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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 1717 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

85
176 tasting notes

I was given the opportunity to try this limited edition tea thanks to Takgoti’s generosity. For more information, see my tealog from yesterday.

I have high expectations for this one. The reviews here have all been positive, I love unflavored black tea, and I really need a swift kick you-know-where to help me along with studying for finals. I took this without milk or sugar; there’s no time for messing around today.

The tea smells rich. However, the taste is much lighter than I was expecting. I’d describe this as being medium-bodied at most. I’ve never wanted to describe a tea as “fluffy” before, but I can’t think of another word. It’s leaving my tongue slightly tingly. This is earthy and not necessarily sweet, but there’s a hint of something that my small vocabulary can’t describe. Auggy said bake-y. I think that would be the perfect description for this. Bake-y. This is a fascinating tea, really.

Thank you again, Takgoti!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Auggy

Hehe – yay bake-y! :)

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81
260 tasting notes

Thomas, we need to talk.

I like you. It’s just that…well, it’s not you. It’s me. I’ve been talking to your pal Jackee, see, and…I’m sorry. I think you knew this was coming, right?

Ok, but in all seriousness, the description of this tea [besides being clever and chuckle-worthy] contains a warning that I should have paid more attention to – do not oversteep this tea. And by oversteep, I don’t just mean let it sit there for too long, I also mean that if you have a tendency to put more tea in the cup and steep for shorter times like I do, DO NOT FORGET THAT YOU DO THIS.

Oversteeping this tea results in something not unlike a right hook to the uvula, and while I’m sure my face was HILARIOUS when I took a sip, it also scared me off from trying this again until today.

This tea is good – a little darker in taste with a bit more bitterness than the teas I tend to gravitate toward, but complex and something I would like to spend a little more time with to try to parse the flavors out of it. It’s kind of earthy, though not in the same way that pu-erh is, and for me it begins to hint at raisins once I’ve let it sit long enough.

Still, in a battle of dukes I’d have to give the first few rounds to Jackee Muntz thus far.

As an aside, now that I’ve had the privilege of peeking at the wondrous bounties that Andrews & Dunham has to offer, I desperately want them to bring back Series 1 so that I can get my hands on some tins.

Also, though not really related, while I’d like to be able to claim that their theme on this series conjures up images for me of something not ridiculous, I found myself going back to a website I haven’t been to in years.

http://homestarrunner.com/oldtimeyween.html

That’s right. The Homestar Runner. IT’S DOT COM!

LENA

Ah, the joys of Homestar Runner. It’s been awhile since I visited as well…but the visions of Trogdor burninating the countryside and the peasants will last forever.

Oh and tea…yeah…let me know if your second try is better. I’m not down with raisin tea.

takgoti

Trogdor was a man. Or maybe, he was a dragon man. Or maybe he was just a… dragon. But he was still TROGDOOOOOOR! My friends and I got so much leverage out of Trogdor alone, it’s a wonder I’m not sick of him now. But I still can’t get enough.

I’ll definitely be drinking a lot of Andrews & Dunham over the coming month[s], so I’ll keep you posted for sure. The Series is worth purchasing for Jackee Muntz alone, though, if you ask me.

And then Trogdor comes in the NIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!

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90
4391 tasting notes

I’m starting my day with Thomas Sampson today – and finishing the last of the sampling that Jillian so graciously shared with me. Thank you again Jillian!

This experience with Thomas is much like my first. Malty and brisk. Bold. A lot of gusto which I need today – my first born is graduating today.

Anyway, on with the show Thomas! We’ve got a lot to do today.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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90
50 tasting notes

By the power of Sampson, give me strength, Thomas!

…Erm, I mean, my order from A&D DAMN FINE TEA came in this week. Everyone and their mother has been ranting about these fine folks, and I’ve been hesitant to say a word all week because I’ve just been too busy sipping the tea. As I’ve been testing the others, I’m building up to best for last: Thomas Sampson versus Jackee Muntz!

First: Yummy whiff. Basic at first, and then I realized how many light, fluffy, and airy – almost salty (?) – scents I was picking up from the leaves alone, which does carry over into taste, I think. Accidentally may’ve over-brewed poor Thommy as I was cleaning out another mug, trapped in conversation with a friend, and my Teavana iPhone timer was started a wee bit late.

