2635 Tasting Notes

Advent Sipdown #11 – I could have sworn this was going to be number 12 but I just counted the empties.

I only had enough left for a single cup and Ashman is at work for the winter storm, so I am eating nonstop, drinking tea, reading, and throwing wood on the fire.

I wanted a simple black tea to have along with a Harney and Sons Blueberry Green White Chocolate candy bar, and it needed to be able to cut the sweetness. This classic Ceylon did the trick mighty well.

Cameron B.

I’m almost done with this one too!


I have a few tins with only a cup’s worth of leaf in them, but a few that are shockingly full! I still hope to finish them all by the end of January.


Hope the siege is over soon! Whatcha readin’?

Evol Ving Ness

Sounds like a lovely way to spend the day.

What is going on there with storm? Downed trees? Snow banks?

Hope this all passes easily enough.


Gmathis: I am revisiting the Thrush Green series by Miss Read. It has been a decade or two since I read them!

Evol: Cold! For us, anyway! We had rain, then freezing rain, and finally last night a beautiful snowfall! About three inches I guess? Last night, the bridges iced up quickly. They couldn’t brine beforehand because of all the rain. It would have been pointless. A few places had power out from downed limbs and trees and but really it was mostly a dry powdery snow here once the freezing rain stopped, so far less trouble than expected. Ashman still has to work 12 hour night shifts until at least tomorrow, which is actually an improvement as he sometimes has to spend days at a time out there in various types of storms.

The big issue now will black ice at night as the melting snow refreezes on the roads. Temps in the teens are rare for us but here we are…


Wow…for your part of the world, that’s Snowpocalypse! You and Miss Read enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ve read a couple of them salvaged from the 25 cent bin at Always Buying Books, but I’ve never hunted them down in order.

Evol Ving Ness

Oh dear. That’s a lot.

Hope things are back to normal for you soon. And that this becomes easier for you all to cope with.

The snow here is up to my knees, but this is an area that should be used to such things at this time of year.

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When Ashman first started drinking tea, he liked Tetley British Blend with an obscene amount of sugar and some milk. He loved it, as well as other black teas, but decided he wanted to drink things he liked plain. That meant mostly greens and whites and oolongs. There are only a couple of black teas he likes plain.

This is one he took with milk and sugar but he adds a lot less sugar now. And he commented that this was especially good!

I like this one better than Afternoon Blend, which is also Ceylon. I get the feeling this has a ratio of low to high grown that suits me better. Classic crave-able black tea that goes well with meals and desserts. Coppery, resteeps well, and not a bother to sip down this little advent tin.

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drank Afternoon Blend by Fortnum & Mason
2635 tasting notes

I stayed up until 3 am waiting for the storm, and Ashman had the alarm set for 4 am to go to work….because of the storm.

He and I drank this together yesterday for breakfast, and he really liked it. He drank one cup of it without milk or sugar, and there are very few black teas he can do that with. He did prefer it with additions and drank several cups that way.

There was one scant teaspoon left so I finished the wee tin with my solitary breakfast – Nonni’s Gingerbread Biscotti and tea.

This grew on, and I liked it more the last two times I had it. I have always liked Ceylon tea pretty well, as long as it isn’t high grown. This is a good one for breakfast, and as Ashman demonstrated it goes well with and without additions.

I doubt I would re-purchase but it was good. If I am going to buy a Ceylon tea, I would get Kenilworth from Harney or their Ceylon and India blend. I miss A Southern Season’s Ceylon Extra Fancy. I don’t know when I have ever seen such huge tea leaves, and it holds a special place in my heart.


Did I hear correctly that you had ice headed your way? That’s a nerve-frazzler for sure!


Indeed! Ice this morning, raining now. Cold and dreary all day.

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Nothing new to say, just this is the 8th sipdown from the Fortnum Advent! This was one of my favorites, the black tea being not overly robust and needing milk and sugar and the lemon more lemon candy. The lemon was not strong or puckery at all.

I don’t need to hunt down a tin to keep on shelf, but it was definitely a favorite and I would happily drink it again if offered.

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drank Green Jasmine by Fortnum & Mason
2635 tasting notes

Someone gave us some wonderful homemade lumpia so I made a sauce for it and a pot of homemade miso soup. That just cried out for green tea to me, and I really want to get some advent sipdowns underway. Elderflower would be way too floral for Ashman and he doesn’t like bergamot so no on the Earl Grey Green and the Christmas Green has too much going on and is too sweet for supper, so that really left only this one as a viable choice.

The jasmine is milder than I remembered, maybe because of what we are eating, but the green base is nice and the mild jasmine was not perfume-y. There seems to be a little buttery note to the base now, and the aftertaste is nicely sweet.

Although I have six empty tins from the advent now, this is not one of them….yet. But it is pleasant and will be easy enough to finish off.


