Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea
Popular Teas from Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine TeaSee All 25 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Another sample from Stephanie. I liked this one! I had it yesterday and today. The resteep was a little wimpy but the first cup was great.
So paychecks went out this morning and now I have writer’s cramp. Yes, I still hand write them. I don’t know why exactly, I just think it keeps me more in track with it somehow.
Yesterday we went to another board game thing and played Puerto Rico (ours) and Takenoko (someone else’s). We already know we liked PR but Takenoko was very cute and fun too. The basic premise is that if you move the panda (adorable), he eats bamboo. If you move the gardener, he grows bamboo. There are other things you can do as well, and it’s a pretty strategic game. It’s good that we liked it since we already had it on the way this week.
Queued post, written May 28th 2014
The first cup of tea after having descaled the kettle is always a bit dodgy. Not taste-wise, mind. But oh-gosh-have-I-poisoned-myself-now?-wise. I’m always a very thorough rinser after that process, but even so.
I’m hazarding a cup, though. This is actually a resteep that I’m writing about here, since the first steep of these leaves that Auggy shared with me recently was consumed as part of a courage-gathering process before having to ring our former landlord to ask where the rest of our deposit had got to. I hate talking on the phone even when it’s about pleasant things and avoid it whenever possible, so you can probably imagine the amount of courage-gathering is necessary before ringing someone to quibble. So, yeah. Tea? Lovely, but didn’t pay attention.
So the second steep smells relatively grainy and quite malty. I do actually remember that I thought ‘malty and honey’ with the first steep. I’m not getting anything in the way of floral and/or smoky notes though.
The flavour is quite grainy, though, and VERY floral. It really lives up to the ‘spring’ part of the name. It’s like drinking a flowershop. When it cools down the flowers calm down a bit too, becoming a bit less overwhelming, but it’s still not the sort of keemun that I like best. I prefer them with a rougher, more smoky note.
This might, however, have something to do with it being the second steep. I really didn’t pay attention to the first one at all. I will do so next time I have this and add to the post.
If I remember. Also, no unforeseen poisonings of self, so I think the kettle is safe. The lid is still wonky, though.
Additional notes at the time of posting
I can report that the deposit issue has still not been sorted. We have been very very patient, but enough is enough. At some point during the next week we shall be contacting our solicitor.
In happier news, Husband worked out why the kettle lid had gone wonky and repaired it good as new.
This might be my favourite Andrews and Dunham tea so far. It is a nice moderately smoked tea where the smoke is strong enough to leave a slight tingle at the back of the throat but not enough to overwhelm the rest of the flavours of the tea. Instead it contributes a certain spiciness to the tea as well as a certain depth to the flavour ranging from roasted smoke notes, pine and pine tar. It is not as smooth as you would find in a straight Lapsang Souchong. The base tea is slightly tart from red fruits and has a bready note and texture. There is a hint of molasses heading towards a maple note, and a bit of cocoa. There is a bit of sharpness and astringency to the tea.
I did two steeps of this tea at around 95°C at 3 and 4 minutes. The resteeps was flavourful, and was slightly sweeter and fruitier. This makes for a nice cozy and flavourful tea. Thanks boychik for the opportunity to try this tea!
Sample from hapatite! Thanks hun!
This is the second time I’ve tried this tea. The first time I was too busy to write any notes and I wanted to give it a proper review. So! I brewed some of this up tonight. I was craving a bready, malty Yunnan. When I set my mug aside to cool, an ant somehow found its way into my cup. I deliberated for a moment…and then just picked him out. I’m gross. ): But I didn’t want to sacrifice the entire cup when I only had a few teaspoons of leaf left.
Usual method for blacks without instruction: 1.5tsp/10oz, pre-boil, 2 min. Subsequent steep times vary, but this time it was 3min.
It’s a little brisk at the beginning of each sip—especially when it’s hot. Notes of citrus, cocoa, bread, and a maltiness that coats the tongue. It has a smooth texture and it’s surprisingly light-bodied. Maybe medium. Towards the end of each sip you get stone fruits. Red fruits. It has me thinking of plums, then it has me thinking of raisins. There are notes of sweet potato: rich and thick, with a lingering sweetness. There is a bit of honey there as well. The sweet potato, grain, and fruit notes are more prominent as the liquid cools.
