Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

100

I’ve been drinking this one at home on a weekend, usually Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. I’ve been aware that my cold has been affecting my taste buds, though, so I’ve waited to review it until I feel I really know what I’m tasting. The first thing I have to say is that it makes for a delicious cup, and never fails to bring a smile to my face. I think that’s why it’s a weekend only tea for me at the moment…it just makes everything feel somehow right, like all is well with the world.

I’ve settled on 1 tsp of leaf in boiling water for approximately 4 minutes. This yields a reddy-orange brew, to which I’ve been adding a splash of milk. The scent is divine — very malty, with notes of fresh baked rye bread. I’ve not really been a yunnan drinker until recently, but once I tried a couple of good ones, I was a convert. There’s no going back now!

To taste, I initially get a strong, almost slightly starchy, sweet potato flavour. It’s underpinned by the malt, which is similarly sweet, and a touch of honey. Then come the yeasty, bread-like notes, which add another layer to the flavour. Finally, I get a darker, earthy, almost molasses-like flavour, and a hint of very dark, very bitter chocolate. There’s a tiny bite of astringency at the very end of the sip, but it actually complements the flavour experience so I don’t really mind.

This is by no means a simple-tasting tea. I love how the layers of flavour emerge and build into the final, complex whole. I’m more than glad that I have a whole tin of this — it’ll certainly be savored! A beautiful Yunnan, and my new favourite black tea. Gorgeous.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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95

Sweet Potatoes. Bread. Creamy. Sweet.
Ahh this tea! So happy to have tried it-thanks again to Boychik for the sample!! :D
Great tea to end my night on. ^^

Flavors: Baked Bread, Creamy, Honey, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

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95

Sooo I need to try this again because I’m pretty sure I didn’t wash my mug out enough to really write an honest review of this tea. xD
This tea tasted like bread and sweet potatoes. Which was great. But…
There was still some woodiness in the cup…that really didn’t belong. So I’ll have to try this again. xD Thanks to Boychik for giving me enough for more than one cup! Thanks again for this sample! Will try it again before rating!

On a side note: I’m super excited-They finally put the original The Producers movie on Netflix again! I love Gene Wilder in this one-he’s hilarious! If you like comedies you should definitely give it a try! It’s fantastic! :P

Flavors: Baked Bread, Sweet Potatoes, Wood

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87

Thanks for this sample, Cameron B.! This is another Assam I’d been curious about but hadn’t wanted to commit to, since it’s only sold in one—very large—size. It’s strong and malty—though not quite as strong and malty as I’d expected it might be. There’s a strong raisiny note, with a fair bit of astringency thrown in to keep the sweetness in check. This is a nice Assam, but since there are other good options that can be purchased in smaller quantities it’s not necessarily something I’d purchase—4.4 oz. is a lot!

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88

Oh steepster. I really have been missing this place; reading peoples review, tea chatting, ect.

Anyways I got this in the steepster box, and WAS I EXCITED! When I saw the flavor announced I got really excited until my wallet said no, but YAY steepster box.

Leaf: It looks like a pile of finely crafted autumn leaves that have been roasted.
Smell: A little woodsy, hints of smoke
Liquor: autumn orange; or Sam Adams oktober fest beer color

This tasted so good! I kind of reminds me of that one tea Verdant had that was a smoked black tea from wuyi. (the one with the really long name) It has a nice rich, but not heavy black tea taste with woody notes and hints of malt; the grassy notes keep it from getting to thick. There are also wisps of spice, but more of a wood spice than spice spice.

Honestly this tea reminds me a lot of Sam Adams Oktober fest when I drink it; which is good cause that was a good beer. I have just one more brew left out of the sample which I am saving for that ultra craving for it.

All in all, it was an awesome tea the seems like the the tea version of Sam Adams Oktober beer.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cedar, Dark Wood, Malt, Smoke, Spices, Wheat

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

yep…lala sent it to me and i ordered a tin the same day i tried it lol

35mmfilm

That sounds right up my alley. Gonna have to give it a try!

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88

this was a tea from last night/this morning… added a little maple syrup and brought it with me to work for the overnight. not much to say beyond – delicious!

