Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

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84

Another one I get to try, thanks to Nicole! This one is a very unique flavor for a plain black tea. I would never think that Yunnan, Darjeeling and Ceylon together would taste like this. I like it a LOT more than I thought I would after seeing these three teas were in the blend. I like Yunnan but Ceylon is not a favorite. I can’t really describe the flavor though. It’s medium strength, with a lingering fruit flavor at the tail of the sip. I don’t even know which base the fruit would come from. Brewing the tea this way doesn’t seem to oversteep the Darjeeling at all. And it WOULD taste really good with cookies. Also, I sipped a “holiday” tea on the hottest day of the year. :D
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min

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She felt the rumblings of the monster’s steps before she heard them. Knowing that time was growing short, she began the preparations. “Five minutes is a long steep,” she thought, “But I’m sure the Brew Masters know best.” She boiled the water and poured it over the leaves, watching as the liquid quickly swirled with darkness. She experienced a tiny shiver of excitement…or was it fear?

Read the whole story: https://tealover.net/2015/07/andrews-dunham-black-sunshine/

boychik

Extraordinary experience

KiwiDelight

Quite an adventure!

TeaNTees

Best. Blog Post. Ever!

Marzipan

I’m glad you liked it, writing it was a bit outside my comfort zone so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.

sren

Tea as protective— wonderful metaphor!

Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Fantastic! Can we share your adventure on Facebook and Twitter?

Marzipan

Absolutely!

Phi

OMG best review ever!!! It read like a story and was delightfully nerdy!

Nichole

Love this!

Nicole

Fantastic review!

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85

As usual, Bravo A&D, Bravo!

Tea is amazing, tin is amazing. Enough said (or written).

Upon opening the tin, the tea smells quite strong. There is a bold malty yunnan scent. It is very slightly sweet. There is a scent of roasted tea as well. There are a number of different sizes and colours of tea leaves which makes the tea look quite unique.

The tea liquor is quite dark.

The brewed tea offers hints of stone fruits, I am thinking plums and apricots. The tea is not as bold as I was waiting for, but it is still quite strong. I am getting the slightest hints of sweetness, I would have expected more based on the smell. There is a strong after taste that lingers for a LOOOOONNNGGG time. It is not a bad aftertaste though. It is quite dry but not bitter or astringent. There is a roasted flavour to the tea. It translates into a bit of charred taste in the after taste but it doesn’t last for long.

Overall, excellent tea. It is not my fav A&D blend but it is still damn fine :)

Edit: steep 2. Much more creamy flavour and texture to the tea. No roasted or charred flavour. Very easy end of sip. No aftertaste at all. It has lost quite a bit of its boldness for this steep which is a bit disappointing.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

oooooh….

boychik

I wonder if this aftertaste ( huigan) usually associated in puerh

Terri HarpLady

mine is on its way :)

Marzipan

I didn’t get the smoky/charred at all, which is good since I don’t like that.

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90

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped five minutes.

Dry leaves are long and twisty, mostly dark with a golden one here and there.

Dark copper liquor.

Well, Damn Fine warned us this would be strong.

And it’s GLORIOUS. Lots of cedar and toast notes, and a rich, almost honey-like finish that announced ‘Yunnan’ in a deep voice. Not a subtle or a gentle tea. It’s not smoky, but it’s close to smoky. It’s got a faint peppery bite that I find in some Yunnans and really like. I’m gonna play with steep times, but I expect this will brew up intense regardless. I love this tea. But be warned: it’s strong.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Biting, Black Pepper, Brown Toast, Cedar, Cocoa, Earth, Fig, Forest Floor, Honey, Oak wood, Thick, Winter Honey

boychik

Yunnan teas are really good gongfu style

Sil

mmmmmmmmmmmm

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90

This is not at all what I was expecting when I heard ‘blend of Yunnan teas’, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it! This is very woody, burnt woody. Like you took barely smoldering remains of a cedar wood campfire and added them to your tea. Not necessarily smoky like Lapsang, though. It tastes quite like Tao of Tea’s Vietnamese Wild Black or Wild Black from Titan Commodity (on Aliexpress). It’s delightfully strong even though I brewed it a full minute less than recommended. Deep but smooth. I think this is going to be a rainy day tea for me.
And honestly, even if I didn’t love it, I probably wouldn’t regret the purchase due to how well-designed the tin is. Highly recommend if you enjoy strong teas with heavy wood notes.