That being said, despite bitterness, Thomas has got a strong, rich, smooth body that I would quite happily relinquish my own to! In my mind, he’s a burly bloke who enjoys a cuppa every couple of hours. Something like a Monty Python lumberjack, but a tad more serious, because he knows how to bake proper biscuits to go with the tea. He comes home smelling like freshly baked bread, and knows how to satisfy a woman. Gentle softy on the inside; and what woman doesn’t fall for that every now and then?

More tasting thoughts to come, but first: who wants to start trading?

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Marie

Man oh man! I’m gonna have to take a cold shower after reading your post! Made my Sunday! ;)

JacquelineM

I am laughing (and jealous!!!)!! My Thomas has sure been getting around!!!

tease

Bwahaha, you both are fabulous, thanks! l’ll send Thomas your way next, Amy; you can have him Monday, Jacqueline? ;)

silvermage2000

I was wondering would you be interesting in trading or something for abit of either and or thomas sampson or jackee muntz?

tease

Absolutely, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to ship ‘til April 5th as I’m in NYC ‘til then! PM me and we can discuss details, I s’pose?

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74
1277 tasting notes

Goodmorning Steepsterites

In spite of receiving an ENORMOUS box from A C Perch’s yesterday, and I do mean humongously huge, I’m taking a step back to the selection Auggy sent me. Something for the morning, you know.

The aroma of this is not so raisin-y as I have come almost demand from an Assam to my tastes. There are traces of raisin but that’s really it. Instead it’s leaning much more towards that cardboard-y smell that have been discussed before. Can’t find any honey notes either.

This makes me sad. :( I wan’t this to be awesome because I’ve seen people say it is, but now I wonder if maybe it’s not my sort of awesome.

It’s very strong. Really something that scratches all the way down and for someone who likes their tea to be able to stand up straight without the aid of a cup, this would definitely be something to look at. For me it’s just a wee bit on the strong side, and I get a more overdone impression from it rather than something merely strong and full in flavour.

Still can’t find raisins in it. Still can’t find honey. Can find lots of cardboard and a whiff of a slightly acidic flavour, a bit akin to the lemony flavour that you find in coffee. I wish I had some milk because I think this is a tea that would really benefit from it.

It’s a good tea. But I’m glad it’s not my Perfect Assam. You know what with being unable to get it again and all.

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86
186 tasting notes

Wah! Steepster ate my review of this! So let’s start over again, and try to organize my thoughts… I’m going to have to remember to Ctrl+C my reviews before I click the submit button!

Anyway, the moral of the story is not to drink tea at 11:30 pm. After I had that Yellow Peach late last night, I was incredibly dizzy for hours afterwards. It was fairly awful. It’s sort of funny, because I was at a restaurant earlier in the day, and they had tea from Ito-En on the menu! There was genmai-matcha, matcha, shiso sencha, and some sort of flowering jasmine. I actually declined having the tea because I thought it’d be too late with the caffeine and all. Silly me then drinks a fully caffeinated cup a few hours later. I’m my own undoing.

So I woke up this morning a bit groggy from the antics of last night, and seeking something simple and easy to drink. Scanning takgoti’s box of wonderful tea, I pulled up this one. Thomas Sampson, aka Assam tea from Damn Fine Tea! Yay! I’ve been craving this one a bit since I had Harney’s Assam Golden Tips. I like the strength of Assams, and I figured this one would be no different.

The dry leaves smell like black tea, with a slight hint of cocoa and a bit more depth than something like a Ceylon. It took me forever this morning to try and rid the plastic of my IngenuiTEA of the Yellow Peach smell, but I finally succeeded, and steeped this baby up. The water immediately began to darken, and the tea swirled around as it opened. The leaves aren’t the largest, but they do open a fair amount!

On the pour, I was a bit surprised at how dark this was. The smell coming off of the infusion is rich and deep, with some cocoa notes, and a bit of a malty-like smell. On the first sip… mmm, this is pure Assam. If you don’t like Assam, you won’t like this, but if you do… I’m finding it really hard to come up with concrete things about this tea, concrete tasting notes. Everything in my head is very abstract and vague, as Assam sort of just tastes like itself. But I’ll try, anyway.