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88

sipdown! but it will be back…soon :) i had this in the morning as my wake up tea with my everything bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese. Perfect start to the morning! I love this tea. Today i drank one cup normally – this is smokey with a bit of brightness to it, some hints of cedar… soo good. Added a splash of maple syrup to a second cup and it was even more delicious. I do love my smokey teas with a splash of maple! thanks again for sharing this one lala! happy to return the favour anytime!

boychik

perfect breakfast tea

Fjellrev

Whew, glad I didn’t grab this then. ;)

Sil

Hahaha. I can always send you a taste if you want my Swedish chef! When I get mine

Fjellrev

Thanks, but don’t worry about it! I don’t like smoky teas. I’m going to wait until they (hopefully?) have free/better shipping for Black Friday so I can get others. Is the Red Tailed Hawk at all smoky, in your opinion?

Sil

Nope. Not that I recall. It’s like a Darjeeling more than anything, but one I’ll drink. I can send you a sample if you want

Fjellrev

Ah ok, thanks for the offer! But seriously, I owe you tea more than anything else. I’m probably going to grab a three pack of their EG, Assam, and Red Tailed. Cavo was kind enough to send a sample of the Assam last year. :)

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88

lala sent this one my way so i could get in a taste before comitting to ANOTHER tin of damn fine tea – i think this will bring me to 6? in the house because yes, that’s right…i bought this after having it today. So good. I am immensely happy that lala was kinda enough to send this my way because i would have passed on this for sure, simply because 4.4oz is a LOT of tea…especially when you’ve got 4? other damn fine tea tins that are mostly full. lol this was just the right balance of smokey and not bitter and yes. yum. that is all.

Final Count: 81 (thank you lala!!!!)

Lala

Glad you like it. It sure is an excellent blend! P.S. I was waiting for your review all day.

Sil

Pretty crappy review…I’ll do better next time, I still have lots to try from you heh. I didn’t get time at work today to not work lol

Indigobloom

Ok this is one I might wanna steal a cups worth of!

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88

Bold and robust, drinking this tea makes me feel like I’m sitting around a bonfire. This is as German and manly as it gets. Tobacco and cedar are prevalent on the tongue, while the smoky note on the dry leaves does not overpower the steeped leaves. This is quite delicious and interesting blend that compliments the season perfectly

Flavors: Cedar, Malt, Smoke, Tobacco, Wet Wood

Preparation
Boiling 4 g

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88

This is another sample from boychik. Thank you!

Keemun might just be my favorite type of breakfast tea. It is usually deep and chocolate or slightly woody. This is another awesome offering from A & D. I think all of these samples have turned me into an A & D fan girl. I might just have to try EVERYTHING from them:) Some keemuns have fruity flavor at the end of the sip, some have a smoke. This is just right in the middle. It doesn’t have much fruity, but more of a deep bread flavor. I am rocking the 2nd steep already and this is definitely making my morning. Thanks again boychik for allowing me to try this one.

boychik

i can live without Keemun but this one i really like. glad you like it ;)

donkeytiara

I’m a 2 tin girl on this one!

TeaTiff

Do you guys find this light? Do you use extra leaf?

boychik

I went back to my note. No more leaves but time 5min 45 sec. Second resteep was 15 min. Tell me if you get some saltiness

TeaTiff

I will have to give these parameters a try with the next cup. I will watch out for that salty note. Thanks Boychik.

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88

1 Year on Steepster! Woot! Who would have thunk. 418 tasting notes…. 170ish teas in cupboard, many fun swaps and tea friends. It has been quite the year. I have enjoyed getting to try so many wonderful cups and tea vendors. Hopefully Steepster fully recovers from its illness and it is exploding with liveliness again soon. My tastes have definitely changed. I like many on here started out with the mostly food teas from Teaavana. Quickly found Butiki and fell in love with so many teas there, found oolongs, roasted and milk oolongs, discovered flavored blacks, then straight black. Now, I am starting to explore whites, greens and pur-eh. I think my favorites are the darker side of oolongs, the Fijian blacks, and french flavored teas. There are so many teas I still want to try and orders I want to place. It is fun that after spending a year trying “everything” there is still so much more to try.

