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Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

My first impressions of this tea were of texture, even when thinking about flavour. I found it to be smooth and soft,with fruit and biscuit above malt and smoke, with a dense texture provided by tannins and a sharper aftertaste. It is pleasant and easily drinkable with a slight astringency on the tongue. There is a hint of cocoa but not really chocolate, a hint of apple blossom, leather, malt and biscuit with smoke in the aftertaste. The flavours all blend smoothly into each other. The tea smells of smoke,biscuit, leather, dried currants, apple and malt and the colour was a rich mahogany. I think I was expecting this tea to be a little more robust than it tasted but it is definitely well crafted. Thanks Dexter3657 for the opportunity to Try my first Andrews and Dunham tea!

Preparation
3 min, 45 sec
ifjuly

Great review, love the detail. This is my security blanket tea—when I’m stressed or upset, I turn to it and it always comforts me without asking much in return.

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93

today was very stressful day. I went with my older DD to finally remove her braces. She was very nervous about the whole thing. She made up her mind that everything will be a disaster and painful experience. i made this tea in my timolino before we left the house. once we got to the office she was even more nervous and asked me if she can try my tea. She gulped the whole thing and said it was very good. i had few seeps and liked it as well. the tea calmed her down .
When we got back i resteep it. I rarely resteep Indian tea (A&D told me at NYC Coffee and tea Festival its a blend of Assam, Darjeeling and Ceylon) it was a very good flavorful resteep. Gorgeous brown burgundy color. this tea is very nice and Im happy that i bought the tin.

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

I love that your daughter was able to be calmed by your tea. :)
Hope that everything went well (if I was her, I would’ve been extremely nervous…and if my mom had tea to comfort me, it would’ve made me feel so much better.)

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90

I received this tea as part of the Steepsteristas’ Yarn and Tea Swap! So pumped to try this tea – I was on the verge of doing an order, but since A&D didn’t take paypal, plus the large tin sizes, it was enough for me to back off for now.

This is pure malty goodness. First sip was, “now that’s a black tea!” Very bold, smooth yet sharp. Malty, little raisin notes with a brisk finish. Slight creamyness too. Small amount of dryness at the end.

Yum! Now I need to sample more of A&Ds teas, or just cave in with an order!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

i can send you samples of the ones i have if you want…though i won’t be able to do anything until the first weekend in may

Awkward Soul

OOoooh samples would be awesome! TY

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85

DAMN FINE MORNING! ok it’s really not…it’s miserable and wet, snowy, cold outside but that just gave me an excuse to work from home and drink tea! I picked this one for the morning because it arrived last night and i’m soooo excited about it. Steeped it for 5 mins, but after tasting this cup, i’m thinking this is going to be good for even longer steeps haha. At 5 mins, there’s a hint of sweet fruitiness to this one that reminds me of the memory of some of the TTC teas that i’ve had. yes that makes sense in my head. The cup was smooth and pleasant and i’m glad i picked up TWO tins of this! woot woot!

Cavocorax

Yay! I just tried mine yesterday and I was really impressed (and too impressed by it to stop drinking it and log a note).

Thumbs up for working from home. :D

Stephanie

This is a good one :)

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I made a nice sized pot of this to drink with breakfast, & as always, it’s such a substantial Assam, so nicely balanced.

Sil

mine is baaaack!

Cavocorax

Let the Damn Fine Mornings begin!

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81

Twinkle, twinkle red-tailed hawk,
aren’t I happy that I’ve got
such a tasty bright new tea.
Oh darjeeling’s fine by me.
Twinkle, twinkle red-tailed hawk
yes I’m happy that I’ve got…

Sil

want miiiine!

Cavocorax

Monday? Hopefully Monday. At least you should be able to fit those on your shelf. :D

Terri HarpLady

Sil, did I send you a sample of it?

Sil

you did terri! and now this + keemun + double knit + tiger will be here on monday

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95

1.5 tsp (more or less, fluffy leaf) for 300mL water @100C, steeped 5 minutes. Second infusion.

These rich leaves give up a second 5-minute steep that is very like the first — perhaps not so downy, and a bit more mineral. Not only an excellent tea but an excellent value. Damn Fine does it again.

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77

Interesting. Smoky. Yes definitely smoky. And brisk! With a nice amount of malt. And a bit of copper.
A complex tea to be sure!
Not my absolute fave, but a really nice change from the norm. I quite enjoyed it. Thanks for the sample Lala!

Kirkoneill1988

cool :) ill try it someday

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88

Yes! I’m back to drinking Tiger Tea! I kept my old tin so now I can divide my tea up and drink half at home and half work and never be separated from this rough and lovely beast.

It’s Friday today!
(which means, be careful who you follow on tumblr. :O)

Sil

i should get my tins on monday! woot woot!

