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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
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205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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103 Tasting Notes View all

  • “It was sooooo hot in my office today that I couldn't make any tea! It was so bad that I even gave up eating half way into my breakfast, and only took a few half hearted bites of my lunch. Even the...” Read full tasting note
    JacquelineM 1112 tasting notes
  • “In one of my last tealogs, I was wondering where takgoti had gotten to. Then suddenly, where is chrine? Well, the husband was in a car accident early - 6am - Monday morning on the way to work,...” Read full tasting note
    84
    chrine 545 tasting notes
  • “After going thru ANOTHER Home Stash last night I found a very little bit of this left and KNEW I was going to have to start my day with it. BOY OH BOY am I glad I knew right where this one...” Read full tasting note
    96
    teaequalsbliss 6770 tasting notes
  • “Just enough for one last pot; it's still a good breakfast tea, but in the greater and grander scheme of things, it had a pretty narrow "sweet spot" range; Assams should be un-ruinable....” Read full tasting note
    gmathis 1623 tasting notes

From Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Legendary throughout the Northern Circuit, Big Thomas, The Breeze from the Mountain, is twice a champion bare-fisted tree-puncher. He did, in fact, earn his first title before becoming aware that he was involved in a contest, so great is his impatience with obstacles be they festooned in leaf or adorned in hide. Watch as Thomas boils with rage! Marvel at his great brawn! See with your very own eyes that none can withstand more than four minutes of his brutal attention!

Andrews & Dunham recommend that the brewing of this black tea from India be performed by inserting the leaves into freshly boiled water for a duration of exactly four minutes. A hasty preparation will yield a pale and gutless liquor. A more prolonged duration invites bitterness.

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.

103 Tasting Notes

1112 tasting notes

It was sooooo hot in my office today that I couldn’t make any tea! It was so bad that I even gave up eating half way into my breakfast, and only took a few half hearted bites of my lunch. Even the quiet people that I work with who never complain were complaining!!

After I went to class (where there is air conditioning!!) I started to perk up, and by the time I was walking home I was staggering like a zombie looking for brains and yelling “Thooooooooooooomas!!! Thoooooooooooooomas!!” (in my head ;) I fixed the quickest dinner possible so that I could plop on the sofa and have a big mug of my main man.

He is so delicious. Strong and sweet. Tonight the liquid almost feels thicker than tea – it’s so full bodied and the maltiness is very pronounced.

Ahhhh, I am human again!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Rabs

LOL! Night of the Living Dead Tea Drinkers! “Tisaaaaaines…Tisaaaaaines…”

JacquelineM

LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!! Someone needs to do a comic of that!!!!

~lauren.

I wonder if Andrews or Dunham ever read some of the reviews/comments here of their teas and crack up laughing! Thanks for the Much Needed comic relief!! :)

Rabs

28 Steeps Later! ;) Man, if they read this tasting note and made a tea series based on zombie/horror films, then I’d finally break down and buy some. I’ve held off buying any of theirs yet since I think that I’d be soooo sad once the tea I had was consumed and not reorderable :(

Ricky

Oh my, zombie Jacqueline! What has the world gone to?

JacquelineM

Rabs – yer killin me!!!!!! :)

lauren – The thought causes me to turn red!

Ricky – Don’t worry – I’m human again! Tea cures me! Just don’t let me go without my tea and no tea zombie apocalypse will happen :)

LENA

“28 Steeps Later” almost made me do a spit-take. LOL!!!

Janni

I have nothing of import to add, except…

RESIDENT TEAVIL. Which, actually, if you just say the real title aloud very quickly, already has tea in it! ;)

JacquelineM

Janni – that’s a great one too!!!!

I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!

Rabs

Janni – I just laughed until tears sprang to my eyes – bless you!

Rabs

Oh, and “Oolong of the Dead.”

JacquelineM

You guys are all invited to my Zombie Tea Party!!!! We’ll have tisaaaaaaaines, oolong of the dead, and get out the Samovar Four Seasons, which is the only tea I know which would make it to “28 steeps later” :)

Rabs

ROFLMAO!!!!!

~lauren.

Hehehe :)

Janni

Rabs: Drat, I was just going to suggest Pouchong of the Dead!!! You know what they say about brilliant minds…;)

Jacqueline: Don’t forget about the Bela Lugosi classic, White Zomtea! :D

Janni

We should create a tea-themed reading circle. Call it Teas of d’Urbervilles. nods

JacquelineM

Janni – I would LOVE that! Seriously!!