Well, this is a decent tea. It doesn’t wow my pants off like I hoped it would. It’s not overly complex. It stays consistent through steeps and it could probably hold up to milk and sugar. No muss, no fuss. For those reasons I would make it an everyday tea…maybe an everyday morning tea. The cost makes it less desirable, though. There are other teas with similar flavor profiles that are of higher quality and more affordable. Plus I think they just sold their last tin!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Citrus, Cocoa, Fruity, Grain, Honey, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes
This smooth and pleasant tea accompanied my morning yesterday. These dark medium large leaves mixed with around 25% golden tip yielded 3 good steeps using my usual method of 1 TSP/225ml/94°C/1 min+1 for next steep, which is slightly less resilient than some of the Yunnan’s I’ve been drinking. The last steep was weakening and I will probably extend the steep time the next time I drink it.
The first steep smelled of malt, cocoa, a musky, grainy scent, and red fruit. The taste was sweeter than the scent with with a strong barley note mixed with cocoa and caramel. There was a faint leather spice mixed in with light malt and a touch of fruit. The tea had a slightly metallic, mineral note that leant a certain coolness to the flavour of the tea. The tea was very smooth on the tongue.
Future steeps introduced a light bright floral note, plum mixed with red fruit and a light hay note. The caramel evolved to cane sugar.
Altogether this was a smooth, pleasant, and uncomplicated accompaniment to my day.
Thanks boychik for the sample!
Thanks VariaTEA for the sample! Not sure if you knew, but this was my first Damn Fine Tea! I know the company is pretty beloved here on Steepster, and based on this one I can see why.
I made it up in my timolino, but sadly I didn’t get around to drinking it until it was pretty luke-warm. Even still I really enjoyed it; it was smooth with no bitterness or astringency, and it had lovely malt notes and very light smoke notes that blended together really well. I think some milk (just a little splash) would have made this one to die for, as well!
Sadly I had to drink it pretty quickly because Tre and I were going out for supper (spontaneous roommate bonding time, since I got off work early) and I felt bad taking tea into the restaurant. It was a good meal! French toast with strawberry topping and berry syrup, and mozza sticks with the most divine, sweet marinara sauce! Plus, Tre let me steal the maraschino cherry from his dessert and I got to show off my mad skills at tying knots in cherry stems with my tongue.
Supposedly that’s hard to do; I wonder if it’s a genetic thing though because both my brother and I can do it really easily? I wonder if my little sister can; if so it’s gotta be genetic (and passed down by my mom, since we have different dads)…
This is a very smooth tea up until the very end of the sip where it is just a touch dry. Throughout the sip, it is sweet and malty and smooth and delicious. I don’t know if I would have wanted a whole tin but I am very grateful to Cavocorax for the generous sample that will allow me another cup or so of this lovely tea. Thank you Cavo!!
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #1
I’m very excited to have MzPriss’ unflavored tea box make a stop at the house! This is like the classy, no nonsense, fancy restaurant of tea boxes… some of the best of the best are in this one. This is what tea boxes are for: sampling a ton of amazing teas. No offense to the other fun tea boxes (including the one I started!) So thank you to MzPriss, the other participants, and Single Origin Teas for adding a few teas to the box!
This is the first I went with. The leaves look oddly enough like Verdant’s Laoshan black. The flavor seems to be similar, but it has more tanginess rather than the chocolate & caramel that is supposedly in Laoshan Black, but is something I haven’t found too much. I wouldn’t say that this tastes like what I would imagine a keemun should be, no smokiness. But it is an interesting flavor. Not a bad cup, but not a keemun I would choose to stock. It’s a lighter brew, which I think is my problem with Laoshan. The steep suggestion is fairly long too… I know that over three minutes ruins Laoshan. Here I go comparing a tea to Laoshan again. Sheesh. I will never say no to trying any tea though! :D
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 5 min
Steep #2 // half a mug // just boiled // 5 min
Ehhh this is a little bit astringent this morning unfortunately, I think I brewed it a tad too long with a bit too hot water. Ah well, it still is bold and bright and is serving the purpose of kicking me awake, well, the tea and the classic rock blaring from my computer at work lol. I made myself get up early and come to work at 7 so I can get off at 1, so my brain is a bit blarggghhhh right now haha. Ah well, only 5 more hours! See previous notes on this tea :)
Good morning steepsters! I had an amazing weekend in the mountains, hiked like crazy (probably ~20km total), drove, and enjoyed life. We lucked out with great weather again this year and it was a wonderful trip with the guy! But now it is Monday, he is back off to work for 2 weeks, and I am also at work and sooooo tired. Eyes do not want to stay open…going to be a long day.
I made this tea this morning in the hopes the caffeine would keep me alert, but it’s just making me relaxed and content haha. This tea is soo darn tasty! I like that it is a lighter A&D blend, yet still ridiculously flavorful. Bright and rich. Still that creaminess in there. A lovely cup to start the week, just hoping I wake up a bit more as the day progresses lol. See previous notes!
