Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

91

Got this in the mail yesterday and drank it. Sorry I didn’t take detailed notes at the time, but since I have a full tin I am sure I will write a more detailed note in the future!

Anyway, for now though, it was really delicious and malty. Very smooth, and not as bold as some of the other Damn Fine teas. If you are a fan of Andrews and Dunham I am sure you will enjoy this one!

Sil

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! don’t do that to me!

Stephanie

Sorry Sil!

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99

Bravo Andrews and Dunham, Bravo!

This tea is fairly reminiscent of Tim Hortons steeped tea. And as a Canadian, it doesn’t get much better than that. Ha ha.

The tea is quite bold and thick. Not too much and not too little, but just the right amount of malt. I can’t really distinguish what type of black tea this is, but there are definitely hints of ceylon and a bit of Darjeeling. There are light hints of dark fruits, maybe plums. There is a heavy creamy flavour profile. It reminds me of eggnog, not the taste of eggnog, but how it coats your mouth. There is a slight burnt bitterness that is very pleasant at the end of the sip. It is almost like overly roasted nuts maybe. Overall a delicious cup. Very much the idea of the holiday season.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
whatshesaid

I wish they would’ve had a shipping sale!

Cameron B.

This sounds yummy! :)

Lala

I’ve given up on sales and free shipping sale with this company. I love them so much I just pay full price. Same with Harney…sigh.

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97

Thank you Kimquat for the sale a while back! I think it’s a good idea to try for one sipdown and try one new tea in a day for a while. I thought this one would pair well with the Sherlock story I’m reading at the moment (due to the horse in the photo for the tea package – the story is ‘Silver Blaze’ about a missing race horse). The leaves look like a golden monkey though – dark, twisty, hints of gold. The color of the cup is a golden red. The fragrance is already promising before I take a sip. Maltly, molasses, honey, dried hay for those horses — very smooth and very sweet. The second and third steeps never lose flavor (even with the third steep on the next morning)… I think I steeped them perfectly that way. I never thought this one had any sort of chocolate flavor or even sweet potato like other Yunnans might, but it was still a dark enough tea that it was more than just a gold honey Yunnan. I love this one because it’s a Yunnan between the lightest golds and the most chocolate of Yunnans. It’s a shame it’s not available anymore! One serving left for me. :/
Steep #1 // 1 1/3 tsps. // 10 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // few min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min

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76

Sipdown (97)!

My morning tea, which I just enjoyed the last sip of. This time around I added some milk, so I cold drink it right away on the walk to work without burning my mouth. ‘Cause that’s just no fun. It’s really good with milk.

Today I’m tasting cocoa notes, malt, and sweet potato especially, with some fainter almost fruity notes – not stonefruit but maybe something loosely citrus-y? There’s also a slight tang or acidity to this, but not like sour fruit or turned milk or anything. It took a long time to place, but eventually I landed on Sourdough as a fairly apt description of the flavour. That would fit with the faint yeasty flavour I’m also tasting.

Very tastey overall! Now I’m super curious to try more A&D teas – if nothing else, the packaging is SUPER cute.

Sil

i have a bunch you can steal…or get variatea to do it next time she sees me heh

Anlina

I really need to try some of their teas someday. Everyone seems to love them.

Sil

if you like straight blacks i find that they’re really good solid every day sort of teas. That aren’t knock your socks off omg…but for the price, they’re good solid teas. i don’t have the bandwidth at the moment, but if you poke me in the new year, i can send some your way to try anlina

Anlina

Thanks so much Sil. I’m in no rush at all. I have more tea than I know what to do with at the moment. :)

donkeytiara

I agree with Sil, they are good every day teas. I keep my Yunnan and Assam at work, as well as one tin of the spring keemun (I have one of those tins for home as well) because they aren’t contemplative teas, they’re just good solid citizens. I only buy when they have free shipping…otherwise they’re too pricey for me….

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76

I feel like a butt because I can’t remember whether this came from VariaTEA or Sil but, either way, thank you! I’m 98% sure this is my first A&D blend, and I feel like it’s about time.