Flavors: Campfire, Cedar, Rainforest

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Liquid Proust

But is the octopus tenetcles in there… It would be the only thing to convince me to buy it over finding a 5g swap

Nicole

Hm. Campfire. Not often a winning note for me. But we shall see… :)

cookies

Proust – I did get a cute rocket pencil topper in matching pink… but I didn’t see anything in the tin.
Nicole – I hope you like it! It is definitely an interesting flavor.

boychik

This tea sounds great. Next month probably. I spent too much on tea in June/July ;P

Nichole

I can’t wait for mine & Nicole’s to show up! This sounds fantastic!

Stephanie

I can’t wait to try this one!

cookies

Let me know if you want a sample, it’s delightful.

Liquid Proust

Who says no to samples…?

Stephanie

I already went in on half a tin but thank you cookies!! :)

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Pretty balanced. Moderate strength tea-tea with some light fruit and a bit of bitterness. That may be coming from not remembering the Darjeeling in here and not being careful with the temp and time. Now I want sugar cookies to try with it.

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GCTTB
This is similar to the other A&D tea I was drinking earlier. This one is quite grapey, a touch astriñgent, but not unpleasant. I wish this were a little bit heavier, a little darker. This is nice, but the Holiday Blend is closer to my tastes.

Stephanie

I am almost out of holiday blend. I really hope they put out a new blend soon!

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GCTTB
This is a really well balanced blend. It’s not anyone of the three. Light, fruity, touch of astringency but thick mouth feel and tons of flavor. Really like this one.

scribbles

Haven’t had a miss with them yet! They really do ‘Damn Fine’ well!

Sil

love this one!

looseTman

Very fine praise indeed for the most well-regarded tea company in the Mid-Atlantic region! Congrat’s Charles & Erik!
http://www.damnfinetea.com/about/
https://www.facebook.com/341178705916835/photos/a.341189389249100.83538.341178705916835/975649355803097/?type=1&fref=nf

Stephanie

Wish I had bought more of this one

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90

I rarely try blends, can’t get my head around some of the single varietals let alone a blend. This was my sip down for this morning, reaching far in the back of the cupboard and dragging out the days winner. And what a winner it is. Lots of flavors on the tongue, smoke, leather, tobacco, pie crust, and a hint of citrus. Blew my mind. This tea blend, if it becomes available again, is the perfect gift for my close knit tea friends as well as myself.

scribbles

I loved this one. I am so disappointed that I didn’t buy it. Hopefully it comes back.

BigDaddy

Definitely a good purchase when available, looks as though I will be now expanding into more “Damn Fine Tea”.

scribbles

Double Knit is another fave of mine. Lightly smoked and malty.

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Backlog from last night.

This was something I sampled from the GCTTB4. Thank you Lala for putting it in!

This was my very first A&D tea, and I could tell from the smell of the tea as it was steeping that this was very high quality. It had that raisin spice note I find I really enjoy in black teas.

However, I did not pay much attention to this tea as it was steeping, and I oversteeped it. It wasn’t astringent, but the flavour was a bit deadened and heavy – no subtlety or layering to it. I really would like to try this again at some point, maybe with a bit of brown sugar.

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I’m enjoying a pot of this with my breakfast, & it really is a nicely balanced blend: honey sweet, malty, a little tart plum in the aftertaste. It’s not particularly bold, but also not brash. It reminds me of a perfectly crusted loaf of honey wheat bread, and it almost feels like it has cream in it. There’s a beautiful thickness building on my tongue, and this might be my new favorite tea blend. It’s been in my cupboard since xmas time, unreviewed & barely opened, but I have a feeling that is getting ready to change :)

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GCTTB

When they say this tea is bright – they are NOT KIDDING! Sweet, smooth, fruity and malty. As the cup cooled the fruit notes became even more pronounced. Delicious! Another Damn Fine tea!

Kirkoneill1988

what does GCTTB mean?

scribbles

Great Canadian travelling tea box :)

Kirkoneill1988

oh, that’s cool :)

Kirkoneill1988

care to swap some?

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GCTTB

I’m drinking this one to start my day off. Considering that it’s from A&D I was expecting this to be a lot stronger and maltier than it actually is. What I picked up on in the first cup was a bright fruitiness. I’m on the second cup now, and some bread and honey notes are showing up. I’m not getting the cocoa notes, though. Still, it’s a tasty start to the day.

