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205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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79 Tasting Notes View all

From Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Who knows the limit of the sea? Who has spied its edge and not glimpsed more beyond? Our lonely Captain has stared into the watery depths more than most. Far removed from the overcast shores of his boyhood, long the ward of the ocean’s swells and spray, he does not want for company. The course is of his choosing; the treasure is all that eludes his grasp. And he is not alone.

Who has been staring back? And who would return to fix their gaze so softly upon this worn and craggy face? Love is mystery enough that it needs no magic from the deep to capture our imagination. But like a warm fire, a good salty yarn is hard to resist.

The Captain is a hearty Assam tea from India. For an invigorating brew, steep these leaves for 4 minutes in boiling water. Try 3 if you are of a gentler nature and seek only warm comfort. Beware the urge to brew this tea in salt water.

About Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea View company

Andrews & Dunham knows that nothing beats a perfect cup of tea, and a great tea needs no explanation. We love the romance of tea. We love that tea might just be the healthiest thing you’ll ever drink. But if the tea you’re drinking doesn’t taste fantastic, you’re missing out. Only a few teas meet our mysterious, rigorous standards and we’re proud to offer them to you. We’re always looking for that perfect cup, so you don’t have to.

79 Tasting Notes

545 tasting notes

Backlogging. 5 days ago. Tuesday morning.

The February Backlog: From the 1st to today.

Since I removed Jackee from my steepster cupboard, I figured it was time to add The Captain to it. The first steep was watery tasting as I started to sip with the hearty strength I wanted at the end of each sip. As it cooled some and I sipped more slowly, I began to get that taste throughout the sip. Second steep was lighter though flavorful throughout. I like him, this Captain, and I think I will have more to say about him after I have him another time or two. I’m rating him a 74 to begin with, solidly in the middle of my good range 70-80.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

I had three visits from the Captain. Sadly, I will never see him again. Enjoy him while you can.

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180 tasting notes

Yet another installment of “Cody v. The Morning.” Despite having been capable of making my own breakfast since I was a pre-teen, I could hardly manage eggs and toast this morning without dropping a carton of eggs on the floor and burning… pretty much everything. Fortunately, The Cap’n was there to soften the blow.

I love this tea. As much as I dig the limited-edition style of A&D’s tea… it’s kind of bittersweet to realize I have a finite amount of this in my future.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

I hear that. My tin of the Captain is long gone. Sigh. Bittersweet indeed.


I’ve been forcing myself not to drink all my A&D teas, in order to make them last.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I’ve done the opposite and binged happily. I’ve hoarded tea in the past … then forgotten (!) about it … then found it again, staling … never again.


The only form of willpower I possess is savoring food. I always save the best for last in boxes of candy and the like. And God help you if you mess with my system, lol.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I wouldn’t dare mess with anyone else’s tea. :)

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4846 tasting notes

On my husband’s days off, things are a little uncertain. Never know when we are just going to go someplace (there’s rarely any planning, which is fine by me because I’m not a planner anyway) or run errands or something. He could at any moment say “hey, ____ movie starts in 20 minutes, let’s go!”

So, on his days off, I don’t drink teas that are new to me. Teas that I want to focus on or teas that I’ve not yet reviewed, because I don’t spend much time reviewing on his days off. His days off are my days with him. :)

It is on these days that I enjoy teas that I’ve already tasted and reviewed… I get a chance to revisit them. Like this one. Here is my full-length review: http://sororitea.teatra.de/2011/08/06/captain-assams-high-seas-elixer-from-damn-fine-tea/

It has a remarkable smoothness to it, unlike other Assam teas that I’ve tried. This one is not necessarily better (or worse)… just different. And I love it for its differences.

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579 tasting notes

Drunk without milk or sugar — ‘bare tea,’ in Newfoundland English.

My heart deeply wounded by the absence — rather, by my never getting to try — Thomas Sampson (though he did send me a lovely note), I thought to ring up the Captain, who, surely, cannot be as harsh and hard as he’d like everyone to think. After all, he seeks a mermaid.

I’m sorry. I just love the writing round the teas from A&D.

Received my order in the storm of a very bad day. Couldn’t even properly welcome the Captain, just showed him his berth.

This morning: dry long leaves with plenty of golden tips, smelling raisin-y, as others have noted. Sweet. Brewed for 6 minutes by mistake, 1 TB for 500mL of boiling water.



First those high sweet notes of a really good Assam. Then strength and heft. A heavier mouthfeel to this one, but it’s lovely - creamy, silky. A bit malty on the sides of the tongue, a slight bit of astringency in the aftertaste- but I did overbrew by two minutes; A&D recommend a four-minute steep. But these are characteristics of Assam that I love and desire. A clean finish, but you know you’re drinking TEA. ‘Proper tea’, as my English war-bride grandmother would call it, that will get you through a storm and help you recover afterwards. The sort of tea George Orwell meant when discussing the virtues of Indian tea: ‘First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ’a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.’ (_Evening Standard, 12 Jan 1946).

Not at all a harsh Assam. But a very strong one. Ideal.

