This morning, courtesy of Terri HarpLady, I’m very pleased to review Double Knit Blend by Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea, Western style: 8 oz. / 1 tsp (2.6g) / 212*F / 4 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Thin twisted mostly dark chocolate-brown leaves 2 cm or less
Fragrance: Mild Malty
Liquor: Clear, amber brown
Aroma: Upon removing the lid of the Finum brewing basket, the first concentrated fleeting wiff – oooh, YUM – this is something special! But what is it? Subsequent sniffs required placing one’s nose as close as possible and inhaling deeply in an attempt to appreciate the aroma. A touch of Keemun smokiness blended with malt.
Flavor: Malt & Keemun

4-min: Very pleasant, smooth, and medium-bodied with no astringency or bitterness.
5-min: A rich full-bodied tea, but not as full-bodied as a straight Keemun or an Assam tea, with a touch of bitterness and very slight astringency to be appreciated with, not before, breakfast for anyone with a sensitive stomach.

Re-Steep:
6-min: Light to medium bodied
8-min: Light to medium bodied

Impression: A rich, full-bodied black breakfast blend. I love a great Keemun and that predisposes me to enjoying this tea. The other black tea (others have suggested Darjeeling) that was blended with the Keemun to lighten and brighten this blend, obviously makes it less full-bodied that a straight Keemun. Additionally, if one brews it an additional minute to increase the body, bitterness begins to increase. Perhaps 4.5 minutes may achieve a more optimum balance?

Thanks to Terri HarpLady for sending us this gracious sample.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Flavors: Malt, Smoke

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

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Bio

I am passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, & smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) such as Pu-erh.

Currently, my focus is on un-flavored orthodox black & pu-erh teas. Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are also of interest.

I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to natural bittersweet cocoa.

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Incomplete, non-specific, or cutesy instructions such as: “Just add water and enjoy.” significantly reduces the possibility that I will purchase that particular tea.

Having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” is too time-inefficient, wastes valuable tea and impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration.

The best tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea each year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.

My wife is an Earl Grey Fan. We enjoyed Twinings for many years – mostly Earl Grey, also English/Irish Breakfast, & Prince of Wales. Several years ago, TEG no longer tasted as good.

Rishi EG & China Breakfast then became our regular teas. However, after winning Tea Expo awards, the prices kept rising.

Our most recent orders were from TeaVivre, Verdant, Zen Tea Life, & Mandala Tea. Kudos to Angel Chen, David Duckler, Kenneth Son, Garret Sorensen who have been extremely helpful.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en

Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, an annual winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.

Location

Mid-Atlantic, USA

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