Fortnum & Mason

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Recent Tasting Notes

83

Oh, Fortnum & Mason, you confuse me sometimes. This is listed as a black tea, and while it does posses qualities that I would ascribe to a light black base the actual tea name says pouchong. I swear that’s a tea that straddles the line between green tea and oolong; it’s one of the reasons I bought this in London.

But then the description on the back of my tin says “large-leaf Maofeng Keemun”, which is a floral black tea. I’m going to assume that’s what it is, as all physical tea evidence points in that direction (dark leaves, red broth, chocolatey floral base with slight astringency).

I can’t say I’m too disappointed in this not being an actual pouchong , which may have been a little light to handle the lovely rose notes. The keemun is actually quite pleasant and smooth.

Flavors: Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Assam Superb Tea by Fortnum & Mason
201 tasting notes

My sweet wife was due some merchandise credits at the Williams Sonoma store. She so very nicely picked up this tea for me with her credits.

Assam is not my favorite tea as I prefer the Chinese products over those from India. I can’t always find Assam teas that are robust enough for my palate. However, I always try to experience new teas with an open mind. Hopefully, this Assam will be a great one.

My container for this tea was different than the one in the picture. It was also metal but round with a narrower neck. The cap had a cool plastic and reusable inner seal underneath it.

The unbrewed short brown leaves had the familiar aroma of Assam. I steeped them for five minutes at 212 degrees. The finished product was the color of maple syrup. The smell was sweet and malty.

The flavor had a sweet malty edge to it. I thought I detected a slight twinge of astringency during the first sip but it dissipated quickly and didn’t return.

I liked this Assam. It had sufficient tea flavor to keep my taste buds interested. I enjoyed the sweetness and malty emphasis in the taste. Some Assams have just tasted like weak tea to me. There was no unpleasant bitterness in the brief aftertaste. If you also are on the fence about Assam, you might want to take a chance on this one!

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML
NofarS

My favourite Assam as well :)

Stoo

It’s a good one for sure, NofarS! Thanks for your comment!

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75
drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
1574 tasting notes

Picked several of this brand of tea up at Williams Sonoma the other day, They sell high end products so I suspected the teas they sell would be good. This tea is good but it is very strong. I put sugar into black teas so I am drinking this with a small amount of sugar. I think without the sugar it would be too strong for my tastes. It’s not so strong as to need milk in my opinion although as this is a British style blend I suspect it is made with mild and sugar in mind. I am not sure if Fortnum and Mason is an American company or a British company but they are an old brand. This tea has a bit of a fruity note and I do like it. I don’t necessarily know that I would buy it again.

I steeped this tea once in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 minutes.

Flavors: Fruity

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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85
drank Guards' Blend by Fortnum & Mason
421 tasting notes

Had a cup of this yesterday, brewed Western style. This is a sweet, malty tea, with surprisingly little astringency, and much lighter than your garden variety Assam blend. It requires no sweetening, in my opinion, and can be rebrewed 2-3 times easily.
Alas, in typical Fortnum’s fashion, it appears to be no longer available.
And of course, the caddy it came in is absolutely stunning.

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Maple Syrup

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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73

Opening the tin revealed the blend which was decorated with a large star anise piece on the top. It’s so beautiful! The blend itself is a little festive as it has red safflower petals decorating a dark brown blend. It bares a soft yet spicy scent, like cinnamon and clove.

Brewing Parameters: 1.5 tsp in a large mug with boiling water for 3-4 minutes.

Once steeped a dark brown liquid with a red hue sits in my glass that bares the same generic spice scent as it’s raw form.

The first few sips reveal a dark base, wooden and thick with some bitterness with a delicate spicy after taste. Specifically clove, cinnamon and cocoa nib which is probably where the bitterness comes from. I imagine it would be reduced with a bit of sweetener.

The spice is not actually as strong as I expected, it’s more subtle against the black tea base. In a way it’s nice, sometimes ‘in your face’ flavoured teas are too much. There is also some dryness in the after taste though the spice lingers a while.

I would say while this was more of a subtle spice it was Christmas-esque and suited for all day drinking. I imagine a pot of this on Christmas morning would go down a treat! It’s subtlety may even win over some plain tea drinkers.

http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/12/14/christmas-spiced-tea-by-fortnum-mason/

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65

I enjoyed this tea to the last cup. It’s a mild tea and, like it’s name says, perfect for afternoon consumption. I often enjoyed mine with a touch of milk and sugar. Definitely be careful not to oversteep it. Otherwise it can be bitter.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87

This is a nice light black tea. It’s got just a little bit of astringency and some pleasing stone fruit undertones. Not one of those teas that hits you over the head with its bold flavors, but makes for a really pleasant cup. I don’t drink Ceylon very often—when I go for black teas, I’m usually drawn to bold, malty Assams or, on the other hand, astringent, floral Darjeelings—but this blend has me thinking I shouldn’t be so quick to overlook it as the boring middle-ground option.

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86

I bought this on whim a few days ago after finding out that Williams Sonoma imports F&M tea(!!!!!!!) I don’t love green tea, but I learned earlier with Fortnum & Mason not to judge a tea before you try it. This is a wonderful tea for late summer/early autumn as the weather starts winding down. It doesn’t have the heavy earthy flavor I normally get (and don’t enjoy) with greens but it is still crisp and palette cleansing. The ginger is mellow but still enjoyable, not at all like some of my other favorite ginger teas.

Flavors: Ginger

MrQuackers

I’ve been seeing a Chinese honey ginger tea at the store. It has sugar, honey and ginger. Haven’t bought it yet. Sounds good if you like ginger. If you google it, it’s Ann instant honeyed ginger drink a Walmart.

