2955 Tasting Notes

drank Fortmason by Fortnum & Mason
2955 tasting notes

March Sipdown Prompt – tea from your biggest tin

At 250 grams, this is definitely my biggest tin, although I have a couple of pound bags I foolishly bought of some other teas. This is also one of my newer teas, so I expect it may be around for a while. This is definitely not a sipdown, but work towards one. Also, I wouldn’t buy this again now that I know that Kusmi’s Bouquet of Flowers has orange blossom galore but is a tastier mix of flavors.

I tried an orange blossom tea last year and was disappointed that I didn’t taste much orange blossom. This one delivers in the orange blossom department BIG TIME. The black tea base is a little disappointing to me, though, because it is so one-dimensional. Maybe they really thought everyone would add milk and sugar to this so they didn’t make a big effort there? And orange blossom by itself isn’t wowing me like I thought it would, so Kusmi for the win there again. I don’t hate this, it’s just that I have found better options.

I might play with parameters but also might try mixing various other black teas with it. The orange blossom is so strong that it should still come through with no problem even if unscented black is added. It might be good with a jasmine black….ooooo. Or stretch my Kismi blend with it?

I made a pitcher sweetened to chill for lunch tomorrow and a preliminary sip with ice was satisfactory.

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drank Je Ne Sais Quoi... by THEODOR
2955 tasting notes

March Sipdown Prompt – a tea I won’t repurchase

A sipdown! This is my second Theodor sipdown in about a month.

And yet there is no note here from me? This was my oldest green on shelf currently, best by date was 2018, although there may be one or two that are tied with it. The age should be a good indicator that I didn’t drink this often. It just isn’t a flavor I reach for, and I think flavored greens tend to hang around here longer than other teas, except for fruity greens. Plain or fruity greens go pretty fast.

It tastes like what they said – vanilla and rich biscuit. How do the French companies get that rich pastry/cookie aroma? It is incredible. It reminds me of Cookie by Lupicia so much, but Cookie is a black tea. Cookie makes great lattes, and if I had been drinking a lot of those back then that is probably how I would have used this one.

Shipping is so high for Theodor that I would opt for buying Cookie if I want this flavor. It is a great tea and tastes exactly as described, but so hard to get.

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drank Afternoon Tea by Lupicia
2955 tasting notes

Superanna gave me several Lupicia teas for my birthday and a sample bag of this came with the order. I did read many of the tasting notes before trying it, so I went into it somewhat knowing what to expect.

What I did not expect was liking it as much as I did, as in, liking it enough to add it to my next Lupicia order.

I agree that it is nothing all that special, and yet…it tastes so very like what I perceive to be the most classic cup of tea that I can see myself craving the simplicity and easy drinkability of this.

There is Assam, but not strong enough to upset my sensitive tummy that often objects to Assam. There is Darjeeling, that can be too astringent for my tastes, but this is only brisk and bright. I drank it plain but I think it would also be lovely with milk and or sugar. It would be so good with afternoon snack, like a little slice of decadent (or delicate) cake.

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drank Mother’s Day by Fortnum & Mason
2955 tasting notes

I had this again today, by itself this time instead of back-to-back with Earl Grey Grand Classic by Lupicia.

Having it with breakfast and after (I made a really big pot) I find this to be one of the better Fortnum teas. I really like the balance of rose and bergamot. They are so evenly matched here. I would call the flavorings medium strength, not too in your face but definitely and unmistakably present. The tea base carries it all nicely and was strong enough for breakfast for me, but I am not a builder’s tea drinker so keep that in mind.

Really liking it! I am glad since Valentine’s Day blend was a bust hot for me and will be served as a sweet iced tea.

I saved one very small cup for Ashman and gave it to him without telling him what it was. He sniffed it and asked if it was rose. Drats. He doesn’t care much for rose in tea. I was hoping he wouldn’t peg it before tasting. I told him there was rose as well as other things. He sipped and said he mostly tasted rose. I told him there was bergamot in it, another ingredient he doesn’t like unless liberally accompanied by other flavors like vanilla, caramel, or blackcurrant. (Like Paris by Harney)

Bottom line – he said he liked it! A win! But he does tend to like Fortnum teas, maybe even more than I do.

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This tea was surprise happy mail from dear derk! Thank you!

I steeped this up for breakfast this morning, not really knowing what sort of profile I would find. The leaves were long, black, and twisted, lovely to look at. Would it be smoky, or chocolate-y like a Keemun? Or bready? Mineral?

First sniff had me hit with a wave of nostalgia. Sweet potato! A Southern Season! Golden Mudan? Ah, Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tip! I have been out for so long!

The tea gives me impression of being light but then fills the mouth with what Graham Kerr called mouth-roundness. The clean, clear light amber/orange tea swirls thick flavors and you can’t help but swirl this one. No straight sipping here, this demands a swish and you deserve it, so go ahead.

With my food, no astringency was noted, though I see it in other notes. I made a second steep when food was gone.

Color is the same, aroma is the same. Now the sweet potato and roundness fill the mouth and after the swallow, there it is. A palate cleansing briskness. This is what keeps you reaching for more – a dryness that craves the full body of a new sip.

Many thanks, derk, and also many thanks to Martin who orchestrated the group buy! What a delightful treat this was today!

edit to add: Did a third steep. Still some sweet potato but now also earth and mineral notes come forward. It almost tastes like one of the last steeps of a fine shu puerh. So earthy.

Martin Bednář

It was a pleasure to make a group buy. I keep the contact for the vendor, as their website seems to be unavailable right now. I hope (and I think I am not only one), who hopes it is just a temporary problem.