Rabs

YES! YES!! YES to the reading cirlce!!!!! Janni – yes, we’re brilliant! LOL! I’m thinking Oolong of the Dead would be for Dawn of the Dead, and Pouchong of the Dead would be for Shaun of the Dead ;)

Janni

Rabs: It’s in discussion! Would you like in on this discussion? :) Also, I had been primarily thinking of Shaun of the Dead. For some reason, Dawn of the Dead hadn’t even crossed my mind. I FAIL AT ROMERO. facepalms

Know what, though? Iron Goddess of Mercy of Darkness. Quite a mouthful, just like its namesake! ;)

Ricky

RawRRRR, I haven’t had much tea today! I’ve become a zombeeeee!!! Must raidd Jacuqlines cupboard! Brainssss I mean teaaaaaa!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Awesome comments section! I would also totally join a tea-themed reading group.

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84
545 tasting notes

In one of my last tealogs, I was wondering where takgoti had gotten to. Then suddenly, where is chrine? Well, the husband was in a car accident early – 6am – Monday morning on the way to work, detailed below.

The husband: Drives our Prius, The Bunny. At 50 mph on cruise control. In the right lane. To get 53 mpg. While commuting 45 min to 1 hour each way to work. Lights on cause it’s still dark out. Assumes truck will pass him at the last minute cause they often do. Highway is flat and straight. The speed limit is 70 mph. No other cars are around.
The 18 wheeler: Does not pass the husband. Runs into his rear end, driver’s side.
The husband: Propelled a bit into left lane. Gets car off the road and stopped without hitting the tree line.
The Prius: Damaged but fixable.
The husband: Not badly hurt, ever so thankfully. Impact related back pain. On meds. Drowsy, zoned out, quiet.

Now, the tea. Also in non-sentence form. First tea since accident. Not sure this was the best time to try a tea for the first time. What the hell though.

Leaves.
Look: Thin, longer than Jackee, more curled, black with spots of tan and brown.
Smell: Papery – dusty, musty. A bit floral, oddly. Slightly sweet.

Wet leaves.
Look: Flat dark brown.
Smell: Papery. Raisiny. Sweet.

Tea.
Look: Deep brown with red tones.
Smell: Honey-floral-papery.
Taste: Bitter. Honey/sweet. Soft. Bitter.

I think I need to steep it less time or at a lower temp.

By the way, if Jackee “caramel” Muntz reminds me of takgoti, Thomas “bake-y” Sampson reminds me of Auggy.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

So sorry to hear about the accident! Glad he’s not too badly hurt!

fcmonroe

That’s terrible! Was the truck driver charged with the accident?

JacquelineM

Oh my goodness!!! I’m glad he is on the mend, and the car can be repaired. You had to be crazed all week. I’m glad you finally got a cup of tea in ya!

oOTeaOo

I’m so sorry about what happened but I’m glad that he wasn’t badly hurt!

Ricky

Poor Chrine + Chrine’s husband. And poor bunny! =(

wombatgirl

Ohmygod! Poor thing. May the hubby heal quickly.

Erin

Oh my goodness! It sounds like your husband is extremely lucky. I’ve heard real horror stories involving huge semi trucks. That must have been terrifying for you both, I am so sorry. And to have that happen to a Prius, too! What a nice reward for being environmentally conscious. It’s kind of like a metaphor, you know? Big semi crushing the small Prius?

S

So sorry about what’s happened! I’m glad your husband wasn’t badly hurt…you both will be in my thoughts.

tease

Miserable, damnable 18-wheeler trucks.. Glad to hear your husband is safe and sound, even if on the mend, and that the Prius can be saved! Hope the tea will help with the aftermath; you’ll both be in my thoughts!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Thanks to everybody for your kind words. It’s been a trying week and they are much appreciated.

fcmonroe ~ Yes, the truck driver was charged with the accident.

Erin ~ You’re right, it does seem like it could be a metaphor.

takgoti

Oi! Very glad to hear he came out of that more okay than not.

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96
6770 tasting notes

After going thru ANOTHER Home Stash last night I found a very little bit of this left and KNEW I was going to have to start my day with it. BOY OH BOY am I glad I knew right where this one was…it was a HELL of a NIGHT! Dogs woke me up at 3 (after finally getting to sleep around 1) and ended up on the couch AGAIN for ANOTHER night and then I didn’t get back to sleep until about 4 (when DH wakes up and leaves for work) THEN the massive thunderstorms started at 4:35-ish and I tried to fight the dogs freaking out but it didn’t work…I was totally awake by 5…BLAH!!!

TEA TEA TEA – Bring me MORE TEA! It’s going to be a Hellish Day again! Actually the next 3 weeks are going to be that way! Is there an end in sight?

