Fortnum & Mason

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Recent Tasting Notes

Advent Day 11

Tastes like chamomile, but without the H and with a bee pollen strangeness to it.
Other than this tea being warm on a night I was drinking it out in the cold, it was utterly forgettable. I’m not familiar with the taste of bee pollen and what I picked out in the tea as bee pollen just tasted strange. I could only detect it in the start of the cup, then the camomile taste took over. I’d prefer Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile to this tea any day!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Chai by Fortnum & Mason
977 tasting notes

Advent Day 10

Boring! I mean, this would be okay for a generic grocery store bagged chai, but for a loose leaf tea company it leaves a lot to be desired. The steeping instructions say 5m at boiling and I only did 4, but it already had a bitter tinge to it by then. Adding cream dulled that, but it lacks flavor and spice. It’s like chai set to a level 2 intensity with nothing outstanding or noticeable about it. There are some muddled spices that have merged into one dull flavor. If I wasn’t so thirsty I’d have dumped my cup, but I’d never buy this. I guess if my choices were this or hibiscus, I’d choose this chai, but I wouldn’t be happy about it. Glad it was only one bag that crossed my path!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Mastress Alita

If it were me, I’d take the hibiscus… but then, I like hibiscus, and this review makes this chai sound terrible. And I really don’t like bitter chai with muddled spice (or worse, that taste like they only have one single spice in them instead of four or five, like only clove, or only cardamom… bleeeeeh)

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drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
977 tasting notes

Advent Day 9

This is mild and sweet on the sip. A little bitter at the back of the sip and slightly malty in the finish. Seems like a solid tea, but it doesn’t have that much going on. Adding cream makes it a little more interesting, but not by much.

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Advent Day 8

This is nice… if you like licorice (or liquorice) and I do! I can smell the mint and verbena when I sip, but the licorice is what is most striking taste. I don’t think it’s super strong as far as licorice can go. The mint comes back a little at the end, but the verbena doesn’t really stand out. Could be that it’s blended so well I don’t notice it in this well balanced and pleasant cup.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Countess Grey by Fortnum & Mason
977 tasting notes

Advent Day 7

This is a pretty light EG. It is very smooth and has a bit or orange in the finish. Not super exciting. Something you can drink while doing other things and not be distracted by.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Morrocan Mint by Fortnum & Mason
977 tasting notes

Advent Day 6

This has a nice buttery feel to it! The mint is mild on the sip and comes out more in the finish, but it isn’t the star of the show there either. I would expect the mint to be sharper or stronger. Perhaps this is another instance of older tea? This is a pleasant tea, but it isn’t sweeping me off my feet.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Advent Day 5

This has a very floral scent to it! It is smooth on the sip with a tart tannic bite at the end of the sip and hints of rose in the finish. I’m not accustomed to darjeelings and it’s looking like I may have steeped this at too hot a temp. If so, it held up surprisingly well with only a little bitter bite. I’m not taken by this tea, but I’ll gladly finish the cup.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Advent Day 17

Totally and utterly forgettable. The citrus was nearly undetectable and nothing stood out about it at all. I ended up walking away from the cup and later dumping it. I swear these must be last years tea bags because so many of them are so lacking.

Mastress Alita

This is by far the worst sounding of everyone’s advent calendars… and most of the Tea Revv reviews have not been that great. But this one really takes the cake.

VariaTEA

Yeah, this one does not sound good. Tea Revv was a whole lot of just meh teas but at least it was relatively cheap.

Tabby

I’ve only tried a couple Fortnum & Mason teas, but they’ve both been disappointing like this. Definitely seeing a trend…

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Advent Day 4

I’m missing something here. All the reviews of this tea talk about it being the best EG ever and I’m not getting that in this cup. Maybe it was a bad batch of tea? Maybe it was old stock? Either way, what I’m tasting is and EG light with the strength of a third steeping of any other EG. The base is nice and smooth… a little malty, but the bergamot is almost non existent. Adding creamer drowns out the berg and makes it a little more malty, but it’s still not worth drinking this cup. Down the drain with you!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Advent Day 3

Hibiscus! Ugh, no! I tried for a couple sips, but the only thing I got before giving up and dumping my cup was a mouth full of sour hibiscus. Might as well have had a teabag full of coal!