I am trying to make a decision on whether to purchase this tea or not. I believe it is only available until the end of October. This morning at work this cup is offering all the same, smoke, tart fruity, leather if you will, but there is almost a spice to to the tea. It is lovely, but will it be a cup I like 4.4oz of? Thank you again boychik for this sample

Nattie

Happy 1st birthday!

boychik

happy 1st bday! wishing you discovering more great teas. Do i see Wuyi oolongs on a horizon?

donkeytiara

Happy 1 year! I still have a few months to go for that landmark! congrats!

TeaTiff

Thanks you guys! Boychik, wuyi is growing on me. I need to experiment with gongfu for the ones I own. I own 2 or 3 right now and will be brewing them gongfu to see if they start to grow on me:)

boychik

i find some very good ones fr Jing Tea Shop and Tao Tea Leaf. the best way for me is gongfu. 5-6g leaves 100ml and short steeps. im off to have some now ;)

TeaTiff

I have never heard of JIng Tea Shop. I will have to check them out. Thanks Boychik!

Sil

woot! happy 1 yr anniversary!

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88

This is a sample from boychik. Thank you!

Damn! I thought by trying this tea I would rule out having to purchase this one. No such luck. This is good. How does Damn Fine Teas do it? This tea has a little smoke, it has some woody accents, then there is a little bit of tart fruit, and smooth astringency. Are those last two things even possible in a blend? Sure seems to be what I am tasting. This is another wonderful fall cup. Now to buy or not to buy the tin……

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85

Thank you for the sample boychik! :D

This is a bold and tasty blend! Extremely masculine tasting. Reminds me of leather and tobacco and woodsmoke. It isn’t really smokey or anything. Just brings campfire to mind somehow. I really like this kind of kick-in-the-pants bold breakfast black tea! Quite enjoyable :)

boychik

yay! i was afraid you might not like it.

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94

Backlog:

I love this Keemun. I think that this may be the best Keemun I’ve ever tasted. So good. Rich, smooth, delicious. Very little astringency, just a slight dryness toward the tail. Honeyed caramel drizzled over tree-ripened plums. Mmm!

I love this.

donkeytiara

i bought 2 tins of it….I think it’s a great compare/contrast to Butiki’s Congou and to TeaVivre’s Superfine…… Keemuns are magical.

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83

I got this one in a swap with TeaTiff. I’m always willing to try another Damn Fine Tea! The leaves of this one are long and thin, and mostly dark with a few golden spots. I didn’t get much of a dry scent off of it, which I find is rather common with straight blacks.

Once steeped, it has a lovely raisin aroma with some bread and caramelized brown sugar notes. The taste is also strongly raisin, which I love. There’s also a rich caramelized brown sugar note that blends beautifully with the raisin. Near the end of the sip, there’s the slightest hint of an earthy flavor, but it’s mild enough to be inoffensive. Overall, this one is very tasty and not what I expected!

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Earth, Raisins

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

the more you drink it, the more you love it ;)

donkeytiara

….mmmmm…assam…..

TeaTiff

Oh how I need to pay back all the samples I have received from A & D and just buy a tin or two:) This is a good assam. Careron B I wish I had your way with words. You have a way of describing taste that makes every tea sound incredible!

TeaTiff

Oh how I need to pay back all the samples I have received from A & D and just buy a tin or two:) This is a good assam. Careron B I wish I had your way with words. You have a way of describing taste that makes every tea sound incredible!

Stephanie

A&D has some good teas

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75

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

I thought this would be very interesting as I am a fan of Oktoberfest. I really enjoyed the earthy pu-er like fragrance from the leaves and the malty flavors that developed right away. I tried to steep the tea a little longer than recommended and taste it a few times as it developed. The malty flavor definitely is up front early on and melds into the background as the black tea qualities emerge and take center stage. Overall a nice blend and worth enjoying on a nice fall day.