At least I have a fundraiser to do today! I LOVE Fundraisers, Charities, and Volunteering (Plus I get to leave work a tad early eventho I should…but I haven’t been taking my lunches, sooooo)

Anyhow…another storm on the way…and sorry for the early morning ramble…but I had to vent to someone and apparently my fellow Steepsters are the only ones who listen to me! LOL :) Thanks guys! You are great!

OH!!!! SIPDOWN!!!! See previous notes for my thoughts on this tea! Woot!

K S

Just imagine how stressed we would all be without the L-theanine in our tea! Yeah, it could be worse. We are hoping for the thunder boomers later today.

DaisyChubb

Oh noes – hang in there gal pal

Azzrian

Sounds a bit like my evening too!

ashmanra

May this evening be better, just restful sleep! Take care of yourself!

Missy

ouch, rough night! I do hope the rest of your day goes well and you can get some rest tonight. :D

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1623 tasting notes

Just enough for one last pot; it’s still a good breakfast tea, but in the greater and grander scheme of things, it had a pretty narrow “sweet spot” range; Assams should be un-ruinable.

Regardless, the image of a stout and brawny gentleman facing his fisticuffiant opponent with chin up and elbows in fits the morning - writing about helping children deal with fears and phobias today.

Change of topic and blatant mewl for input: moms and dads, what are some unusual (or annoying) childhood fears that drove (or are driving) you a little nuts?

K S

Flying monkeys! and spiders but that’s a bit common.

gmathis

Flying monkeys aren’t. May they stay in Oz where they belong :)

ashmanra

Clowns. I have problems with clowns. My kids feel the same way.

JacquelineM

ashmanra’s comment made me remember the fear I have of anyone dressed as a character in a big costume. This first happened to me on the seashore boardwalk when someone was dressed as Mr. Peanut!

http://futuretom.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/mr-peanut.jpg

My mother said I broke away from her and RAN down the boardwalk and no one could catch me! They had to call the boardwalk security and have them look for me! (I was maybe 4?). I am still extremely uneasy around this sort of thing. Disney world was hell!

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86
911 tasting notes

This tea makes me happy but is bold enough that it’s a good morning tea (and does well with a little sugar and milk, making it a good take-to-work tea (though I spilled a little too much milk in today, but it dealt with it well)). These things combine in just the right way to make this a good tea on days that I’m both tired and grumpy and unhappy. It offers me the advice, in a not-unkind manner, to suck it up and soldier through the morning because no matter how bad it gets, at some point the morning does turn to afternoon (which can also be bad, but is inherently better than morning).

About five years ago, my cousin was in the hospital for an extended stay. He wasn’t around his immediate family (parents, siblings) so he was adopted into our family (well, more so than he already was being, you know, blood related) so we visited him regularly. During one of those visits, I made him cookies. Let me rephrase. I attempted to make him cookies. I was fairly new to cooking so still had a lot to learn (well, and still do though at least I’m much better than I used to be). I followed the directions I had for chocolate chip cookies, not realizing that the directions were for plain flour and I had self-rising. So yes, I used my self-rising flour (which already had salt, baking powder, etc) and added to it more salt, baking powder, etc. The ‘cookies’ that were created were more like unsweetened brownies (double the needed salt, you know) – tall, fluffy, bready, non-chocolate brownies. Well, there was a hint of chocolate since there were chocolate chips in there. I was so embarrassed but they were edible so I took them to my cousin anyway because thinking that even if he did throw them out (which I did tell him he had permission to do), at least hopefully he’d feel some warm fuzzies knowing that I cared enough to try to make him something. Turns out he really liked them. Asked me to make them again, in fact, double the salt and everything.

So why am I sharing this seemingly unrelated story? Because this tea is those cookies. Almost exactly. When I popped the lid open of my tumbler, I was hit with a soft chocolate smell. Not quite rich/earthy enough to be cocoa, but definitely in the same family. And sipping it? Lovely. Not sweet at all (not salty or tart either), but bake-y and bread-y and pretty much tasting like an unsweetened cookie. Sure, technically an unsweetened cookie would usually be called a cracker, but this is too bake-y and rich-bodied to be a cracker. So I got to thinking – if this wasn’t a cracker, what else would a non-sweetened cookie be? Maybe something like my lemon ginger snaps, but no, it doesn’t have the fruity or the warm ginger tastes. Plus, it tasted fluffier – more bread-y. And then it hit me – it tasted just like those mistake cookies. Fluffy/thick, bread-y, bake-y, a tiny poof of faint chocolate every so often but not enough to counter the lack of sweetness or the bread-y. Not salty or bitter or tart. Just… not sweet.