Perhaps they are just waiting to restock!

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drank Mother’s Day by Fortnum & Mason
2955 tasting notes

I drank this right after Earl Grey Grand Classic by Lupicia. Night and day difference here really. Both good, very different.

Mother’s Day is a limited edition tea making its debut, but perhaps it will return next year if it is well-received.

If Earl Grey Grand Classic is the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth, this is the opening of Smetana’s Die Moldau. If EGGC is Barynishnikov leaping and plunging across a stage, this is the Sugarplum Fairy. Both good, just different.

Grand Classic was so powerful in base and scent that this was a whisper in comparison. I don’t think it would be so noticeable if I had this one alone. I will try that tomorrow.

The base is mild but not absent, the bergamot is light and not strong enough IMO to scare Ashman away, and the rose is mild and light also. Ashman would probably have more issue with the rose in this cup than the bergamot, since his dislike of rose is stronger than his dislike of bergamot.

I need to have this again when I haven’t just had Grand Classic so I can judge it more on its own merits instead of right on the heels of a powerfully flavoured tea. So far, though, I can say that I like it, but I may like their Countess Gray better.

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drank Earl Grey Grand Classic by Lupicia
2955 tasting notes

I had two new-to-me Earl Grey blends this morning. This one is a gift from Superanna and the other is a gift from Ashman.

Reading reviews and even the Lupicia website, I was unsure as to whether this contained longan AND bergamot or longan INSTEAD OF bergamot. Since the ingredient list both online and on the bag say it contains black tea, longan pieces, and essential oil, I was still none the wiser. What oils? Just longan or bergamot or both?

Taste told me that either there was a whole lot of bergamot in this or longan tastes an awful lot like bergamot. I noticed there was a warning that the essential oils in this tea may stain plastics so be aware for the sake of your teaware. I looked up their plain Earl Grey and there was the same warning, so I have my answer.

This was a powerful tea, very flavorful, and I think it could be polarizing. If you don’t like bergamot, you are not going to like this tea – something I do not say about some blends with bergamot. The base is strong enough to stand with the scents, otherwise this woukd be a very poor cup of tea indeed.

Ashman dislikes Earl Grey but likes both Paris and Parker’s Blend, which have bergamot. I don’t think he would drink this.

I, however, like it! It is very unusual and there is a strong perfume taste, and a good twenty minutes after I drank this I noticed that I still tasted the perfume. (The longan mainly. Perhaps some bergamot as well.)

Neat tea!


I miss the days when Earl Gray tasted perfumey — I assume it’s my palate that has been wrecked by my consumption over the years, but maybe I’ll give this version a go!

Martin Bednář

I had to look out what longan is and first result was a Vietnamese restaurant in Prague, but then it showed me also fruit.

Cameron B.

So interesting that you describe it as perfumey, a word that I have a bit of a visceral reaction to ha ha, and yet I love this tea! The smoke-bergamot-longan combination is so interesting.

@Martin – it’s very similar to lychee, if you’re familiar with that.

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drank Framboise Chocolat by Lupicia
2955 tasting notes

Superanna picked this from my wishlist and gave it to me as an early birthday gift, along with a couple of other Lupicia teas. Thank you, Superanna!

I really shouldn’t have had the caffeine, but I made just one cup’s worth tonight because I could not wait to try it. I split that one cup with Ashman but I didn’t tell him what we were having, just that it was one of my early birthday teas.

Ashman usually dislikes chocolate in tea unless it is cacao nibs, and he dislikes raspberry in general. He liked this tea!

He said it tasted like mahogany wood and tobacco leaf to him, no doubt the base teas coming through. I mentioned that a lot of people probably take it with milk and sugar and he said he thought it would be especially good that way, so one day soon I will make a big pot and let him experiment with it.

As for me, I liked it just as it is, and I see why it is so popular. The aroma is identical to the Godiva raspberry filled chocolate bars I used to buy at Barnes and Noble.


I do love this tea!

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March Sipdown Challenge Prompt – a favorite herbal tisane

It’s a sipdown! We make this one iced by the pitcher. It is a purple-ish-and-tea color and not super attractive if you were expecting blue/purple tea, but as a sweet iced tea it is quite refreshing. Ashman really enjoys it, and I like it very well, too.

Just noticed I never posted a tasting note and I have had it for at least two years but probably three, or more. I reviewed it for Sororitea Sisters long ago so that is probably why I didn’t put a note here.

I have two teas sipped down this month, but just received an early birthday gift of three new ones and there is one arriving Monday. And I bet I am getting tea from someone else for my birthday, too! (Insert laughing face with tears!) I need to get moving on the sipdowns!

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drank Travel to India by THEODOR
2955 tasting notes

March Sipdown Prompt – your oldest black tea

It is a true sipdown!

Yep, I am replacing Perseus as my oldest black tea and counting this one instead, because when I went to make my tea soda syrup for tonight, I finished the tin, and when I turned the tin over I saw that the best buy date was in 2018! So this was older than Perseus.

I don’t care that much for chai except as a latte. That’s how this one lasted so long. But now I am making tea soda to replace root beer as my weekend treat and I need a good chai. So far I have tried using Stash Holiday Chai and this one, and I think I prefer this one.

I love that the black pepper doesn’t punch me in the face. It does have that little extra quality that makes it better than Stash no matter how you are making it. It is hard to come by, so I need to puzzle out another tea for next weekend’s root beer replacement. I am thinking of trying Vanilla Comoro with some added spices. We shall see.

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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…


North Carolina

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