72
drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
2708 tasting notes

Fortnum & Mason Advent Calendar 2021 – Day 1

Happy December, tea people! \o/

So happy that advent season is finally here! And I’m kicking it off with this first tea from Fortnum & Mason as my morning cuppa! This is one of their many breakfast blends, and it’s a blend of Ceylon and Assam. It doesn’t specify in what proportions sadly, though I guess that’s a bit much to expect heh.

I will say I can definitely taste both teas. Perhaps the Assam is slightly stronger? Although it does tend to be a beefier tea in general. I had originally planned to steep this for 2.5 minutes, as the leaves looked quite broken to me. But after seeing how quickly the water darkened after being poured in, I shortened it to just 2 minutes to be safe. And I’m glad I did, this is very flavorful but not bitter, and even with the short steep it has a moderate amount of astringency on the tail end.

I confess, the beginning of the sip tastes a bit like Lipton, perhaps from the Ceylon? But midway through, the dark brown sugar and raisin notes of the Assam come to the forefront. It’s very malty as well. The Ceylon seems to be adding “tea-ish” notes (lol) and a bit of a metallic edge. And then at the end, the tannins come out to play and take over the cup.

I added a glug of oat milk to the second half of the cuppa, which smoothed out the dryness perfectly but also brought out a slightly musty flavor. I’m not generally a breakfast blend sort of person, as I don’t often add milk to my tea, which is almost expected for these types of blends. That being said, I’m excited to explore a few more that I know are hiding somewhere in this calendar! It’s always fun to go outside your tea comfort zone. ❤

ETA: Almost forgot about the Bonne Maman jam!

Today was Rhubarb-Strawberry Spread and it was wonderful slathered on the very last leftover Thanksgiving roll. I adore rhubarb. The end!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CW9ig19NOOT/

Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Brown Sugar, Caramelized Sugar, Malt, Metallic, Musty, Raisins, Sweet, Tannic, Tea

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
ashmanra

Is this in your day one slot? Mine was Breakfast Blend so they may not do all of them the same!

Cameron B.

Hmm that’s interesting. I know one other person with this advent on Instagram, and hers was also Royal Blend today.

ashmanra

Royal Blend is on Day 4 for me.

Cameron B.

I guess we’ll see if I have Breakfast Blend on that day ha ha!

whosbradpitt

I actually grabbed the Bonne Maman calendar thanks to your reviews last year and the first one confirmed that this was a fantastic choice!

Cameron B.

Yasssss so excited for you! I wasn’t planning to get it this year, but I couldn’t resist ha ha. Jam addict!

Martin Bednář

Happy Advent Season!

Cameron B.

And to you, Martin! Hope you’re enjoying your advent! :3

Martin Bednář

I do. I come home just in time to enjoy Advent tea :) Shortly, a new note will appear.

tea-sipper

YEAH can’t forget the jam advent. :D

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Comments

ashmanra

Is this in your day one slot? Mine was Breakfast Blend so they may not do all of them the same!

Cameron B.

Hmm that’s interesting. I know one other person with this advent on Instagram, and hers was also Royal Blend today.

ashmanra

Royal Blend is on Day 4 for me.

Cameron B.

I guess we’ll see if I have Breakfast Blend on that day ha ha!

whosbradpitt

I actually grabbed the Bonne Maman calendar thanks to your reviews last year and the first one confirmed that this was a fantastic choice!

Cameron B.

Yasssss so excited for you! I wasn’t planning to get it this year, but I couldn’t resist ha ha. Jam addict!

Martin Bednář

Happy Advent Season!

Cameron B.

And to you, Martin! Hope you’re enjoying your advent! :3

Martin Bednář

I do. I come home just in time to enjoy Advent tea :) Shortly, a new note will appear.

tea-sipper

YEAH can’t forget the jam advent. :D

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Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

~ 2022 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
~ January Sipdowns: 23
~ Total 2022 Sipdowns: 23

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I love matcha and drink it often!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Purveyors:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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