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drank Queen Anne by Fortnum & Mason
682 tasting notes

Thank you Sil for sending this tea my way *cough cough many years ago oops.
Hey, better late than never, right?? I’m finally going through all my teas that I’ve been meaning to get to!
Dry, it smells like an ordinary black tea. Once I poured water over the top, I got that dank, musky black tea smell. Don’t know if this tea is supposed to be like this, but I’m assuming it’s the age :(( Dang. Should’ve had this tea years ago when I got it! But it’s v dark and amber in colour. Prob going to throw some milk and sugar into this

Sil

Hahahahaha

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100
drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
7 tasting notes

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75

I picked up a bag of this green tea at half-price in Fortnum and Mason’s Piccadilly store in London and I would be a little disappointed if I paid full-price: this green tea is very astringent and bitter.The leaves are good quality but I couldn’t find any whole leaf.
Whilst being certainly not a very delicate and complex green, it is better (and cheaper!) than any grocery store bagged tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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85

I bought the loose leaf version of this tea and I love it!
The bergamot fragrance is on point, as it is very present yet very subtle. I did notice a slightly smoky flavour, that despite being not displeasing at all, rather surprised me. I suspect it has been kept near some Lapsang Souchong in the Piccadilly store.

Flavors: Bergamot, Earl Grey, Smoked

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Sipdown (116 though I just went to Sil’s and as per usual, despite my best efforts, I am pretty sure I left with more than I came so this number is about to go up so thank you, Sil)

Once I got home, my mom asked someone to sit in the kitchen to babysit our dishwasher, which is making some strange sounds, so I said I would. Mostly I agreed to do it because I had to get my 2 milk servings in for the day which meant I would be down here making lattes anyways.

I decided to make one hot latte and one iced. This tea has been sitting in my samples box for a while now so I decided to give it a go and I thought the spices would make for a nice hot latte. Unfortunately my milk frothier got excited and ended up making most of the 8 oz of milk into foam so now I am sipping on 1/2 a cup of super concentrated milk tea while trying to not get my face coated in milk foam. Trying being the operative word here as I am not doing so well.

As for the tea… I used the entire sample I had from Cavocorax (I think!) and pulled out any anise pods I saw just to try and cut down on that particular flavor. Unfortunately I wasn’t super successful since I’m still getting a fair bit of anise in the brew. I’m also getting cloves though which is helping to balance it out/make it more tolerable. With that said, something in the way this came together is coming off a little bit like dirt. Not sure what’s causing it but obviously I am not a fan. I’m wondering though if that is because of how concentrated this is due to the milk issue. So, with that in mind, I won’t rate the tea but I probably won’t seek it out again either. Still, thank you Cavo for the chance to try something new!

Sil

just keeping us close in terms of numbers :)

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95

It does its name justice, and it’s an excellent, assertive, distinct tasting tea.: smoky oolong tea with bergamot oil.

Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Dark Wood, Smoke, Smooth

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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100

Really lovely delicate tea don’t need much if any milk, good to drink at any time of the day but I found it more relaxing than invigorating. All in all well worth a try and available in refil bags to save you from having to pay for new caddys each time

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100

Depende del humor que ande uno, hay días en que se antoja el té con bergamota y nada mejor que Fortnum & Mason.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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80

Morning cup of tea, yo. I wrote in a previous note that I couldn’t detect the cocoa in here but I think I could this time? The orange and clove notes in here are so strong that anything else hardly has a chance. If I concentrate really hard, I taste a faint touch of cocoa at the very end blended in with the milk. It could also be a figment of my imagination.

By the way, I made my first tea order of 2017! I randomly went with Amoda since I haven’t ordered from them in over a year and they have a lot of interesting blends at the moment. I haven’t ordered anything since early autumn either so I’m super stoked to get some new tea. :D

Sil

OOOH! yay for tea orders!

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80

Oh no, I’ve been neglecting my tea stash as of late. Must make more of an effort. I just had a massive mug of this without any additives and quite enjoyed the pow in this one. From memory, I’d say this is mainly orange and cloves. There are cocoa nibs in here? I’m going to have to try it again soon and pay extra attention.

gmathis

The cocoa sounds like a lovely add-in. (I’ve got the raw materials to try this, but there’s a snoozing cat on my lap….maybe this weekend :)

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87

I picked a tin of this up for my mom as a birthday gift while visiting my now-fiancé in London a couple of years ago. It’s certainly a bold blend, heavy on the Assam. It’s quite malty, nothing too complex. It’s a fairly standard breakfast blend, and though I’m enjoying it it’s probably not one I’ll restock since it’s a little on the pricey side. Still, it makes for a satisfying cup first thing in the morning.

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This sample was from MissB (thanks!)

Smells like cloves, I’m feeling festive already. I think I prefer Esprit de Noël as my stock holiday time tea (I say, as I drink this long after the holiday season has ended) but it’s a nice, gently spiced black tea.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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85

With this classic Earl Grey Fortnum & Mason have managed to hit the sweet spot. The Bergamont dominates the aroma, but the citrus is present and refreshing. I prefer to steep nearly for 5 minutes. Then I will have delicious golden colour with a distinct taste. A classic Earl Grey.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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This was more floral than I expected, but still pleasant – it mingled in really nicely with the orange.

If I could find a lotion or a scented candle in this scent, I’d be a happy lady. Thanks, Sil for sending me a bag of this to try!

MissB

I’m not sure if this is leftover from my trip to Europe, or Sil’s… But I’m pretty sure Fortnum & Mason has this scent in a candle, at least at their London, UK store.

Christina / BooksandTea

Interesting…. if I had a beard, I’d be stroking it pensively right now.

Sil

MissB – think it was a bit of both. Christina missed out on all the excitement but i found a few that i still had around to share with her :)

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Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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