Fortnum & Mason’s Royal Blend

I’m sure that after Kate Middleton has her baby she’ll be back to having a cup of Fortnum & Mason’s Royal Blend.  This classic British tea makes the perfect accompaniment to English tea time snacks such as Battenburg Cake or scones, cutting thorough rich baked goods with strong assertiveness and bold flavor.  Fortnum’s, built in the early 1700’s, officially provides their beautiful tea and other specialty products to the British Royal Family, as they are “Royal Warrant holders.”  If you want a drink that is quintessentially English and relatively easy to get in the U.S., this is it.  This tea was first blended for King Edward the VII in the early 1900’s and endures to this day as the company’s signature tea.

Royal Blend tea in a robin’s egg blue bowl, the classic color of Fortnum’s

Tasting Notes:

BREWING TIPS:  4 minutes @ 212 degrees F.  I think 5 minutes to brew this tea is a bit too long and starts to draw out bitter tannins.  So, 4 minutes with some agitation of the leaves will give you the best brew.  As it is, this is some robust tea…or as the label reads:  “stronger tea.”  Brew it just right and it will be bold without being brash.

Check out this link from the Fortnum & Mason site, which explains how to brew a perfect cup of their signature Royal Blend tea:  http://www.fortnumandmason.com/c-46-the-perfect-cup-of-tea-fortnum-and-mason.aspx

THE LEAF:  Black tea made up of Assam and Ceylon teas from India and Sri Lanka.  Short, twisted leaves with flecks of light brown.

THE SCENT:  A modestly fragrant tea.

THE STEEP:  A coppery and brilliantly clear amber.  This is a full-flavored, bold English tea. The bright Ceylon tea leaves balance out the malty, darker Assam.  Take the edge off with a splash of milk and it’s just perfect.  Some sugar or a slice of lemon also make nice additions. This is a tea that would be a good replacement to coffee.

GET IT:  William Sonoma, in stores or online at www.fortnumandmason.com.

Jane Pettigrew, British tea specialist and author, wrote this gorgeous piece on Fortnum & Mason’s refurbished tea salon, which celebrates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  You can read it in the June 2013 issue of TeaTime Magazine.  I was so thrilled to meet her a few weeks ago and get my copy signed!

Recipes

Dim Sum

Best Teas with Dim Sum
Dim Sum Recipe #1:  Siu Mai Dumplings
Dim Sum Recipe #2:  Honeyed Pork Buns (Baked Char Siu Bao)
Dim Sum Recipe #3:  Ha Gao Dumplings
Dim Sum Recipe #4:  Egg Custard Tarts (Dan Tat)
Dim Sum Recipe #5:  Pork & Chive Potstickers
Dim Sum Recipe #6:  Almond Jello
Dim Sum Recipe #7:  Shiitake & Napa Cabbage Dumplings
Dim Sum Recipe #8:  Steamed BBQ Pork Buns (Steamed Char Siu Bao)
Dim Sum Recipe #9:  Chicken Curry Puffs
Dim Sum Recipe #10:  Shrimp & Asparagus Pouch Dumplings
Dim Sum Recipe #11:  Vegetable Egg Rolls
Dim Sum Recipe #12:  Golden Pineapple Buns (Bolo Bao)

Macarons

Green Tea Macarons with Guava Buttercream (Italian Meringue Method)
Green Tea Macarons with Raspberry Buttercream (French Meringue Method)
Vanilla Bean Chai Macarons
Green Tea Macarons with Red Bean Buttercream
Fillings for Macaron Pops
Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches
Smoked Salmon Macarons

Homemade Pocky

Homemade Chocolate Pocky
Homemade Strawberry Pocky
Homemade Green Tea Pocky
Homemade Kona Coffee Pocky

Matcha 

Lemon Matcha Cake Bites
Black Sesame Tea Roulades
Matcha Salt Fries with Sriracha Ketchup
Chocolate Chip Matcha Mug Cake
Kokeshi Easter Eggs
Overnight Matcha Vanilla Oatmeal
Matcha Chocolate Chips
Matcha Banana Protein Shake
Matcha Mojitos
Lemon Matcha Mints
Matcha French Toast Sticks
Matcha Chip Biscotti
Matcha Cornflake Clusters
Matcha Croissants
Matcha Sushi Balls
Midnight Matcha Bites
Roasted Blackberry Matcha Pops

Mochi

Pumpkin Butter Mochi
Neapolitan Mochi Cake
Mochi Banana Bread
Microwave Matcha Mango Mochi Rolls
Mini Mochi Donuts
Pumpkin & Green Tea Dango
Hazelnut Butter Mochi