There’s a definite pronounced maltiness, especially when the tea is piping hot. It’s not as smooth as the aforementioned Harney Assam, but it has a lovely kick. Almost beer-like. Not really bitter, but more full-bodied, I’d think. This gives way to a nice sweetness as the cup cools down. There’s also this baked quality that I can’t really wrap my head around, but I’m going to try.

It’s sort of like when you dip a rather plain biscotti (not double-chocolate hazelnut or anything like that) into a cup of espresso for a long time, and then eat it. You can still taste the baked qualities of the biscotti, but the flavors have been overwhelmed by the bitterness of the espresso, so the biscotti itself doesn’t actually taste like a biscotti, but rather, like a general baked good taste. Not sweet, but more of something out of an oven with flour. I can’t describe it really, and it’s not there the entire time for me, but it does pop up. I’m thinking that this is what Auggy is referring to when she mentions her mistake cookies.

But anyway, this is a pretty solid black tea. Thomas Sampson doesn’t knock my socks off or wow me or make me want to have his babies. But it’s pretty kickass and yummy for a morning pick-me-up!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75
411 tasting notes

So, I’ve found a good way to help go through all the various tea samples and teas I’m not so wild about in my cupboard. I’ve managed to convince my hubby that iced tea from a jar is crap, and he needs to brew his own.

This mostly works. Unfortunately, he likes the black teas, and will go through teas I much more quickly than I expect him to. (And doesn’t always just stick to the teas I really don’t like!)

He really, really liked this tea as an iced tea.

Alas, Thomas, I hardly knew ye. However, the husband said you were a good man.

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76
1592 tasting notes

This is a nice, hearty black tea that is just perfect for the morning! It has a strong taste and scent to it. It goes great with milk and sugar. I love that it has a smokey, toasty taste to it which becomes more like a chocolate taste. The smokey and toasty flavors are not very strong and are only there initially. good tea overall! I wish I could have bought this before they ran out. I received this in a swap :)

Yogini Undefined

I like the sound of this! Added to my shopping list :)

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81
61 tasting notes

So, parents are not conducive to getting anything done. I had some wonderful plans to visit the Tealux in Providence, try at least three teas and maybe buy a tin if I finished my work. I didn’t get back till like now (10PM). So this is my first cup of the day, which makes me terribly sad, and now I have to catch up on what everyone else is drinking. Also, day one with out my little buddy, so I needed some serious comfort tea with enough of a kick to get me to do my work.
I really like the tannic taste in this, its a good bitter especially with that touch of sweetness. It brewed to a rich brown-amber color and smells so distinctly of smoke and sweet hay. I’m feeling like its fine cigar but of the tea world, and therefore infinitely better. Its a mull and think deep thoughts tea. I’m having a hard time placing all the flavors, so I’ve settled for metaphors (Or similes, I don’t do that whole English thing to well).
While Jackee has my heart, I feel Thomas gets my thoughts.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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91
59 tasting notes

Last morning, I was in the kitchen and it hit me: ThomAS SAMpson. Assam! What a clever pun. Looks like Auggy has also figured that out.

TS is an excellent, but somewhat standard, Assam. I have been spoiled with all the superb teas I’ve found via Steepster, so don’t take my not being floored as anything negative. I’d liken it to The Simple Leaf’s Amor – surprisingly free of harshness with a rich flavor and pleasant aroma. There is a respectable amount of maltiness – not as much as TSL’s Mountain Malt, but it is significant.

I would agree with other reviewers that it has a “bake-y” smell – the maltiness is combining with some other flavor element in the tea to make this special bakey essence. Thus far I notice it more in the dry leaves than the actual brewed tea, but I’m still fiddling with the parameters. If I can figure that out, then I’ll be very sad when my tiny tin of this is empty.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
JacquelineM

and Jac*kee Mun*tz Keemun! Andrews and Dunham = most clever!

Harfatum

They are! They really know how to package stuff. The extra postcardy things that came with the tea were a very nice touch too!

teabird

I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed that! Very cute. The more I read about Andrews & Dunham (and drink their teas!), the more I like them.

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