Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

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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87

This is my first tea from A&D — I remember having had a sample of the Carävan blend years ago but never getting around to trying it. I’m excited to try this one as it’s advertised as being great with cookies! Although I don’t have a cookie here in front of me, I do have some cooling at the moment.

The scent of this tea smells really tasty… I detect hints of lemon and milk. It reminds me a bit of a solid breakfast blend with additions added by the drinker. Sipping… mmm I love how smooth this tea is.. It has floral and citrus layers and notes of milk. Delicious!

I’m happy to have grabbed a tin before it was discontinued.

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70

Sipdown (118)!

Thanks again Stephanie for the sample. Finishing off the last few sips now; I enjoyed drinking it alongside supper which, tonight, was a blueberry bagel sandwich with maple cheddar, vegetarian slices of ham and spinach. Mmm! Not gonna lie; I could totally go for another one right now…

Last time I had this one I didn’t pay very much attention to it, so I’m making sure to do so now so that I actually learn something from it, and requesting it from Stephanie wont be in vain.

Most of it I drank hot, but it’s totally cooled off now and I’m kind of liking it cold better than I did hot. Hot, I found there was a bit of dryness from the tea, and it was maybe a little too brisk and smokey. Now that it’s cooled I feel like I’m enjoying it more as well as noticing more of the contributing flavours. It’s still smokey, but there are also a lot of bread notes – I agree with Cameron B.’s review quite a bit; it’s like whole wheat in a way. Actually, I currently have a whole wheat and flax seed bread in my kitchen from our in store bakery – and it’s reminding me of that in particular.

Other things I noticed besides the smoke and bread flavours were a very faint cocoa flavour and a fruit note that is probably the thing in the blend that agrees with me the least. I was having problems identifying it until reading Cam’s review – she called it raisin like and that’s exactly it. No wonder it’s not agreeing with me; raisins are usually a big ‘nope’ for me – in tea and outside of it.

But other than the raisin taste, this isn’t terrible just not astounding either. I still want to continue to explore some more Keemuns – but I am kind of seeing a pattern forming already. When I had WP’s Pine Peak Keemun I also described it as bready (though that one tasted more like Rye to me) with cocoa and raisin notes and overall it wasn’t something I was a big fan of. If these are the more common and natural flavour notes in Keemun (which I believe, with the addition of smoke, they kinda are) perhaps it’s just not my kind of tea?

It could be nice ruling out a whole ‘class’ of tea; it’d save me money exploring it. I still have the Keemun from Amoda to drink though – so no rash decisions yet.

Shae

Oh man, your dinner sounds wonderful! Love your description of this tea as well.

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70

So this is a sample I got from Stephanie.

It is a tea…

I drank it. Umm, I forgot to write anything down and I recall absolutely nothing except that I kinda liked it. But really; I couldn’t tell you anything about what it tasted like. Whoops. But thankfully I’ve got enough for another cup, which I will most definitely actually pay attention to next time!

Sucks though; ‘cause the whole point of my requesting this one was that I wanted to explore more straight Keemun’s since I feel like I’ve tried so few plain ones. Straight assams are much more my jam…

Kinda bummed I didn’t write any tasting notes yesterday; the “word of the day” was a really fun one – Scuttlebutt (rumor/gossip). I really wanted to share it – which I guess I’m doing now, but it feels a little like I’m cheating? The word of the day is outdated! I can’t think of why you’d use this one instead of rumor though – unless, like me, you just really like saying it.

Anyway; the “actual” word of the day today is trajectory which is “The curve that an object travels along through space (such as a bullet, a rocket or a planet in its orbit)”. Not nearly as fun a word though, in my opinion.

Sil

if you remind me sometime in the future i have lots of this

whatshesaid

Yeah this one was tastyyyy

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91

Finished off the last of my sample by oversteeping it. Result? Still excellent and not astringent. Definitely recommending this tea and adding it to my future purchase list.

Full review from this past Tuesday, here: http://www.createwritedrink.com/2015/02/tea-review-tuesday-review-of-andrews.html

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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75

This is the first tea I’ve tried out of the box Terri so generously sent me! I can’t get over how much she sent me-it’s crazy. If you see this, Terri, thank you soo much again! I’m so excited to try them all! :D
Been wanting to try this one for a while, and lemme say, I was not disappointed!
I had a feeling that it would taste like wood because feels like half the teas everyone adores on here taste like wood to me. xD
But it didn’t! Like not at all! :O
It was mainly malty. With kinda a faint apricot note in it. Wasn’t really a sweet malty. It was more of a bold, rich malty flavor. Really enjoyed this one!
Will have to consider picking this one up. Got enough of this tea for a few more cups so I have time to make up my mind!
Thank you for the generous sample, Terri!!

Flavors: Apricot, Malt

Kaylee

I think you maybe didn’t intend to mark this one “not recommended”…

Ost

Haha oh my goodness! XD I didn’t mean todo that at all!!
Thanks for letting me know! :P

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Today’s teapot was this. Nursed it pretty much all day. I can’t believe I have had this a year and barely touched it. This will probably be my next work tea once I go through the Red Tailed Hawk at work.

