpectedly home this morning so I made the tea from both advents at breakfast and we tried both together. I steeped this sachet twice and poured it in a pitcher. Later, I steeped it a third time to drink by myself because the leaves have unfurled to fill the sachet fit to bustin’.

Sadly, I was so distracted this morning I can only say it tasted like a green oolong, not super and not bad. Ashman liked it well enough. On this third steep that I am sipping now so as to give a slightly better bite, I can say it is a green oolong, slightly milky and lightly brisk, with a slight mineral/stone taste on the tongue. It is supposed to have orchid notes but they must be muted by the repeated steeping. Shame on me for not paying attention this morning.

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For Mastress Alita’s December Sipdown Challenge – a genmaicha

At first I thought I would have to skip this prompt, because I forget this tea. I am not a genmaicha fan (yet) but I like this as a sweet latte. I forget how light it looks steeped, but the taste is no shrinking violet. I think it is in line with the few other genmaicha I have tried.

I steeped it twice in a Kamjove and added it to a cup, stirred in sugar, and then added warmed milk….lots of warmed milk. It was quite good and gave me the energy after teaching to cook the first big meal I have cooked since Thanksgiving. But it is too burned roasty for me to like it plain, and that goes for any genmaicha, not just this one.

Nattie

Do you like roasted oolongs? Wondering if it’s all roasted teas or specifically genmaichas you’re adverse to

ashmanra

I do like roasted oolongs! I go through phases of preferring roasted, then green, then roasted…and when we buy Dong Ding we tear through it faster than any other tea we buy.

Nattie

Interesting! I love dark roasted oolongs and I’m not a genmaicha fan either, but in my case I think it’s partly my distaste for popped rice cereal, and partly because I’m not big into green tea in general as most genmaichas are.

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drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
2838 tasting notes

Fortnum & Mason Sachet Advent

I bought the sachet advent knowing that some of the teas would be the same as the ones I had last year in the advent with tins, which we also purchased the refill for this year. Buying the refills meant that you know which teas are when – no surprises – but you can choose to put them in the calendar in the order they were in the box or move them around a bit, which is what I did. Even last year, not everyone’s teas were in the same order, but they were close,

The first sachet is one I have had. It isn’t terrible but I would not buy it if I saw it in a store. My first thought on sipping it this morning was, “King Edward wasn’t very picky.”

More charitably, I will say it is an unspectacular British style breakfast tea, not as strong as a builder’s tea, but not very fancy. Decent Assam and Ceylon. It has a bit of a metallic taste and is easily drinkable without milk and sugar. It could also easily accommodate those if you like your tea that way. This is definitely a daily drinker to me and not very Royal.

Cameron B.

That was so weird that the order was different last year lol.

Lupiressmoon

Your first thought on sipping it made me crack up lol

gmathis

King Edward had other things on his mind than tea.

Cameron B.

I was sad to not be very impressed by any of Fortnum’s breakfast blends…

ashmanra

And this was also the first tea in their big advent this year! I did move a couple of teas around, but mostly kept the first ones in the order they arrived.

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drank Sakurambo by Lupicia
2838 tasting notes

I want to begin this note with a big thank you to Mastress Alita.

Last year I did my first advent in many years, and I had a blast trying teas and seeing everyone’s reviews of their own advents, and many people had matching advents.

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenges gives me the same feeling. It took me a while to figure out where the Sipdown Challenges were because I am like that sometimes. Ha ha! But I really get a kick out of it, and it makes me look at my stash differently and I am having an absolute blast checking things off each month.

Many, many thanks to you, Mastress Alita, for making this bright spot for us!

Now on to the tea…I have had this once before and it was a sample sachet then, too, but I am thinking I may order this sometime. I exercised tremendous restraint and saved some for Ashman, and if he loves it, it will go on the Lupicia rotation to order sometime.

With food, it tastes like a fruity flavored tea and you can probably peg it as cherry. By itself, the cherry comes out as more distinctly cherry. Thankfully, it is fruity and not candy or cough syrup cherry. You can really taste the rosemary as well and I like how different it is! The pink peppercorns are eye-catching, and lend a little warmth without being spicy. This is a real win for me, so if this other cup makes it until evening, we will see how Ashman feels about it and I will update with his opinion.

Mastress Alita

I’m glad it’s been useful for people, though I decided a few months ago I don’t plan to host it another year (I just have no more ideas in me). Someone else can feel free to do so in 2023 if they wish!