This mug was prepped in a timolino, and drank with no additives like a straight tea should be the first time you have it. I have to say, the dry leaf smells very cocoa-y to me. I even double checked online to make sure this really was a straight blend. Steeped up it’s not nearly as cocoa-y, but that note is still present. I also got notes of malt, and a fair bit of earthiness. At one point, and only at one point, there was a metallic “rust” taste too but it didn’t last long. Very interesting, though.

I think this was definitely a good intro to A&D though!

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80

Thanks to Skulleigh for sending this along in our recent swap, because I’ve really been wanting to try it and I definitely need some ass-kicking, waking up today!

So I’ve been reading the reviews with some amusement this morning. Some people claim it’s too strong for some and I’m not sure it’s strong enough, lol…. It definitely has a nice malty flavor with a tannic, punchy kick in the finish that’s mellowed out by a touch of coconut sugar and milk.

I’ve had a lot of assams and I don’t think this is anything special, especially not for the price. The Organic assam from H & S is $11.50 for 8 oz. and is a better tea in my opinion. I was more a fan of the Red Tailed Hawk, which is smoother and has a really unique flavor profile. I’m glad I tried this though, it is a decent assam and nice with my morning Irish oats.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Skulleigh

You’re welcome! I think A&D’s secret is pretty much awesome packaging/graphic design, which enhances tea that’s pretty good, lol. It’s not inferior tea or anything, it’s just that the packaging makes me enjoy it enough to keep buying it. Which is strange, because normally I don’t like that kind of marketing!

TeaBrat

I agree…. their branding is really good :)

Cameron B.

I’ll be interested to hear how the Holiday Blend is! I’m sad that I didn’t try/get any of the Oktoberfest since it got rave reviews.

boychik

There are days when i love it, and sometimes its OK. I think it all depends on a mood ;) In general i love A&D. not because of tins ;)

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88

This came out of my recent swap with Skulleigh. I admit I’ve been shying away from Andrews & Dunham because I really don’t need any more expensive black teas. However, I drink black teas more than any other kind so I was pretty eager to try this!

I was impressed by the exceptional smoothness of this tea, especially since it’s an Indian blend. I think there is darjeeling in here which is giving it that bright, fruity note. I’m not big on overly tannic teas and there is touch in here but thankfully not a lot. Contrasted with the Jin Jun Mei I had earlier today, I am appreciating the slight “bite” this has on my tastebuds. It has a lot of malt also and is providing just enough heft to give me some much needed “oomph” this morning. I need a bot of “oomph” to convince myself to leave the house and go to the gym on this rainy day.

Anyway I was impressed with this blend. I thought it was pretty good plain and it was also nice with a touch of soymilk. I am back to the A & D website once again, trying not to buy anything… ha ha. This is really a good blend though. I’m glad I got to try it :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

to be fair, their rices are for 4.4 ounces so not terribly expensive IF you can order during their free shipping deals heh

TeaBrat

@Sil, i know, I have spent more money than that on a tin of tea as well, if they had some in local stores I would have bought some by now… tee hee

Sil

if there are ever others that you want to try, let me know. happy to share some if you want to try before thinking of buying. Others like lala have been awesome about doing the same for me so happy to pay it forward heh

Skulleigh

Glad you liked it! Normally, I am not crazy about Darjeeling, but it’s good in this blend. And their graphic design is fun and awesome.