My A&D order arrived on Tuesday, quite fast shipping as I ordered it on Canada Day (a week?? ok VERY fast shipping lol). I tore it open and smelled all the teas except my restock of Mount Grey as I’m saving it for when I’m out of the current tin, and they all smell soo lovely. However I have been going easy on caffeine again, mostly due to stressing about the blood test this week lol (it went smoothly BTW, my mom managed to distract me and it went well! First one that has EVER gone well lol). And this tea arrived after my test, so it was my reward haha :)
I had a tough time deciding which black tea to bring to work today, but this one won out, mostly because it seemed the least potent/caffeine filled of the three lol. The smell was quite malty from what I remember at home (I’m drinking it at work) and I steeped for 3 minutes with just under boiling water (~200 degrees).
The liquor is a light brown and has a slightly fruity scent, unless that is travel mug contamination. As for the taste, yes I hate reviewing teas for the first time when they come out of my travel mug, but this one is definitely bright and creamy. I got some actual butteriness at one point lol. I think there must be darjeeling in this, it has that fruity dryness but is not overpowering. There is maybe also a bolder black tea mixed, as I’ve found (with my limited experience with darjeelings lol) that they seem a bit lighter than other black teas. Whatever the combo is, it is darn good, has given me a right kick in the pants at work and I plan to get lots done for the rest of the day since I’m still nursing this cup.
Overall – a tasty malty tea with fruitiness and punch. Bright, a good morning cup, and I do like the tin, along with the swag that came with my order (pins, a coaster, temporary tattoos (!!) haha love it!) Another win from A&D! No rating until I brew it in optimal conditions, aka not in the travel mug.
Oh, and another aside – my allergies are wreaking havoc with my system today. Must be the forest fire smoke again ughhh I have been sniffling, sneezing and a general mess haha. Only my nose at least! And it’s like +20 C today..a vast change from the 25-30 degrees it’s been for the past week or so. My body is freaking out and freezing in my office, and my mind is also thinking it’s autumn..umm not yet lol. Get back on track weather, don’t be cloudy, rainy and cold!
Having this again today with a longer five minute steep. And this makes it so much tastier!
There is still the earthy floral and fruitiness, but now also with caramel. So good!
So, I brewed this longer to see if it would bring out the salty notes that boychik noted. Although I can’t say that I would have noticed saltiness in particular if I wasn’t intent on seeing if I tasted it, there are some salty-type notes that linger afterwards. Sort of like salted caramel I would describe it as, but yes, it is there… more like salted caramel than chocolate to me though..
I re-steeped this at about 8-3/4 minutes and the flavour was still delicious and full. No bitterness, but note that I do put milk in my tea.
So, although I haven’t been on steepster much the past few weeks, I fortunately happened to have the time and focus to check on the day it was announced that A&D were having free shipping to Canada – yay! So I decided to try a couple thing I have been wanting; this being one of them.
I made a cup of this shortly after my package arrived, and was quite pleased with this tasty keemun. Earthy, floral and fruity, with perhaps the lightest hint of smoke. Delicious and flavourful!
I finished this one off this morning using the new method that I got from yyz! It’s a 1 minute steep, then a 2 minute steep, followed by a 4 minute steep. I am really liking this method. I guess it’s somewhere between gong fu and western-style? I tend to love the lighter/more golden Yunnan teas and this kind of emulates that flavor even with a darker Yunnan. I will definitely be trying this with a lot of my other black teas. Thanks so much, yyz!
As for this tea, it’s a good one. But there are other Yunnan teas that I like as much or more that are cheaper (and more accessible, there is only one tin of this left and then it’s gone forever). Thanks again Nicole for letting me try this one! :)
My stomach is sloshing from all this tea!
Another one from Nicole! And I’ve been really wanting to try this one too, mostly because of the adorable horse tin (hangs head in shame). I’m such a sucker for cute packages! The leaves are quite lovely – they’re somewhat long and curly and “fluffy”. About half golden and half brown. I ended up using closer to two teaspoons because of the fluffiness. I didn’t want to underleaf! The dry aroma is what I’m coming to expect from a very tippy Yunnan – bread and malt with honey and lovely stonefruit notes. Yummy.
At first, the tea smelled of just bread and honey. And I was okay with that! However, I noticed that as it started to cool to a more drinkable temperature, those stonefruit notes started poking their lovely little heads out. The taste is surprisingly light in texture. It’s predominantly bready malt with a bit of dried autumn leaves mixed in. And then there’s that little bit of honey sweetness too. I maybe get a little bit of a fruity aftertaste if I really look for it.