Nattie

I will add my thanks, three cheers to Mastress Alita !

tea-sipper

Yes, thank you Mastress Alita for your sipdown challenge again this year! I can understand you are out of ideas if it has been 10 a month. It has been fun!

Nattie

Also I am too flakey to host it, but if somebody wants to take over hosting the thread next year I’m happy to provide some idea inspo

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The final sipdown prompt for me to fulfill for November – a smoky tea.

I almost went with my newer Dammann Freres Lapsang that Superanna gave me, but decided that the whole point of the challenge is to sipdown older tea. I forgot this was more delicate and used boiling water but it didn’t hurt it at all, and frankly I needed the hearty smoke this morning to face the day. Lots going on and I needed to haul some large heavy ferns from the front porch to the back to try to overwinter them, cut out a huge section of jasmine vine to make room for them in the sunniest area, neaten up the beds for soon-to-visit guests, finish the outdoor decorating, and teach in the afternoon. I didn’t even realize HOW MUCH I NEEDED a strengthening tea until it was almost to my lips and I inhaled the smokey aroma and felt the hit of resolve.

It did the trick. I might have it again tomorrow…

derk

“Hit of resolve”. That’s a choice string of words :)

Nattie

That’s a busy day! Hope you got everything you needed to done (:

Lupiressmoon

Congrats on getting that last November prompt done
I love most Lapsang Souchong and the name is different.

ashmanra

Derk: Ha ha! Thanks! It was exactly what the tea gave me.

Nattie: Got it all done, and as a student was walking in and bouncing with excitement at the Christmas decorations, I noticed I still had my pumpkin door sign by the door. Oops! Student asked if we could put the Christmas one up together which took all of two minutes, so then I was officially done. (The door sign is there because the brick house has a metal cap there where lighting used to be and it looks ugly, so we added a rare earth magnet and we add a small metal piece to the backs of signs we like and hang them there to cover the ugly!

Lupiressmoon: One of my favorite Lapsang teas (smokey style) has this same name but is by Dammann Freres. Worth a try if you get the chance!

Martin Bednář

Seems you had indeed a busy day. Like me today.

Nattie

Very impressive, and how sweet that you got to add the final finishing touch with a student! I wish I had your motivation. Currently I’m browsing Steepster instead of finishing a 2000 word essay which is due in tonight, and I’ve accidentally gotten carried away with and written 8500 words for!

gmathis

It’s always easier to cut word count than add it!

Nattie

@gmathis – not for me! I talk far too much, I can knock out a couple of thousand words in a day. But then only 10% actually makes it to the final essay!

gmathis

The curriculum writing I do requires conveying three-mile-long ideas into three-inch quantities of space, so cutting and trimming is my specialty :)

Nattie

Teach me your ways :‘) It’s a skill I’ve never mastered.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all! I am truly thankful for this tea community and the kindness and support shown by everyone. You are a very special part of my life, and I am truly thankful for you!

Last year we bought the Fortnum & Mason tea advent calendar, and this year Ashman really, really, really, wanted the refill. I decided we would drink the refill teas whenever we wanted and not pay much attention to what was behind which door on which day since we tried all these last year. In order to have something new (mostly) to look forward, I ordered the advent calendar of single sachets as well. For those, I plan to stick to schedule and have them on the correct day with no peeking.

I decided before the tea even arrived that we would have cranberry tea on Thanksgiving Day. Since my kids who like cranberry sauce are not here, I decided not to make or buy any, so I am using the tea as my substitute, and to fulfill Mastress Alita’s November sipdown prompt – a cranberry tea.

When I opened the tin, the cranberry flavor actually made my nose tingle! Those are red bits of dried cranberry in the blend, and lots of cranberry flavoring. The scent is SO SHARP, but the flavor is actually very smooth and tasty.

I love that the base here is a Chinese black, which I generally prefer to Indian. Amd I love that they did not add hibiscus to make it any more tart than it already is. Hibby tea almost always needs sugar for me to enjoy it, but this is fine without.

Cameron B.

Happy Thanksgiving! I love cranberry sauce, and rolls obviously. ;)

ashmanra

Happy Thanksgiving! I do like cranberry sauce, but I would be eating all of it by myself! Thanks to Maddy, I am eyeing the crescent rolls and planning some roll ups for supper tomorrow night!

Martin Bednář

Happy Thanksgiving! As you know, we don’t celebrate it here, but it is wonderful to have a day to remember all the things we are thankful for.

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Bio

I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about twelve years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

I am also reviewing for Sororitea Sisters now!

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…

Location

North Carolina

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