Stephanie

I loved this one

scribbles

Yep, agree it’s quite tasty

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GCTTB

Starting my morning with a big ole mug of this one. This is some goooood stuff! So, yeah, really happy that I got to try it, BUT really sad that I didn’t get any :( I missed out on some awesome tea. I really hope they bring this one back.

Malty, sweet, smoked leather. Sound tasty? It is!

gmathis

Sounds perfect.

scribbles

Oh, it is :)

Lala

Glad you liked this one.

scribbles

Thanks for including it! YUM!

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84

I’ve been away from Steepster for a while ! Much on my blog and on a local website about tea where I can express myself in my mother tongue but I missed you all so here I am !

This lovely tea came from Nicole , I was looking for yunnans and she kindly sent me some including that one.

This is a very special tea : a lot of personnality ,tobacco, malt , cocoa and so mellow. For me it is maybe a little too much smocky – tobacco notes are not among my favourites in tea. But I have to recognize it has a lot of personnality and qualities.
This is for sure a great tea, maybe just not 100% for my taste.

Pics of my session with this tea are available here : https://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/yunnan-gold-tips-chinese-new-year-2014-andrews-dunham-damn-fine-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Marzipan

Happy to see you back!

Nicole

Your photos are always so good!

Ysaurella

@Marzipan @Nicole thank you girls :)

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81

Am so glad on this first cup that I grabbed this at the Coffee&Tea Fest.

Dark, red rust, greens underneath, round and full in the mouth. The browns are on the medium and lighter sides at the top half and roof of the mouth. Tiniest pinpoint of black in the front of me. Richer red over the top and sides wrapped around rather than sitting on or touching.

The greens, browns, that pin prick of black, all of them are behind and supporting the rust flavor. Rich and full, yes.

Mouthfeel is round.

Glad to buy it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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I’ve had this tea for quite some time, and I finally cracked the tin open a few days ago. What was I waiting for? Delicious! I find this malty, grainy and fruity. Somebody asked if I find this a little salty, which intrigued me. I kept looking for it, but, no. I think it would have been interesting paired with the graininess that I picked up on.

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Thanks so much for the sample Sil. I was painfully curious about this one!

This tea opens with a slightly tart cherry- or raisin-like flavor. It’s not astringent or bitter at all, but it’s followed with a mouth puckering dryness like wine. I’ve never had such a smooth Assam. It’s sweet and there’s a certain earthy, brown sugar flavor lurking in the background. I’m not getting much cocoa but there is a substantial maltiness that coats the mouth. Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel like I’m getting a little bit of nuttiness, like praline. It’s faint enough for me to doubt my judgment. This is a good, bold tea for breakfast without the briskness or bitter punch that some other breakfast teas have. I can’t justify buying 4oz at a time, though, so I’ll just have to enjoy my sample while it’s around. (:

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cherry, Drying, Earth, Malt, Raisins, Red Wine, Smooth, Tart

Sil

haha i felt the same way as you did..bought a tin anyway and ended up finishing it way faster than i thought i would, such that i bought a second one

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80

Received a small sample of this in my Steepster select box a month or two back, and waited to try it until yesterday. As a German-American, I felt really put off by Andrews & Dunham’s asinine marketing that surrounds this tea (as well as all their other teas) so I missed out on a pretty good blend.

Assertive and bold. The sample I had was mostly Indian Assam, with no smoke detectable. Tannin and malt dominate. Very pleasant, but definitely lacking the smokiness which would have added character. I blame this on the small size sample packaged by Steepster who probably didn’t think to blend the tea before packaging. But that is a rant for a different post.

Flavors: Malt, Spices, Tannin

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

maybe you should write them a note?

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80

MmmMmmMm. Malty, bold and fruity. Slight woody note, but all in all really nice.

Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87

Another great sample from Sil!

This is really tasty. Dark chocolate, barley, malt, a hint of smoke, rich dried fruits – sweet and pleasantly bitter. Super smooth.

Initially I found this lacking in a full mouth flavour, but everything intensified and got more well rounded as the cup cooled.

Different from my usual Qimen, and I’m thinking that I need to make a point of trying more.

Flavors: Bitter, Dark Wood, Dried Fruit, Malt, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaTiff

I think Keemun’s get a bad rap for some reason, but they are oh so yummy and there is so much variety of flavor with in this one type of tea. I loved this one!

Megan

This sounds delightful.. will have to try it for myself:)

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