Overall, this tea is tasty. It’s uncomplicated, but done well and would make an excellent lighter everyday black tea.
So, a separate issue. I’ve made all three of my black teas today with bottled water instead of my usual tap. And they all three seemed to have the same mild bitterness. I don’t find that bitterness is usually an issue for me, since I generally do shortish steeps and use cooler water (200 degrees usually). So is it possible that my bottled water is making my teas taste more bitter…?
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Honey, Malt
Sample sipdown from Cavocorax! Pretty much everything I’ve been drinking lately came from her or OMGsrsly. Soooo many teas to try, but I’m almost through!
This one I ended up ordering as part of my A&D holy trinity order when they had free shipping to Canada for Canada Day. Too sweet to pass up!
I wouldn’t have ordered this one on its own but for $8 extra, I do love me a goods strong EG. I did like the Steven Smith EG better if memory serves.
I am so lucky Cavo sent the samples along for me to try. Yay tea frens!
And my last Damn Fine Tea from Cavo. I figured since I just have the one left to try, might as well make it now since I’m into drinking tea right now.
This has a sweet, slightly sharp sort of smell to it. Not sharp like cutting but sharp like clean and fresh and THERE….if that makes any sense. >>
Taste wise I get a light sweet, but not in a sugar way, sort of sweetness. And a good bit of earthiness. And something kinda peppery-ish/spicy almost just at the end. No bitterness, though there’s definitely an astringency with each sip, but it’s pretty tolerable right now.
Again, not anything that makes me go ‘OMG I NEED THIS!’, but I’m glad that I gave it a try since it’s still pretty good. Just not a tea that I’d necessarily want to own full time.
Non tea related note – If anyone actually reads my silly notes and is looking to try something new musically I just listened to a band called Caravan Palace. They’re Electronica Swing and it’s pretty dang good. Lol!
This is the video that started me on the band – http://youtu.be/fBGSJ3sbivI
So another swap from Cavocorax and even though it’s pretty dang hot outside, I really wanted a cup of tea. And nothing sweet or flavored, so I grabbed this.
I get a little bit of smoke, a little bit of malt and just a smidge of astringency, which all in all isn’t too bad. It’s just got a bit woody and is a tad bitter on the back of the sip, but overall I like it. Next time I make it I think I’ll try a bit shorter of a steep to see if that makes a difference with the bitterness.
I’m not sure if I like it 4.4 ounces worth, but I’ll be finishing the rest of the swap I got and maybe consider ordering it one day if the mood (and the money) strikes me. XD
I have been enjoying this tea since early 2013, part of the Damn Fine Three-Pack, which I have purchased again early this year.
The leaves are handsomely dark, with a powerfully smokey yet subtly fresh scent. The aesthetics of the dry leaves coincide nicely with the hard rocker personality.
The wet leaves give a nice pu-erh aroma, very strong but not overpowering smokey scent. The brew is also very much pu-erh, with very deep and dark reds, and a very earthy aroma.
As powerfully smokey as it seems, the flavors are not overpowered. Giving mainly sweet and caramel flavors, there are faint and very subtle earthy textures underneath, and very little astringency. It could probably benefit more to make stronger with more leaves, but light makes for a great early afternoon cup.
With subtle detailing and clever traits to accommodate it’s assigned personality, this is indeed a damn fine tea.
This tea is beautiful. It smells nicely sweet and slightly smokey. Smells delicious. The dry tea leaves are small and curly and uniform. It actually hurts to take the first scoop out of the tin because it feels like I am crushing the leaves. Gives a new meaning to agony of the leaves :)
The tea brews up really nice, and also really strong. It agains have an excellent balance of sweet and slightly smokey keemun. It is very bold and malty. Just a slight dryness in the aftertaste but it is not astringent or bitter.
For some reason, I do not associate keemun with spring. This keemun is very fresh but the boldness and maltiness reminds me more of a late fall or winter. But I don’t care, it is delicious.
Finally reviewing this tea.
This one is delicious, as with all other A&D blends I have tried.
It is a beautifully thick and malty Yunnan. I laughed when I read some of the descriptors that steepsterites had given this tea. Now I totally do not get the cannabis flavour. But I do get the autumn leaf pile. Not in a bad way but the smell of the tea is kind of like the sweet scent of drying leaves in the autumn. There is a very slight dry vegetal flavour to this tea which I would attribute with dry and crumbly leaves. I also feel like a get a hint of sweet potatoe flavour, more potatoe than sweet though.
I feel like I should hoard and savour this tea but not sure if it will last that long now that I have started drinking it.