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85

Mmm yum! This is the exact type of Assam I go crazy for. Strong, sweet and deep with no bitterness. Absolutely perfect. I could drink this every single morning. I don’t take my tea with additions, but if you do I bet it takes milk and sugar like a champ.
Unfortunately, I think it’s just too close to Rishi’s Assam for me to justify a purchase (that tin though…). Since I can currently get Rishi’s for $3.92 per 45g it doesn’t make sense to buy this one as well. But I will definitely keep this one in mind should I not be able to find Rishi’s in the future.
Thanks for letting me try it Sil

Flavors: Cherry, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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78

Overboard TTB #2

Mmmm… this smells delicious! The dry leaf smells a little bit like Russian Caravan to me (although I don’t drink a lot of this type of tea anymore… maybe its just flashbacks to childhood memories?) with a nice amount of warm spicy smokiness… upon sipping the tea definitely has some good amounts of malt, sweetness and smoke. Nothing is too overpowering just the perfect blend of smoky, woody, leatheriness… Yum!!

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I really love this tea blend! When I ordered this, I knew I would probably enjoy it; I was absolutely right, and have been drinking it a lot!
This has everything I love in a tea. Not fussy, good anytime of day, resteeps wonderfully for another cup, and most important – so delicious!
Beautiful dry leaf that brews a fulfilling, smooth and and perfectly balanced cup of tea, with notes of honeyed malt, cocoa, pastries and a hint of fruitiness.
This is my perfect anytime tea, and I actually wish I bought more than just one tin!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

yeah… i agree.

Mike

Now I’m sold…I think this is the next tea on my list to order! :)

Sil

it’s not available anymore mike

Mike

Wow, that’s too bad! Thanks for letting me know! I’ll have to go for their Tiger Assam instead…that sounds good as well.

whatshesaid

guhhh i should have bought some. so bloody expensive for one tin :/

Sil

tiger assam and red tailed hawk are both excellent imo.

whatshesaid

have and love both!
are they comparable to this one?

Mike

Niiiiice. Ooh, I just took a look at the Red Tailed Hawk, looks great…Assam/Darjeeling combination?

Mike

By the way, you have the best Steepster name ever, whatshesaid…love it! :P

whatshesaid

thanks :)

Mike

Haha, no problem.

Sil

so tiger assam i’m very partial to so i just take that out of the running lol but this one is better than red tailed…and i do love red tailed as well

Mike

Tiger Assam moves to the top of the list then. :P

caile

Sil, I ordered a tin of this with one of the tiger assam after seeing the shipping deal you got for us in Canada last month. I had been waiting for a deal so I could order more of the tiger and thought I may as well try this one too. Glad I did, though yeah, getting a second tin would have been better!

Mike, the tiger Assam is great too! I have only tried these two but love them both. I’m sure you will like the assam one :)

whatshesaid, it is darn expensive, but the tea is good…and the tins are so cute too! When I ordered I told myself at least I was saving a few dollars on shipping :)

Mike

Cool, I’ll splurge for the Tiger Assam after I clear my cupboard a little bit. :)

whatshesaid

yeah, i regret not ordering this one. ah well!

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Mike

This one sounds really good, based on the description! What did you think of it?

caile

I love it! Hadn’t got around to writing a review yet but will add one. :)

Mike

Awesome, I look forward to it! I’m sure I’ll buy it eventually. :)

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Oh my GOODNESS is this going so well with my red cabbage and weisswurst for lunch! The bite of this tea is just utterly fantastic with food… nomnomnom…
Baked some brownies (David Lebovitz posted an incredibly gooey looking recipe on his facebook page today) for my husband, and already have two loads of laundry done.
I’m sitting here, drinking this fantastically malty tea, listening to some podcasts and just really liking this Friday. :D Cheers, everyone!

boychik

I was just drinking it, I swear .

DeliriumsFrogs

Oh, I love that! I can pretend that we were drinking it together… like a long distance tea party. :D

boychik

Yay. We could schedule sometime ;)

OMGsrsly

I am cooking cabbage and (rinsed) sauerkraut and farmer’s sausage in the oven. I’ll have to keep in mind this tea when I eat it!

TheTeaFairy

Such an uplifting review, thanks for the smile :-)
(Love this tea!)

Mike

I’ve been thinking about getting this one…you talked me into it! :P I’m trying to get through my current growing collection a little bit, but, when I buy more, this is going to be on top of the list! :)

DeliriumsFrogs

Oh, I love it. I hope you do, too, Mike! :D

Mike

Thanks! I’m sure I will! I love a good Assam! :)

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Out of all the A&D blends I’ve tried so far, this is my least favorite. It’s certainly not bad but I find it a little bland. Especially in comparison to the Oktoberfest blend I tried previously. It’s malty and a little sweet but there’s not too much else there. I know this is a Ceylon blend and I’ve never been super fond of them so take this review with a grain of salt. I do wish I liked it more because I absolutely love the tin. But it’s probably not worth $20 for just that :)

Thanks to Sil for this sample. I’m so happy to be able to try all these blends before springing for the full sizes.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
Sil

i wish they’d do sample packs..

cookies

Agreed. It could only increase their customer base.

