Today’s post is coming in rather late* … I went to a lunch at church (for new people – given that I started going properly after graduating this summer I’m still feeling pretty new) and didn’t get back until after 4pm. And then I’ve been checking and re-checking paperwork … tomorrow I go and apply for naturalisation (i.e. to become British, as well as Kiwi), so I’ve been triple-checking everything and making sure all my documents are in order.
And documents and official paperwork make Eudoxia nervous (even though everything is totally in order and there’s no doubt that I qualify etc). And it is well attested that when I’m nervous, I turn to Earl Grey.
So, having already reviewed Williamson’s Earl Grey, I had to find another one … so today I bring you: Fortnum and Mason’s Earl Grey Classic.
Source: The tea is from China, bought (unsurprisingly) from Fortnum & Mason. See its description here.
Cost: From £1.50 for a 50g loose leaf sample. Available in lots of sizes, loose leaf, teabags, and decaff teabags. A 25 teabag box costs £3.00.
Ethics: I can’t find any information. I’d like to think that as they pride themselves on sourcing a quality product, that means high standards of production.
Brewing instructions: with boiling water, and using approx 1tsp per mug, brew for 3-5 minutes. Drink it lightly brewed without or with milk, or without milk and with a squeeze of lemon (apparently).
Appearance: It’s got a gorgeous coppery colour that I wasn’t expecting … look at this:
Nose: I’ll be honest, I can’t smell an awful lot going on here – light black china tea is what I’m detecting (which is at least reassuring!)
Taste: This is an absolutely delicious tea. I mean, I like any kind of Earl Grey, but this one is … particularly nuanced. It’s a light tea but it has body, and the citrus isn’t in your face but it’s there, and it’s all … it’s just all Extremely Nice.
I like this without milk. I tried a bit of it with a drop of lemon juice, but although that was okay I wasn’t particularly a fan … having said that, possibly I got the proportions wrong as I was only drinking about 1/4 of a mug of it.
I’m also a fan of this with milk (a dash of, not lots of). Having experimented with milk and sugar though – don’t. It just muddies the flavours. (Although I suppose milk and sugar might be fine if you brewed it for longer – I made this pot on the short side (3 mins) as I knew I wanted to drink most of it black).
Food match: As usual (for an Earl Grey) I’ll drink this with anything. I think that for a proper food match, though, it’ll have to be really classic English Afternoon Tea food – tiny crustless sandwiches and teeny cakes with delicate flavours. Mmmmmm.
Also: this is the first time I’ve used this teapot in ages! It’s from Poundland … I saw it and thought I had to try it. Its construction is, frankly, pretty flimsy – but it’s a good size (it’s pretty obviously a knock-off of bodum (or similar) teapots) and seems to make good tea.
It came with a little metal basket in it, which broke relatively quickly, but I think my tea-sock (from Whittard’s iirc) works much better anyway.
*Apologies for the quality of some of the photos – it’s really hard for me to get good lighting in the evenings. Must remember to write tea reviews in the mornings now that it’s starting to get dark so early.