It’s almost enough to get me to make more mistake cookies.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
Angrboda

But if you do make them again, you’ll have to call them something else, because then they’ll be ‘on purpose cookies’ instead of ‘mistake cookies’.

Ricky

Now I want some :D of your cookies and the tea, raids auggies cupboard!

LENA

hmmm…if you do make some of these cookies, remember your dear friend in TN. :)

Ricky

Send it to the East coast. I’ll share with teaplz and Lena :D

silvermage2000

What a well done review. And this tea sounds good. I will have to consider buying some.

Marie

I have plans to pick up “Bakewise” by Shirley Corriher – if only to dive a lot deeper into why different components of baking do what they do. I’m always fascinated about the mechanics of things. :)

Auggy

Ha! Okay, everyone’s comments made me laugh so I had to explain why I was laughing to my coworker. Oops!

Jillian

I’m fairly new to cooking to so I’m sort of stumbling my way through the basics. The orange chocolate chip cookies I made a few days ago turned out good, but we don’t talk about my lemon chicken. ⌐_⌐
XD

Auggy

Oooh, I made this orange fish thing a while back…. yeah, not cool. Cooking truly is an art! And orange chocolate chip cookies sound awesome.

takgoti

I love that story. I love little moments like those. This also reminds me that I need to get my cookie baking on. Tomorrow, I think I shall dedicate the day to cookies and tea.

Stephanie What a great review! This is the kind of tea I’m needing right now.

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1768 tasting notes

This was the final tea of tea party today, and the final time I will be drinking Thomas Sampson, I expect. Not because we finished the tin, but because I have already boxed him up and am sending him to live out a more purposeful life with someone who loves and appreciates him more than I do.

Don’t get me wrong. My guest and I both loved Thomas, and today’s tea party was the first ever three way tie we can remember. This is one of the best Assams I have ever tried. Delicious.

But Jacqueline and her hubby actually shed a tear or two when their tin came to an end recently, and that kind of love should not be overlooked.

It isn’t fancy, there isn’t a card in the box, or pretty packaging, or other teas, but Jacqueline, know that I am sending him your way with lots of love, and the satisfaction of knowing that you and your hubby will give him a sense of having fulfilled his purpose in existing. Enjoy in good health and happiness!

Andrews and Dunham, is there any tea you sell that isn’t amazing? Or the best to be found of its kind? Bravo!

Azzrian

How sweet :)

Hesper June

I have this tea on my shopping list.
I cant wait to try it!

TeaBrat

I think it’s sold out, sadly

gmathis

Greater love hath no tea drinker than this…that she send out a tea for her friends. It’s Scriptural. (2 Opinions 2:1 ;)

Hesper June

It is! I just checked. I guess patience is a virtue in tea drinking as well.

LiberTEAS

That was certainly wonderful of you.

ashmanra

Thanks, Liberteas! Jacqueline has been so good to so many of us!

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90
161 tasting notes

Auggy, I finally get it. BAKE-Y!

Let there be light!!!

This is the 1st tea that has actually screamed bake-y to me. Some have likened it to plain biscotti or perhaps an unsweetened baked good. I have to agree. Tannic and bready…but kind of crumbly bake-y like biscotti or shortbread would be. I like it. I’ve had several cups straight and a few with milk and sugar…both very good. Thomas Sampson makes a good breakfast cup in my opinion. The tea is hearty and seems to carry a decent caffeine buzz. I’m relatively unfazed by caffeine, so this means something. :)

I tend to drink black teas, such as this, in the AM and then move on down the milder chain throughout the afternoon and after I get home from work. Just as I was beginning to get a little sad about finishing off the last of my sample, I noticed something.

40 NEW SETS OF SERIES 2 HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE SITE!
AND……
SERIES 4 IS UP AND RUNNING.

Word.

wombatgirl

Just broke my promise to not buy more tea and picked up series 4.

LENA

lol…I just ogled the site for a few minutes and read everything. I have to wait until Friday to buy more tea. I’m going to pick up Series 2 and 4. I hope Series 4 is 5oz worth of goodness.

wombatgirl

I’m loving series three too.. – all three are lovely

teaplz

BAKE-Y!

I love this post, Lena! And man, I haven’t bought any of the A&D tea yet. Each batch is tempting… but I don’t really care for two of the teas in series 3 in general. Series 4 though… yunnan! That’s pretty exciting. HRM.

S

Hehe bake-y!