Drinks & Refreshers

After Tennis Iced Tea
Raspberry Cordial
Rosy Apple Tisane
Lychee Vodka Tea Jellies
Lychee Oolong Tea
Russian Tea with Blackberry-Orange Jam 
Cereal Milk Tea Bags
Lychee Granita
Green Tea Jello with Honeyed Fruit
Guava Green Tea with Coconut Jelly
Korean Barley Tea
Summertime Sun Tea
Yin Yang Popsicles
Boba Thai Tea Shooters
Pumpkin Chai Latte
Hibiscus Kombucha Blush
London Fog Latte
Fruit & Tea Rainbow Smoothie

Candy & Confections

Christmas Tree Stroopwafels
Easter Bunny Stroopwafels
Chocolate Surprise Eggs
Marzipan Veggies
French Tea Gummies
Pumpkin Chai Energy Balls
Gingerbread Teacup
Waffle Cone Fortune Cookies
Chai Tea Chocolate Chips
Dragon Fruit Blueberry Tea Gummies
Bird’s Nest Tea Bombs

Breads

Mini Blueberry English Muffins
French Sandwich Baguettes
Maple Brick Toast
Asian White Bread
Hachiya Persimmon Tea Bread
Swedish Apple Pie Buns
Navajo Fry Bread
Chinese Fold-Over Buns
Pumpkin Rooibos Muffins
Tea Sandwich Bread
Azuki Bunny Buns

Pastries

Baby Reveal Battenburg Cake
Cuban Guava Pastries
Crisp Apple Strudels
Maple Pumpkin Cupcakes
Fragrant Orange English Scones
Earl Grey Cherry Bars (made with Bing Cherry Jam)
Quilted Petit Fours
Chocolate Earl Grey Faux Souffles
Mini Cream Scones
Chinese Bakery Rainbow Cake
Apple Tea Cake
Chai Teacup Pies
Glazed Chocolate Petit Fours
Irish Oat Flapjacks

Sandwiches

Tea-Brined Turkey and Roquefort Baguettes
Turkey Cranberry Tea Sandwiches
Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches
Japanese Curry Egg Salad
Spring Vegetable Tartine
Turkey Tarragon Tea Sandwiches

Savory Snacks

Green Tea Furikake Popcorn
Beef Bourguignon Pastries
Bite-Size Spam Musubi with Green Tea Furikake
Rainbow Veggie Spring Rolls
Birdie Teacup Biscuits
Bulgogi Gimbap
American Flag Tartlets
Smoked Salmon Spring Rolls
Korean Sticky Wings
Chinese Duck Tarts with Plum Sauce
Tea Smoked Chicken Wings
Furikake Tofu Fries
Canadian Bacon Cheese Crisps

Main Courses 

Tea Smoked Shrimp with Jasmine Noodles and Peanut Sauce
Roasted Tea-Brined Turkey Breast
Homemade Green Tea Soup Noodles
White Cut Chicken with Ginger Scallion Oil and Tea Rice
Smokey Chicken Cobb Salad
Kalua Pork Buns with Pickled Red Onions
Miso Chive Gyoza
Southern Style Chicken Tenders with Sweet Tea Dipping Sauce
Green Tea Chicken Soup
Butternut Squash Crystal Dumplings
Chicken & Chive Rolled Crêpes
Corned Beef & Cabbage Pasties

About Thirsty for Tea

Hi, I’m Bonnie.  Thank you for visiting me at ThirstyForTea.com.  I started this blog as a way to share my adventures in cooking, travel, and of course…tea!  With a background in health education, Asian American culture, and the culinary arts, blogging on tea is a way for me to bring these passions into one creative space.  I am from Los Angeles, but have spent time living in both Hawaii and South Carolina…coincidentally, two of the few places in the U.S. where tea is actually grown!  In my spare time, I enjoy attending celebrity chef book signings, spending time with my hubby and cocker spaniel, and collecting tea wares.

The teacup is where people of all cultures and backgrounds can meet and have something very special in common.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled to many of the tea-loving cities in the world.  From taking hot slurps of bo-lay while feasting on steamy dim sum in Hong Kong to smearing tangy mounds of lemon curd on hot scones between sips of Earl Grey in London, the ritual of drinking tea brings the world to a common place:  a place of contentment, relaxation, and pure simplicity.

Bruce Richardson, tea book author and historian of all things tea, reminds us that “none of us are ever experts in the world of tea…we are all students of the ancient beverage.”  It is with this thought that I would like to welcome you to my blog, that I might be able to share with you a few interesting tidbits about tea here, and that I might inspire you to incorporate the beauty of tea into your own lifestyle.  We all live such busy lives, it’s so easy to forget about what’s most important.  A good cup of tea is the most wholesome of drinks, so it’s my hope that you’ll remember to brew up some goodness for yourself each and everyday and reflect on what is your cup of tea.

At Harrods for Afternoon Tea.