Maddy Barone

I hold hibiscus in the same high regard.

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Day 2 of Advent

This is a smooth cup, no bitterness. There is almost a truffle hint in the sip which is strange! Even so, I find the cup a little boring with nothing standing out and grabbing my attention. Adding cream makes it a little more interesting and makes it a little more buttery, but doesn’t change it enough to where I’m excited about it.

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drank Rose Pouchong by Fortnum & Mason
977 tasting notes

Advent Day 13

Advent Day 12 was a repeat of Royal Blend, which I wasn’t particularly fond of so I didn’t have it again. Today is a repeat of day 1, which I’m less annoyed by. I’m glad to get to drink more of this tea, but am disappointed that F&M is repeating teas in their calendar. It seems like such a good chance to market and sample a variety of teas, why would you waste the chance to introduce a new tea to someone? There are only 24 spaces in an advent calendar, do they really not have a variety of 24 teas to showcase? The calendar isn’t cheap either (it breaks down to just over $2.50 per tea bag), so it’s extra disappointing when they are just half assing or phoning it in in the effort department. If I get a repeat of the hibiscus tea F&M is going to be dead to me. In the mean time I’ll enjoy this cup with some cream. The rose isn’t sharp or too intense and the slightly malty base evens it out well. This has so far been my favorite of the calendar.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Mastress Alita

I would be very upset if I got repeat teas in an advent calendar. I feel like the whole point is to get 24 individual samplers?

tea-sipper

Doubling up on teas in an advent?!?! Hmm… are they trying to disappoint people?

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drank Rose Pouchong by Fortnum & Mason
977 tasting notes

Day 1 of the F&M advent calendar!

The rose scent was super strong as soon as I broke the foil behind the door in this packaging. It’s in tea bag form, which I feel eh about, but I’m not going to let that ruin my advent fun. I like flowery flavors, but I’m not a huge rose fan and don’t tend to gravitate towards rose tea so I didn’t expect to like this one. I like it. Once steeped, the rose is strong on the nose, mellow in the sip and comes back in the finish. The tea base is perfectly balanced and not the least bit bitter at all! It is strong enough to carry the rose without overpowering it. The end of the sip is super smooth. Adding cream towards the end of my cup was a gamble that paid off! The sip is now creamy with the rose being subtle, but the finish is filled with a hint of creamy rose at the start and as the cream tapers off the rose comes back out. I’d say I probably wouldn’t buy this tea because I’m not likely to reach for it in my cupboard when I have a ton of other options, but it’s a really enjoyable tea and I’d gladly have another cup of it in the future if given the option!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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

Daily work tea. Not too much left. Still trying to knock it out so I can move on to less harsh teas. This stuff leaves me craving light, fruity things.

My mom asked me to update my Amazon wishlist and it is basically just a long list of teas I want. I hope she picks some of the white or green teas. I need a break from these heavy black teas!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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

Daily work tea. Slowly trying to put a dent in this sampler. Even at 2 minutes, this is still so savory and bitter. Powerful stuff. I hope the other teas aren’t such a kick to the head.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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

Trying again with a shorter steep time. It still comes out very dark and bold. The smokiness is more in the aroma than the taste now. The bitterness has calmed, but it still stands up for itself. I bet I could get a second cup from these tea bags and have it come out even stronger than the first.

I wish the amounts of tea we fill in weren’t just in tsp or g. There should be a button for bags and tablespoons.

EDIT: Y’all, the caffeine in this is outta control. It’s going to be an herbal-only evening for me. Bzzzzz!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 24 OZ / 709 ML
Mastress Alita

I wish the tsp or g button let us do decimals. I nearly always do my grams as some odd measurement like 2.8g or 3.3 and it always rounds it off, not showing exactly how much tea I used.