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80

Sipdown! 981. Thank you to Sil for this sample (and TerriHarpLady, because it’s her writing on the baggie :D)

Pulled out my unflavoured “drink now” basket to get a few things down before I fill up my 6 Timolinos for some babysitting tonight (and those Timolinos will not be containing single cup samples). This one was at the top of the basket, so here we are! Aroma is lovely, sweet and malty, and the flavour is… unexpected. I was anticipating more of a standard yunnan/hay-y flavour based on the aroma (even though that’s not a profile I’d use for a tea called “red-tailed hawk”!), but although it has those notes, it also has… cherry? Yeah, it took me a bit to identify it, but I’m definitely tasting a cherry fruitiness. There is also some astringency here, but it might be due to slightly overleafing (under-pouring of water, more accurately), and it’s actually not unpleasant, because it’s fairly mild. Overall, pretty tasty and unique. Not a tea I’d have too often because it’s a little on the potent side for me, but it’s still delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

darjeeling…lower temp tastes better :)

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95

Okay, so honestly, I’ve got SUPER distracted showing my mum pig videos like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdktPVgks6g
And didn’t really focus tons on what I was drinking. xD I just really really want a pig tonight.
Started paying attention to this cup of tea near the end, and It definitely made me regret not paying more attention! XD
This tea is amazing! Seriously, everything I’d want in an assam.
Strong. Malty. Sweet. Smooth. A kick in the pants to make me more awake.
It’s just the perfect assam!
Think I’m gonna have to pick this one up soon!
Thank you soo much for the generous sample, Boychik!! Definitely enjoying so much of what you sent me!! :D :D

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

The Cookie Lady

OHMYGOSH…HE.WAGS.HIS.LITTLE.PIG.TAIL……..I’M DYING!!!!

The Cookie Lady

Also, it took me much too long to understand why they called him Chris P. I was like…Chris is such a weird name for a pig….

boychik

he is adorable! you are welcome, glad you liked it. Hope they have some deal for BF! free ship would be nice ;)

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85

This is one that I picked up last weekend at the Philly Coffee & Tea Expo. Per ounce, it was probably the most expensive item I got and I’m so glad I did. The dry leaves are lovely tight spirals with a delicious cocoa odor. As advertised, the flavor has all of the nutty, chocolatey notes of a good keemun, but softer. This one doesn’t hit me over the head and say, “Yo – keemun here – deal with it!” Rather, it offers warmth and comfort and relaxation. The website says they only have five left of this limited edition so I’m pleased to have this on in stock. BTW, second steep: same but less so. It’s a bit thin on the second steep. I think I’ll stick to one.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Nutty

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
boychik

my second steep was around 20-30 min because i just forgot abt it ;) it was very good. i have nothing to loose

Hillel

At that point, just drop some ice cubes in it and claim you were making iced tea all along (“that’s my story and I’m sticking to it”).

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90

Since it’s Christmas Eve I thought I’d spend the day drinking my favorite winter/holiday teas. So, of course I’m starting off with Oktoberfest. :) Truly, this is a very nice winter tea. It’s thick and heavy with notes of malt and grain. It’s fortifying and comforting at the same time. Plus, on these cold dark days it’s just the thing to get me up and moving. Oh, and it’s delicious, too.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

agreed!

Stephanie

Happy Christmas eve :)

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90

First tea of the day. I was getting ready to make a different tea, but as soon as I saw this I grabbed it. It’s such a good breakfast tea! It’s has strength and body, and lots and lots of flavor. The malt note is strong, but there’s also an earthy note as well as spice and leather. The smoke note helps to bind it all together so that I feel like I’m at a great B & B that’s tucked into the woods sitting in my room in a super comfy chair, a roaring fire in the fireplace, and cups and cups of this tea ready for me to drink. With a good book. My daydreams often have good books and good tea in them!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

love these teas… they’re just great “every day” sort of teas

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90

Drank this while watching the launch of the Orion test flight. So.Very. Cool. As an added bonus I got to watch the liftoff with my daughter, and that was a pretty cool moment. If the test flight continues to go well (it’s four hours long) then deep space travel for people will be one step closer. Like I said, very cool.

The tea… I am liking this more and more. It’s so malty and full of grain notes with a touch of sweetness. There’s a light smokiness which adds another layer of flavor. It’s robust and strong but not bitter. As the days get colder I think I’ll have this in my cup more and more often. It’s a very nice winter tea.