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92

So I have all these beautiful perfume samples headed my way (I’m taking a weightlifting hiatus which means I can indulge my olfactory sense; when trying to hit a new PR I abstain due to some hearsay, possibly superstitious, about scent affecting hormone levels over time), and splendid tea samples from Stacy, and I’ve been boasting about this being one of the only winters on record I managed to stay well, which means naturally over the weekend I (and my husband) developed a cold that renders my entire head a mere repository for snot. Of course. (At least there’s an obvious reason—we went to the drugstore yesterday for more Nyquil and the lady carded us and then looked at me sympathetically and said “aw, you the sick one?” and I said “yeah, I managed to stay fine all winter and then…” and she goes “yeah, well jeez, this weather’ll do it…can you believe it went from 65F to 40F in a single hour the other day??”)

Been combatting it with my usual—insane amounts of Stash White Christmas (white tea, peppermint, ginger), a box of Kleenex a day, a sack of oranges, chicken soup—but I was so sick of not being able to smell anything! And my illnesses always progress the same way, downward really—they start with congestion and pressure behind my eyes and nose, sinuses, then after a couple days it moves down to my throat, then a full body ache usually with a fever, then finally to my chest/lungs. I’d progressed to “sore muscles” last night and decided to take a long bath. L’Occitane sent me a free “bath sugar cube” a while back, with rosemary, mint, and pine, so last night I soaked in that with a cup of this tea, a Paddywax candle, and Julie Doiron on the stereo low and soft. It was marvelous.

I chose this tea because I have so much of it I don’t feel bad using some while ill/not up to snuff senses-wise, and it resteeps well, and I missed “black tea taste” but knew it’s usually smooth and round enough to keep from upsetting my stomach or throat. And it was perfect. Through the wall of snot (sorry to be gross guys!) I can taste this, TEA, and it soothed me so. So I had some this morning too. I know I’m missing its full glory, but this one’s always been like a blanket, comforting like a hug (I just realized my first note for this was about the time the in-wall space heater could’ve killed us all—this really seems to be what I reach for when things are not their best!). I love how reliable it is.

keychange

I’m sorry you’ve been sick, but…well, there’s something about being sick (and the subsequent recovery) that makes spoiling yourself feel so special: lying under a pile of blankets in bed never feels nearly as good when you’re well; scented baths never feel nearly as therapeutic; tea never feels as lovely against your very sore throat.

boychik

ifjuly, so sorry you are sick. even when you sick you are hilarious. haha
my entire head a mere repository for snot. i love your descriptions for anything :)
Pls feel better soon. lots of fun is coming up

ifjuly

you guys are way too kind! what i failed to mention is (and my husband could attest), i’m a HUGE whiny baby when i get sick. even a minor headcold like this and i’m all waaaaah woe is me. which is weird because i otherwise have a fairly stout disposition when it comes to pain. dunno why i’m like this! but you guys are ace at making me feel better. (:

Stephanie

Spring colds are annoying…its such a frustrating time to not feel 100%!

ifjuly

yeah, agree Stephanie! i mean, i’d be whining no matter when it was (see above about my whiny baby syndrome), like i hate how cold and flu season tends to be exactly when you’re super busy traveling, seeing people you’ve not seen in ages, and trying to gift shop and decorate and wrap presents, and want to be able to smell/taste and enjoy holiday goodies, but still. warm weather colds are super annoying. nobody wants to be struck in PJs on the couch while the world grows sunny finally.

DeliriumsFrogs

I am SO sorry you’re under the weather! (but, as boychik said, even when sick, you’re hilarious. lol). Your bath sounded heavenly, and I’m really glad you had this tea for comfort. Warm hugs from tea are the best.

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100

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 6 minutes 15 seconds.

Honey and a bright sparkle (not astringency, though) from this glorious tea this morning. Dark copper liquor, and lots of toast and orchid notes, too. No smoke today. A delicate Keemun that shows complexity and strength when allowed to steep. No bitterness.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Honey, Orchids, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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88

This tea sample is courtesy of boychik who is so lovely and generous with me :)

I guess I’m continuing with my theme of the day which is TOO MUCH CAFFEINE. I had some matcha for breakfast and didn’t log it, a green tea mid morning, and then some Turkish coffee at lunchtime. Add some keemun to all this and I’m WAY over caffeinated for the day! heh

This is my first “Damn Fine” tea (I think?) and it is damn fine, indeed! Very complex, rich, full bodied and malty yet also has some floral notes on top. I’m not really getting any smoke from it, but I’m fine with that! YUM

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

I should send you samples of others A&D. It is Damn Fine Tea!

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I’m not feeling particularly descriptive today.
At breakfast I realized I wanted something with some smoke, & this one fit the bill nicely.

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91

Mmmm this tea has some heft this morning! I brewed it up in a mug (not a travel mug this time!) and it is rich, malty, and has the most deliciously sweet honey aftertaste!!! Unless that is the cinnamon honey toast that accompanied my fried eggs this morning for breakfast lol :P whatever it is, this lingering honey note is in the back of my throat, rich and dripping..mmmm I think it’s the tea because it’s staying so much!! To me, this is an excellent morning cup – caffeinated, smooth, malty, rich, with sweetness. Oh also that graininess. So good. I am so pleased I have a tin of this to drink!