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need to pack, finish work and get things settled for the next couple days… sooo just stopping in to say THIS arrived and THIS is what i’m having for dinner. so there. Over the past few days i’ve had some old favourites, some new teas and mostly been successful in not killing anyone. Mostly. Hope everyone is doing awesome and having a grand ol’s time in the hood. :)

caile

I got mine today too – yay! :)

Cavocorax

You still c oming to the tea fest or are things too crazy?

Sil

dude are you kidding me. they can fuck with my days off they’re supposed to give me for being “the best of the best” but they are NOT interfereing with the rare cavo sighting i get to participate in

OMGsrsly

Oh Sil. Now I see you in your special hat with bird glasses, narrating like David Attenborough… “Now, what is that in this sea of people? It is the rare Cavo, in a highly unusual environment. Let’s go see what this Cavo is doing outside of its natural habitat.” :D

OMGsrsly

(Sorry Cavo! I couldn’t resist. :D )

Sil

i can do that…

OMGsrsly

Someone needs to get video.

Cavocorax

Hahahaha. You’ll see me. I’ve got a giant puffy bomber coat that makes me look 100lbs bigger. If I reverse it, it’s bright orange.

OMGsrsly

Ooooo, orange! :D

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I had just enough of this left for one cup, out of the incredibly generous sample that ifjuly sent me in the fall. The smokiness of this tea is absolutely perfect to me. Leather and malty wood, all brewed up in the most glorious colour. I am going to really miss this one.

Flavors: Leather, Malt, Smoke, Wood

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90

Oh man, this is good! I don’t taste any smoke, but that’s okay. This is so malty and sweet and delicious I don’t miss it much at all. Maybe the smoke comes out as it cools, but I sipped this one so quickly I wouldn’t know :) Even steeped at around 3 minutes it’s incredibly bold and flavorful. So delightful. I hope they put this out again next year. I’m totally bummed I missed out on it.

Thanks for the sample Sil!

Flavors: Leather, Malt, Oak wood, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
Sil

yay! glad you enjoyed it…though sad you can’t get your own tin. Boychik said that the winter blend is better than this one even…so there’s that, if you haven’t picked it up…

boychik

Holiday blend is sooo good. i need to get one.;)

Sil

boychik…better do it fast…gone in a weekish!

boychik

Sil, my hubby called from his work yesterday beyond furious and mad when he learn my Novermber20-December20 bill. for some people its 2 years tea budget ;( but its my only joy !

Sil

hahahahaha omg boychik. That’s awesome! i mean not awesome that he’s upset but i love that thought

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Brought some of this tea with me to the office today and it was AWESOME! I got notes of cocoa, bread, malt, and that fresh taste from the Darjeeling! I think Stephanie is right that, even though I have 4.4 ounces, it probably won’t last long! I’ve also decided I love it at 2 minutes steep. I tried their recommended 4 minutes and I think the malt takes over and you lose some of the complexity. 2 minutes is perfect. :)

Pic of the leaf: https://www.flickr.com/photos/97273956@N03/15728744884/

boychik

It was great for me @3 min

Stephanie

I love Darjeeling in black blends apparently. Pretty sure it’s why the Black Lotus is my fave

Tealizzy

boychik – I’ll try it at 3 minutes just for kicks!

Stephanie – never tried the black lotus…that was a Butiki tea, huh?

boychik

Black Lotus is amazing. Still hoard some. Time to let go maybe

Stephanie

She might have a few of the blending kits left- it’s the three teas that make up black lotus with mixing recipe each in a tin inside a wooden box…I really shouldn’t but I want it.

Mike

This tea sounds great! I’m looking for a good strong black tea or two. The Tiger Assam from A&D sounds very good also!

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This was surprise tea from Stephanie! Thank you!
I think the only times I’ve gotten to try A&D teas were from swaps with Stephanie. :) They are very good, but I wish they sold smaller sizes, like 2 oz. packets because I don’t really want 4.4 oz. of one tea in my cupboard. I like variety too much!

This tea is really good! It has a baked good quality to it, like freshly baked bread! Mmmm! My mom used to make bread…buttermilk loaf to be exact. Freshly baked bread is so amazing…I used to cut a really thick slice and toast it with butter spread on top for breakfast. Delicious!

This tea is also smooth and you get a little freshness from the Darjeeling at the end of the sip. I brewed it for 2 minutes and that was delicious, but the website says 4! I’ll have to try that with the remaining sample. This would be on the “buy” list, if not for the ridiculous size, because it’s really yummy!

Tealizzy

Update: ordered. Yes, I’m a sucker. ;)

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10" of snow fell on us yesterday and the temperature is hovering in the single digits. I’m not complaining as I’ve seen what Boston is dealing with lately. Trivia – I looked up the Fahrenheit scale. You know what it is based on? Neither does anyone else. There are some guesses but the truth has been lost. 32F being the temp water freezes is the only point of agreement. Just glad I don’t have to go outside where the amount of snow is higher than the temperature.

Needed something to warm me up. This is perfect. Well it was, cause now its gone.

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