And Captain Assam’s High Seas Elixir is, of course, a limited edition. I don’t know whether to hoard or binge. Probably binge. Then it won’t go stale.

(For the record, I do not despise China black tea; in fact, sometimes nothing else will do. But I do agree with Orwell that it doesn’t pack the same punch as India black yea.)

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Not sure how I got the overstike in there, sorry.

Michelle Butler Hallett

WoooHOOOO! The Captain is mondo caffeineated! Or whatever the magic stimulating substance in tea is. Captain Assam’s got it by the shipload. My eyes are wide open and my writin muscles are twitchin!

As the brew cooled off, it remained sweet and malty. No bitterness.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Oh, what is that goregous tasting note, almost like the winey-ness in Keemun?

Michelle Butler Hallett

Second batch (bare) at 6 minutes again … yeah, I don’t think I want to go back to four. Deliciously heavy mouthfeel. Is this what some Steepsterites mean by ‘chewy’?

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6770 tasting notes

This has been on my WISH LIST for ever – it seems! And thank to my Sororitea Sister LiberTeas I am able to sample it today! Woot! Thanks Girl!!!

I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t already been said by other reviewers here – so – in short…it’s bold, really rich, strong, a bit creamy, a bit fruity, a bit smoky – at times…it seems to have it all!

This tea is FAB! Very memorable!

Hesper June

I am just going to have to order some of Andrews and Dunham’s tea…every review I have read it sounds so delish and certainly my kind of tea:)

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

DO IT!! Srsly tho, they are amazing. (;

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1328 tasting notes

And it’s goodbye to the Captain, who’s joining us for breakfast before setting sail and going off on new adventures. Arrrr!

And that means I’m now down two tins and two samples. When I hit five tins and fifteen samples, I am allowed to make a tea purchase. I have Plans.


I like your disciplined approach to tea acquisition. I could stand a little more of that myself.:)


I have to. Otherwise I would end up with a lot of small amounts left, because my interest was turned to something else new and exciting and eventually I’d forget the old stuff. It helps me finish off some of that and also some of all the gifted samples that I’ve got lying around that I’ve been avoiding because they aren’t really my thing.

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514 tasting notes

I would love to take Captain Assam on a date. He’s bold, but oh so gentle.
Seriously though, this is the smoothest Assam I have ever tasted. I expected a kick in the butt this morning, and he delivered caffeine-wise, but taste-wise he was almost mellow. And sweet!

Thank you for the sample LiberTEAS – I have a few cups left and I’m looking forward to them greatly :)

Tina S.

If you find a Captain Assam to date, I’d also be interested! ;)


Romantic and mysterious! Where are you off to?


Excellent, I’ll keep you posted ;)
I do live by a harbour now… you never know.
Although good question Bonnie, I don’t know where we would go. How far to the tropics? haha


Italy? The Med.? Hawaii?

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411 tasting notes

Aye Captain! This smells NOM! The leaf is pretty – little tan tips cresting throughout the dark brown sea of leaf. It’s got a dark, rich scent. Not quite cocoa, but teetering on that edge of decadence.

Once brewed up, it’s a beautiful chestnut color. It’s got an aroma that to me is the essence of tea – that brisk tang of quintessential tea.

Flavor-wise? The captain’s got a softer side! It’s a smooth, mellow initial sip followed by a drying tannic zing. He’s not a wuss, this definitely is a wake-me-up morning tea – I just expected more of a kick in the pants from the seafaring swashbuckler.

Overall assessment? Good tea. Yum.


I’m sure you knew this question was coming – how does the Captain compare to Thomas Sampson? :) :) :)


I’ll do a side by side later and/or tomorrow morning. I’m on to my royal garland oolong at the moment.


Holy crap, new A&D. This post just made my morning.


Goodie :) Thank you!


OMG!!!! Am I seeing things? Is there new A&D? Where’s my visa card??? OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!

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470 tasting notes

Oh Captain, I have such a tea-crush on you. You’re full-bodied, rich, malty, just a touch astringent, chock full of caffeine, smooth, and unlike every other Indian black tea I can drink you on an empty stomach. You’re fantastic with or without milk & sugar, and you are oh-so-forgiving about steep times and water temperature. Truly, a prince among teas!

Captain Assam totally saved my butt today. I had to get up so so early and I knew there was no way I’d make it through the day without a strong kick of caffeine. But blacks on an empty stomach make me brutally nauseous, and there was no possibility of scarfing down a meal. So Captain Assam came to the rescue! I used not nearly enough leaf, stepped for a minute too long, added too much milk, and it still did the trick! I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, plus this is just a fantastic-tasting cup of tea. My go-to morning tea for sure… but since it’s a limited edition, I try to save this for special occasions (aka some days I can’t live without it).

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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1158 tasting notes

Thanks to Batrachoid for this sample.

Dry leaves smell very smoky.

It is quite bold and smoky tasting. Great for waking up in the morning. Malty, and a good assam IMO.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Lucky! I really wanted to try this one. May have to try and see if I can find someone to swap with at some point heh

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