Flavors: Honey, Malt

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80

Finally brewed up some of this after having it my cupboard for over a week. I have been having some heartburn so I’ve been cutting out the caffeine for a bit. Finally feeling up to brewing up a pot.

This is a lovely, gentle keemun. Not as smokey as the keemuns I get from Adagio, but it’s a charming drink for a lazy morning.

I prepared it as a latte with almond milk and stevia.

It’s a relaxing cup, and took my mind off some big changes that are coming my way and inducing stress. :) Good changes (hopefully) but that doesn’t make them any less stressful.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML
Terri HarpLady

My guts have been acidic for about a week, about the same time the trees started pollinating here. I checked my journal, & I had the same problem a year ago. I guess if I’m breathing it, I’m also swallowing it. :(

Skulleigh

That’s what I have been suspecting too. I noticed I have been feeling better when remembering to take my allergy pill. Silly trees and their yearly orgy.

Terri HarpLady

I suspected it last year too. With all my food allergies & such, a part of me starts thinking “what did I eat?”, but I have been really ‘good’ lately, & I can’t think of anything. Same as last year.

Skulleigh

I think what happens to me is that when I sleep, my sinuses are draining down to my stomach and starting off a chain reaction. I also have been eating more gluten-y stuff than works for me. I don’t think I’ve got a full fledged gluten allergy, but it definitely affects me. I need to get back on my personal diet bandwagon, and stop falling off so frequently!

Terri HarpLady

I miss bread so much…sigh…gluten debilitates me :(
I miss milk, cheese (oh cheese…sigh…)…
I miss grains & legumes…
But I don’t miss autoimmune problems & feeling like crap.
Now if I can just get rid of the airborn stuff, I’d be golden!

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100

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 6 minutes 30 seconds.

At a longer steep, this Keemun develops more of the classic Keemun oak and toast and distant smoke, even a faint scent like bergamot, while remaining delicate and sweet. Some cream and honey. Copper liquor. I think I prefer it as 5 minutes, but it’s good to know this one forgives a longer steep. A lovely tea. I’ve got a second tin on the way, and I shall be sorry when it’s gone.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Honey, Orchids, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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95

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

Dry leaf smells of leather, earth, and pepper. I love a peppery Yunnan. Lots and lots of golden tips.

Classic Yunnan forest floor taste: earthy, with trees. Cocoa, some baked bread. Leather and honey notes in the scent, and maybe something floral. No peppery bite. Some linen in the mouthfeel. Smooth finish. Very good.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Cocoa, Earth, Flowers, Leather, Molasses, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML
Michelle Butler Hallett

And it gives a brilliant second infusion, almost identical to the first! LOVE.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Some definite pepper in the second infusion. Ooooh, so happy here.

Michelle Butler Hallett

This is also a very downy tea.

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100

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 5 minutes, drunk bare.

Little tiny curly leaves!

Dry leaf gives a faint scent of Keemun tastiness. Steeping leaf smells very delicate, like fresh earth.

Red-brown liquor. Aromas of bread, toast, oak, and orchid.

Tastes of all that, and some honey. Some sweet potato notes. Light, toasty-oaky finish. Not at all a tarry Keemun. Gentle and sweet. I love it.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Grapes, Honey, Orchids, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML
Michelle Butler Hallett

tastiness = toastiness

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I’m drinking this again, even though I drank it a few days ago, because:
1 – It is quite tasty, & seemed like the perfect cup for this rainy day.
2 – I wanted to polish off the sample Boychik sent to me! This doesn’t qualify as a sipdown, because I have an entire tin of this in my cupboard, but at least it is a sample sipdown, so that’s one less baggie sitting around, right?

VariaTEA

Sample sipdowns are like exciting mini accomplishments so congratulations!

Sil

totally counts :)

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82

Ha! I accidentally steeped this for 12 minutes, and it still tasted amazing. Any other tea on my shelf would taste bitter and horrible after such an over-steeping. WINNER.

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81

Fantastic – even more drinkable without additives than the Red-Tailed Hawk. After having this tin for half the time I’ve had the Red-Tailed Hawk, there’s already less of this left than remains in the other tin. That’s a testament to how often I reach for it during my most uncaffeinated bleariness.

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Boychik offered to send me some of this before it was actually available on A & D’s website, & for that I am grateful! Of course, as soon as A & D made it available, I ordered a tin, how could I not? Both packages arrived on the same day!

So today I’ve been enjoying my generous sample from Boychik. I made a cup earlier, using a tsp, & following the 5 min suggested steeping. It was tasty, but a little on the weak side. Now I’m having another cup, this time using 2 tsp, at 5 min, & it’s very rich & robust, with a fruity aroma & taste, a little smoke, & a lingering bitter chocolate afterglow.
I will probably experiment with the steep time, but I bet this would be especially awesome with a little maple syrup drizzled in…

boychik

Next time I should probably send Priority 2nd day. 1 st class is too slow fr NY to MO :(

Sil

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Skulleigh

I just got my tin of this yesterday, but haven’t tried it yet. Smells good though!

Terri HarpLady

It came quick enough! :)

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