Flavors: Earth, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Good Heavens!!!!
This is why I am in the Steepster Select Club!!!!! This tea is really good and it is not one I would have tried on my own.
Delicious Delicious, well balanced, so good.
Dry leaves smell very smoky like a Lapsang, tangy BBQ smell but stick with it, it’s going to fool you.
Liquor is a deep auburn color with lots of orange to it, perfect for Oktoberfest!!
Smells very sweet and the wet leaves are multicolored just like fall colored leaves.
I poured my tea into a small white tea cup and saucer and the liquor is so orange now in my cup.
I let the tea cool a bit to really get the flavors. This is so good. It is naturally sweet and could take a touch of milk if you wanted but I wouldn’t add sugar. But it doesn’t need either.
This tea is so enjoyable that I really just got the tasting note of delicious bc it had so many enjoyable notes that came together and at one point I added a drop of milk and it was creamy heaven.
They weren’t lying, this is damn fine tea!!!!

From the Steepster Select Box; October, 2014

Flavors: Sweet

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

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This tea was the perfect accompaniment to my hearty breakfast of leftover beef stew.

Cameron B.

That sounds like an amazing breakfast!

Sil

nom!

Terri HarpLady

It was! We had it for dinner last night, I had it for breakfast, then Drew & I ate the rest of it for dinner tonight. I should have made a bigger pot!

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My 3000th tasting note!

Damn this tea is good!
I love a lot of different full leave single origin type teas, but admittedly, I also love a good blend, something that combines the best qualities of 2 or more teas into one cup. I’ve been a fan of A & D ever since I tried my first cup of Tiger Assam, & I never miss picking up a can of whatever their latest combo is. This one takes the cake, as far as I’m concerned.

Let me get something straight. We’re not talking about refinement here, we’re not talking chocolate, pastry, & cream. We’re talking bold & brash, leather & leiderhosen clad manly men with full beards, hoisting goliath sized ornate ceramic steins, dripping with artisanal beer. As soon as I opened the can, I could smell hops & malt, with brats on the grill, & I can swear I heard an oom pah pah brass band playing in the distance.

This tea is savory & bold, & although the initial aroma portends smokiness, the taste isn’t that apparent. To me its heavy on the malt, slightly bitter like hops, leathery, chewy & a little sour like thick old world rye bread, & I warn you, it packs a serious punch!
Don’t drink on an empty stomach!

And of course, I love the little presents the A & D boys always include. This box came with a cute little German style rubber ducky. :)

OMGsrsly

WOO!!! Yay 3000!

Fjellrev

Congrats! Yay, this sounds great. I just may need to get it after all.

Sil

oh god… i’m going to need to buy this..aren’t i..

OMGsrsly

Yes, Sil! Buy it! :)

Kittenna

Oktoberfest blend! Ah!! Sil, if you get it, dibs on a sample please. It’s probably too strong for me, but I feel compelled to acquire a taste.

Sil

will do. I’m trying to hold out… i need another 4oz tin from a&d like i need a hole in my head…but you know…

Stephanie

I need it for the ducky! Love your review :)

Terri HarpLady

:) the ducky is adorable

Tea Sipper

Happy 3000!

Roswell Strange

WOW! Congrats on 3000th! Big landmark :)

Sil

also… i totally didn’t register this was your 3000 lol congrats my tea sister!

K S

A&D should pay you to write for them. Awesomely manly picture you’ve painted.

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83

Thank you Boychik for this sample. While I find this an enjoyable tea, it is a little too malty for my tastes. It is good though. It’s not incredibly malty, just too malty for me. I followed their brewing guidelines exactly so I don’t think I brewed it wrong. There is a little sweetness behind the malt too. As I drink the cup I notice just a little bitterness. This makes me wonder if it would be better brewed at 190 degrees? This tea was definitely worth trying.

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
boychik

200F was just right for me.

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89

Backlog:

I bought this on Canada Day because they were offering free shipping for Canada and even though I’m not in Canada, I got nervous because it was down to only a very precious few tins left of the tea and I worried that if I waited until the 4th of July when they offer free shipping to us here in the US that I’d miss out on this. As it turned out, they didn’t sell out of this one until after the 4th, so I would have been safe but I didn’t want to miss it!

Anyway … it’s a lovely Yunnan!

Molasses-y and caramel-y. So beautifully sweet! A hearty, robust tea. Warm, earthy, notes of leather. A truly wonderful tea, I’m glad I go this one.

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