Auggy

YAY for the bake-y! Hahaha! This made me laugh so! And yay for Thomas! He’s so yummy! :)

Ricky

Haha, I didn’t even realize it was up till your post. I’m slow to the game. oh man… yunnan tea….. arghhhh…the tin looks so amazing!!!

takgoti

This post makes me giggle.

[And I also got Series 4.]

Alannah

Thanks for this, I ordered set 3 (had no idea it was out)!

S

Ahhhh okay, I caved and bought Series 2 :) I’m excited!!

Ricky

SHANTEA! Another two items into the cupboard? Oh nooooo! You need to let Shanti out. I caught the Shantea bug, I bought a big tin of Series 4

S

Ricky!! Okay NO MORE TEA FOR ME UNTIL I FINISH THE ADAGIO SAMPLES. That’s my new rule. I have to stick to it, or else I won’t have any money left for groceries!!

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87
1011 tasting notes

For the last year that I’ve spent on Steepster, I have read numerous posts raving about Thomas Sampson. Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to give him a try…until now! Many thanks to JacquelineM for sending me a generous package full of teas that I’ve been eying!
This tea has a gorgeous aroma and the taste is completely full-bodied and malty! This is definitely a tea worth waiting for. There is caramel, malt and honey all mixed with a hearty, balanced black tea. This has truly turned my day around. I love when tea packages come on days that you need them the most!

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Amen to serendipi-tea in the mailbox after a rotten day.

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91
930 tasting notes

Apropos of nothing in particular, whenever I read A&D’s full company name, I immediately think of Laraine Newman holding up a glass and saying, “Wow, that’s terrific bass!” I expect I’m the only weirdo who makes this association and I have no idea why.

Anyway, after venturing into Assam land with the Teavana Assam Gold Rain, I decided I couldn’t go farther without a visit with the legendary, incomparable Thomas Sampson. I’m always up for a challenge, so the mere fact that he’s incomparable isn’t going to stand in my way. I’m going to compare him to Assam Gold Rain just for grins.

First off, Thomas doesn’t seem to be as tippy. Though there are clearly lighter colored tips in among the leaves, the ratio of dark to light isn’t nearly as high as it is in the ASR. Thomas’ dry leaves smell better to me, though. Their smell isn’t as strong. It’s lower key, and deeper, and gives the impression of being fresher for some reason? Which is weird because I think I’ve had it longer. In any case, there’s a big difference between the way the dry leaves smell.

Thomas steeped, though, does remind me of the ASR’s aroma. It’s that anti-malty, yeasty smell, which I’m coming to realize (through a trend of two) is what Assams smell like.

But wait. How can something that smells so similar taste so different? There was something about the ASR’s taste that just plain rubbed me the wrong way. It was the yeasty thing, and it seemed sort of off to me.

Thomas, thankfully, doesn’t have that same characteristic. There’s a sweetness to Thomas that is closer to a true maltiness, and a smoothness. The ASR has a harshness that grates on me. It sits right under my sinuses and feels like it’s making the tasting equivalent of a screeching noise, like fingernails on a blackboard or a rake across cement. Thomas doesn’t even hint at harsh, at least until the swallow when he gets a little fresh and does a grab thing to my throat going down about a third of the time. But I forgive him that for what he makes up in flavor.

I’m amazed at how much more I like this than the ASR. I will give the ASR one more try on a lower temp setting before relegating it to black tea duty for chai.

Let’s end with a little of the ol’ modus ponens for those of you taking logic this semester: If Thomas is what a good Assam tastes like, then I like Assam. Thomas is what a good Assam tastes like. Therefore, I like Assam.

I have to leave it to others better versed than I am to verify the truth of the first premise, but my guess is yes. Now. What else tastes similar to Thomas? Given his limited edition status, I already have to start to worry about that.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

sophistre said that the Simple Leaf’s Amor shared some qualities with Thomas. Not a doppelganger, but…

http://steepster.com/teas/the-simple-leaf/7157-amor

__Morgana__

Ah yes, I did see that. Thanks for the reminder!

Miss Sweet

I always get jealous when I see tasting notes for this series!

Stephanie

Anti-malty? Did you mean anti-malty or ultra -malty?

__Morgana__

Anti-malty, as in not truly malty. To me it is a different flavor, because it’s not sweet. The closest I can come to describing it is like a mouth full of baker’s yeast as opposed to malted milk ball or beer.

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85
314 tasting notes

I brewed this super-strong and added lots of milk. It’s very delicious, of course. Perfect for a lazy Sunday morning.

As usual, Thomas can do no wrong!

But he’s almost gone! Just a few teaspoons left in the tin. Maybe Simple Leaf’s Mountain Malt can replace him?

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