Tabby

Yes! I had that same problem yesterday!

lizwykys

I didn’t even notice that until I read this! My 3.8 grams I logged earlier was rounded down to 3 (weirdly — why not up to 4?).Big difference.

Mastress Alita

Ya, it doesn’t even round properly, it just takes off your decimal amount. It’s very annoying.

Tabby

Agreed!

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

Backlogging from this afternoon. I still haven’t figured out how to make this right. It keeps coming out almost intolerably strong. I only used one bag for a regular sized tea mug! Maybe it needs a 2-minute steep time?

I still think this tastes smoky. I know I can’t be the only one.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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

I received this in a gift sampler from my boss while she was traveling overseas.

I’m a little worried as I sniff this tea. No one else’s reviews mention this being smoky. And in the sampler, it was packaged close to both a Lapsang and a Russian Caravan. I wonder if this has been contaminated by them. That would be a shame.

Anyway, it comes out to a very rich, dark color that warns me that this tea is not kidding around. Like Stoo said, I prefer black teas from China and not India, so I’m a little hesitant. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised before. And here, I am pleasantly surprised again. This has a very nice malty, satisfying flavor. It is a little bitter, but not in an oppressive way. There is a hint of smokiness, but it tastes like it’s supposed to be there? I can’t tell, really, but I like it. I find myself missing the sweet potato and honeyed bread flavors of Chinese black teas, but this is still a nice wakeup cup.

This could benefit from a shorter steep time, I think. I’ll go with maybe 2 and a half or 3 minutes next. I also need to make a mental note to stop using 4 tea bags per 24 ounce tumbler of black tea. It comes out too strong. 3 should be my new rule of thumb.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Malt, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
gmathis

I have no theological basis for this whatsoever, but I am convinced that every morning in Heaven will begin with an excellent cup of Assam tea. And buttermilk doughnuts. :)

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80

I tasted this blend in a nice tea room with a delicious torche aux marrons. (Please don’t assume I’m arrogant because I use French words. I’m actually French. Which, upon reflection, doesn’t help my case. But let’s move on.)
I was given an empty cup and my own teapot to brew my tea myself, which gave me the opportunity to brew it for exactly 3 minutes. What a joy!
Once I was done I poured it and looked at it. The beautiful dark orange colour it had was so mesmerizing that I forgot my pâtisserie and just kept looking at it until it had cooled down enough for me to drink it without burning my tongue.
I smelled the tea before drinking. It evoked a small but cosy English cottage somewhere on a coast, where you’ve been invited for tea by an elderly lady who might be the queen in disguise, you’re not sure. Very nice.
The first sip was accompanied by the immediate thought “wow, this is so subtle!” – because it really was. It felt like I was drinking silk – it kind of melted on my tongue.
The blend had a very pleasant earthy and herbaceous tone to it, which my sister noticed as well when I handed her the cup to taste. The first thing that came to mind was the moss you’d find between the stones of a low wall separating two fields.
To sum up, this is a very calm, subtle and reassuring tea; a tea that comforts you like a wool blanket you’d wrap yourself in on a late evening near the fireplace while the storm is howling outside.

Flavors: Earth, Herbaceous, Wet Moss

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Russian Caravan by Fortnum & Mason
423 tasting notes

I was sure that this tea was flavoured so until now I’ve avoided it. Turns out that it’s just an Oolong and black tea blend, and a nice and inoffensive one that takes even aggressive brewing well. Better hot than cold, it’s not a very memorable tea, and certainly not worth the price for what it is, but as an “afternoon cuppa” it isn’t bad.

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91

Yunnan and Darjeeling blend. Nicely twisted, non-uniform dry leaves. Liquor is a deep, clear brown-hued amber colour with supple, full body and pleasant aftertaste that doesn’t leave quickly. Very light, flowery aroma from the Darjeeling. A little bit of malt. Very woodsy, light taste; mild but not weak. I preferred this on its own with no milk.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Forest Floor, Malt, Peat Moss, Round , Toasty, Wet Wood

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp

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70

Very citrusy tea. Surprisingly a little bit bitter.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Queen Anne by Fortnum & Mason
100 tasting notes

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