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Robert Fortune Blend

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  Our homage to the adventurer who changed the course of tea drinking history…

Something of a hero in the world of tea, Robert Fortune was the James Bond of the British tea trade. Sent on a mission to smuggle Chinese tea secrets into the eager hands of the East India Company, the 19th century botanist disguised himself as a Chinese merchant to infiltrate tea gardens and trading ports, risking death in his travels to provinces barely glimpsed by Europeans. Fortune's discoveries allowed the British to establish plantations in Assam, breaking the Chinese hold on the market and changing the course of tea drinking history.

We've tracked Fortune's travels with a blend of teas from India and China, adding a delicate touch of high-grown Himalayan tea and an elegant homage of white Camellia tea flowers. You'll find the rich, fruity notes of Chinese Yunnan tea is a superb match for the varieties first cultivated by the British in northern India - all in all, it's a tea which tells a story, and a rather delicious one at that.

  • Tea Type

    Black Tea

  • Origin


  • Taste Profile

    Refreshing, Rich

  • Tastes like

    Rich and rounded, with an uplifting freshness

  • Food pairing

    Try drinking with scones as part of afternoon tea

  • When to drink

    As a refreshing style of afternoon tea

Brew the perfect cup

Add one teaspoon (around 2g) of loose leaf tea per cup and always use freshly drawn and boiled water. Allow to brew for 3-5 minutes according to taste. Can be enjoyed with or without milk.

* * * * * (5)

5 Reviews

* * * * *
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* * * * * A beautiful breakfast blend alternative by Laura Chandler on 8th November 2017

This is one of my favourite black teas right now. Wholesome, deep, malty with a slight fruity twang. I steep it for the full 5 minutes (sometimes longer) to get a dark cup. Splash in a good amount of milk for a hearty breakfast blend alternative. Delicious!

* * * * * Summer Transition Tea by Chelsea | Taste the Tea Blog on 29th September 2017

"standard" black tea smell; malty, a little fruity, with tiny hints of tobacco. Once steeped these notes develop an additional smoky hint! The actual flavour is beautiful; malt, a subtle smokiness, that’s easy to miss in the first few sips, and what I can only describe as a puerh likeness. These deep, peaty notes hint at the dark and mysterious past the blend is associated with! It’s a warming cuppa, and the subtle smokiness should ease the transition from warm to cool days!

* * * * * Summer Memories by Philip Tomkins on 15th September 2017

I have tasted this as part of the Whittard Tea Club. 1tsp/200ml 5min brew time. No milk/sugar. This tea has a fresh, full bodied taste. Fruity, but light on the tongue. Containing reminders of summer teas enjoyed as a child, and lending a rich headiness which has to b tasted to be experienced. These notes are continued even into a second brewing of the leaves, although an astringent quality is gained which remains on the tongue. Overall an excellent tea which I find most enjoyable after my morning meditations to help awaken the senses. Thank you for an excellent blend.

* * * * * My new tea staple by Jemimah on 25th November 2016

After buying this on a recommendation, I can safely say the Robert Fortune Blend is my new go-to brew. It's similar enough to a standard English Breakfast that it won't scare off a tea newbie, whilst still being unique. Definitely will repurchase -- I'm almost out!

* * * * - Excellent morning tea by Philip on 6th January 2016

My wife and I have switched from English breakfast to Robert Fortune blend for the early morning brew. It tastes less of tannin yet provides that wake me up boost. During the day we continue to enjoy Russian caravan which we have consumed for over 20 years.

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Ever since our founder Walter Whittard weighed out tea leaves behind his high mahogany counter, we’ve been experimenting with our own inventive blends. The Chinese were the first to try blending tea leaves with fruits and flowers and it takes time, skill and imagination to master the art. It’s all about creating the perfect balance of flavours: we blind taste at least 20 different variations before settling on the perfect recipe. Just as some musicians have perfect pitch, an expert tea blender needs to have some pretty perceptive tastebuds…

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In the spirit of espionage, we've given this tea the code 57 – reached by adding up the numbers in Robert Fortune's date of birth, 16/11/1812.

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