Yum!!! My mom made lumpia for me all the time growing up. I live far away now and my siblings like eating them on cam if I video chat with them. I wish I could cook something remotely similar. lol I love dipping them in soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper, and fresh garlic mix. Great post on what type of tea would go good with it <3.


We have really been enjoying these! These were the first we ever had, although they are very similar to spring rolls and such. There were a lot of them, frozen, so I have served them several times and made a sweet chili sauce and a yumyum style sauce for them.

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The first sipdown of a tin from the Fortnum advent.

Very peachy and nice without milk or sugar but could take it well if you like those.

Had my Moderna booster yesterday afternoon. Arm is the most sore it has ever been with any shot ever. Headache and sore muscles means it is working, so yahoo!

I’m going to bed.

Evol Ving Ness

Hurray for getting boosted. May the discomfort and fatigue pass quickly.


Congrats! May the side effects alleviate quickly!


Thank you! Still have the yucks but hoping to wake up feeling normal in the morning!


I hardly had any symptoms after the first two but the booster nearly took me out. I hope you’ll feel good as new tomorrow!


Hope you feel better soon cuz. So far the shots haven’t bothered me.


Hope you’re feeling better today! The first shot was the worst for me but I’m not sure if it was the vaccine itself or the person giving it (nursing student who hadn’t quite perfected her injection technique yet).


I hope you’re feeling better!


I am finally feeling better! Thank you!

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Today I imitated Bilbo Baggins and said, “Why not? Why shouldn’t I (drink) it?”

It is time to finish off the teas in the Fortnum Advent. The ones I loved will be finished off over the next week, I hope! I want to keep the tins stored with the advent box and I do not want it to linger half the summer (or more) with undrunk teas, so the faves will be hit hard this week and not so faves will be turned into iced tea.

My two favorite flavored teas, non-Earl type, were strawberry and lemon. Strawberry I will definitely only drink with Ashman because he loves strawberry teas best.

My favorite Earl Grey was the smoky, of course! I think the rest in order of rank were Classic Earl, Green Earl, Victoria Earl.

Favorite black tea blend – Queen Ann. I really wasn’t crazy about any other black tea or black tea blend in the set, but they were mostly okay.

I need to revisit Green with Elderflower. It is potently floral! I need to try it without food.

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drank Carol by Lupicia
2635 tasting notes

We finished one pack of Carol before Christmas, but I got two in my stocking! Ashman seems to enjoy strawberry teas more than any other flavored tea and I wanted to have Carol pretty close to having Fortnum Strawberry Black just to compare.

With Fortnum Strawberry, you sniff the tea and think, “Wow, strawberry!” There is no question about what you have and it is rather eye opening, invigorating. Carol is more, “Mmmmmm, berries and….what? Vanilla? Cream? Oh, and coconut. Just a little to make it creamy.” Perhaps a little more laid back and inviting you to sit back and relax.

So both strawberry but with very different vibes.

I spent most of the day outside alone, just trying to shed stress. It was 77F. I laid in the sun (the day after Christmas how weird is that) and listened to a sermon online, but the sun was in my eyes so I pulled an extra blanket over my eyes. I did not cover my mouth and chin. Or neck. So guess what.

Yes, the first sunburn of the year that usually occurs on one of our freak warm spells in January has come quite early, so I guess it is actually the last sunburn of 2021? Fortunately I was wearing a rather high-neck dress so it is just my chin and neck that are shiny. Doh!

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Merry Christmas to all of the lovely people here on Steepster! You mean so much to me.

Ashman and I had a simple Christmas breakfast of toast and tea while sitting on the floor in front of the bow window watching the birds come to the birdbath. I wanted it to be special for him, so I chose his favorite tea from the F&M advent calendar as our Christmas morning tea. This one and the Lemon Flavored Black Tea were my favorites, probably tied pretty evenly.

It was a very nice morning tea, fresh and fruity and uplifting, we both enjoyed it.


Merry Christmas! :)


Merry Christmas, Leafhopper!


Merry Christmas :)

Evol Ving Ness

Happy Christmas to you, ashmanra. <3


Merry Christmas, ashmanra! That sounds like a lovely morning.


Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas! :)

Martin Bednář

Merry Christmas once more from me :)


Merry Christmas to you all!

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Ashman and I drank this last night. It steeps up a gorgeous Christmas red in the cup. Truly beautiful. Ashman does not like tart tea so I added sugar to his, but it was not enough. He drank one small cup and said no thanks to any more.

I decided it would be best to ice this and sweeten like any other sweet tea, and since it was so festive looking, I had it with lunch today. To my surprise, it was extremely familiar tasting as a sweet iced tea. Took me a sec but I realized it tasted almost exactly like jamaica, which should not be surprising at all. This is how I will use up the rest.

I would not purchase the refill for this next year unless they promise a different tea assortment. But the wooden box is gorgeous and it will be fun to decide what I will put in it next year!

Having read about the other advent calendar experiences, the only one I would consider purchasing is the one from 52 teas.


52teas is worth it for sure! I love all the unique flavor combinations.


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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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