Bumping my rating up a bit (previously 88)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

If this tea doesn’t wake you up in the morning then you need to check your pulse. It’s thick and heavy with lots of malt-like notes along with leather, fruit, spice, and tobacco. It keeps from being too dark and overwhelming by the lighter/sweeter notes being well balanced against the deeper flavors. The result is an outstanding tea that’s just perfect for these colder shorter days.

When I bought this I was concerned about getting (yet another) 4.4oz of tea, but now I’m so glad I did. This is exactly what I want in my cup at this time of year.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

I picked this up at the Philly Coffee and Tea Festival, and it’s been just about the only tea in my cup for the past few days. It is wonderfully thick and malty with a light smokiness. I love, love, love the grainy note. Very reminiscent of the wheat flavor in some beers. I also like the hints of leather and sweet stone fruit that slip in and out as I sip.

I’m really glad I bought a canister of this because it’s a great fall/winter tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91

Backlog:

I experimented a little bit with this tea. The first pot that I brewed (In my Breville One-Touch), I steeped it for 2 1/2 minutes which produces a brisk and slightly astringent cup. When I cut the time to 2 minutes, it produced a much smoother cup that is much more to my liking.

A well-rounded blend. Full-bodied with lots of flavor. Nice malty tone, lots of caramel-y notes. Rich, earthy and fruity. At 2 minutes, this maintains a really nice flavor with very little tannic quality. A longer steep will become more tannic and hints at becoming bitter at 2 1/2 minutes so some care while brewing is recommended.

Beautiful tin artwork too. I love A & D.

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20

Although I prefer assertive black tea blends this one is just too much smoke for me. However, the color is amazing.

Flavors: Leather, Malt, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 8 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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87

Thank you Boychik for this sample. This is a tasty tea. The best so far of my Andrews and Dunham samples from Boychik. The maltiness to this tea is actually good. Maybe its because I added honey, but I am liking the malty character of this tea. I usually don’t like malt in tea. There is a subtle sweetness behind the malt too. It is good if not damn fine.

I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 6g leaf and boiling water for 3 min.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 6 g 18 OZ / 532 ML

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77

This came in my select box. I’m not a fan. Most of the flavors I got in this was smokey- like tobacco, earthy. It’s a mix of China and India black teas – it was to much like coffee for me. Not a coffee fan at all. I’m out of milk so I did something different- I added a splash of organic chocolate milk! Never done that before but oh my! Brought a whole new level to it. I really enjoyed the cup after adding it. I’m going to say I would recommend this tea- if you are a black tea fan and like that “heaviness” with an earthy, woodsy, smoke taste then you may like it! Without the chocolate milk added I wouldn’t have been able to drink it. That’s the good thing about the steepster select boxes- it’s not a big investment and you get to discover different flavors.

Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Heavy, Smoke, Wood

boychik

what was your parameters? i find it quite good at 200F 3min 3g or 1tsp. 8oz
Not bitter or coffee like to me.

Hillel

Damn Fine Teas will be at the Philadelphia Coffee & Tea Festival that I’m going to this weekend. I was looking forward to tasting their Oktoberfest and other blends. I’ll see what they have to say about add chocolate milk.

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85

My enjoyment of this tea is frankly baffling to me. I don’t like smoky teas at all on the whole, but there’s something about this one that’s just good. There’s not too much smoke (and what smoke there is isn’t too in-your-face), and the base is smooth and lightly sweet. It’s a well-rounded and interesting sip, and I’m finding myself getting through a pot of it in one sitting easily. Nice!

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73

I didn’t add any milk or sugar to this tea. I wonder how that would have impacted the taste. I’m wasn’t immediately smitten, but the aroma and first taste were very autumnal. It’s like all the smells of fall distilled into a cup. I noticed a slight bitterness, that may have been from over-steeping and could be mitigated by the addition of milk and sweetener, if so desired. As I drank it, it grew on me. I began to notice some fruity notes. A complex tea that I grew to appreciate!

Flavors: Caramel, Fruity, Leather, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

Hosting Nursing interviews today, so I’ve got this one in my Timolino. It’s gorgeous as ever — the perfect tea for an early start!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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