So I’m a terrible tea lover! Apparently there is a ‘National Tea Day’ & I didn’t know about it! I only found out this morning on Twitter. But it works perfectly with the post I planned to put up today in honour of Her Majesty the Queens birthday. So I can’t quite remember when I got my Fortnum & Mason Jubilee Blend but I’ve had it for the past year or so. I honestly don’t drink it that often as it quite strong & i try to only occasionally drink those with milk but I guess my palette has changed recently as I’ve changed my mind after retrying it today.
It does come in the familiar F&M duck egg / Tiffany coloured caddy, which I am a sucker for. The leaves are smallish broken sizes but have a great aroma of rich black tea, it smells like a wonderful woody forest but not too overpowering. I also got notes of roasted nuts as well. The description on the side of the tin say ‘Blending teas from India, Ceylon and China, with mellow sweetness & golden brightness.’ I can definitely smell a brightness in it, I think that it has notes of woodiness but its not deep & malty like you get with single Assams but its fresh.
Again I was cautious with it being a black leaf tea so I used one & half teaspoons for my small pot & used 90 degree water to brew for just under 3 minutes. As expected it was a lovely rich clear reddy colour with the smell of the roasted nuts coming through more. The colour of the liquor is clear & bright with a lovely amber hue. I thought I’d try it without milk to start with but maybe add some for my second cup. But I was completely surprised & didn’t find it at all bitter or drying on the tongue. I think perhaps I over brewed last time which made it so strong. The smell of the liquor definitely brings out the nuttiness, almost like sweet roasted hazelnuts. Its wonderful! On the tongue its a lovely mix of flavours, a bit sweet on the tip of the tongue but that woodiness in the dried leaves comes through as well so that its has that richness but its not too over powering that makes it bitter.
The wet leaves are a dark brown, you can see that they are quite broken leaves but that is what makes a quicker stronger infusion. The smell has actually changed from nutty & woody to more of a vegetable smell, with almost hints of asparagus & spinach. Just a hint but the smell has certainly changed.
I have to say I am delighted that I’ve rediscovered a love for traditional English style black tea. I don’t think I could drink it all day every day but there definitely is the time & the place for this style of blend. A true classic, fit for a Queen! I wish the very happiest of birthdays to her, a true inspiration for tea drinkers, women & the British! And happy National Tea Day to everyone!