Tea type
Black Tea
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Apricot, Malt, Baked Bread
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Edit tea info Last updated by Tea Pet
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 6 g 11 oz / 313 ml

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45 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I started the month of April with 95 black teas on my shelves. 26 of those are in various boxes from various friends. The other 69 are actually teas in my collection. (These numbers don’t...” Read full tasting note
    terri-harplady 3115 tasting notes
  • “Well this was a surprise. I don’t drink many teas from India. They are often bitter, harsh, and burn in my stomach like crazy. This one though… the wet leaf smells incredible. The...” Read full tasting note
    ks6 1502 tasting notes
  • “It’s here, it’s here, it’s here, IT’S HERE. It’s finally here! I was so excited for this blend. It was a great Christmas gift (to myself,...” Read full tasting note
    Lala1 829 tasting notes
  • “Ah, pretty much exactly what I was expecting. This is quite bright and relatively astringent, tastes very much like an Indian blend but there’s no bitterness, that aspect is very smooth, and...” Read full tasting note
    ifjuly 613 tasting notes

From Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Fun fact: The shrill cry you hear when you see a bird of prey onscreen is almost always that of a Red-Tailed Hawk. It is this cry that, when heard while alone and in the wilderness, reminds you that you are indeed alone and in the wilderness. So brew up this blend of bright, delicious teas from the mountains of India and soar to new heights of flavor.

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.

45 Tasting Notes

1317 tasting notes

Queued post, written May 17th 2014

Auggy shared this with me in the yearly care package. It’s not yearly by design, btw. That’s just how long it happens to take collecting good things. The care package is largely about sharing really good and/or interesting things. Mine to her is nearly ready I think.

This year, due to a number of things, the care package is a little different because I suspect it contains things that were ‘cleaned out’ because she can no longer have them. There are certainly a couple of head-scratchers in here. :)

Anyway, there is also some really good stuff, this one included. Auggy pretty much keeps me in A&D as she has shared samples of most of it with me. I can purchase this myself, the shipping being below my limit, but the times I’ve done it it has been a bit of a hassle because their site wouldn’t accept my foreign address, so I had to go the email and paypal route. It’s possible, obviously, I did it with Joseph Wesley recently and I did it with Shang Tea a few years ago as well, but it feels like such a hassle. Good thing I’ve got Auggy to show me what I would otherwise be missing then.

I had to choose a tea for the morning and I couldn’t remember what was in this one, but it was A&D and so therefore couldn’t be completely off the mark.

It smells… red. That’s all I can really say about it. It smells red, and I can’t think of any other words. Perhaps a bit wood-y? Maybe with a smidge of honey? I’m not certain at all. It just smells red. Hello synesthesia! Haven’t seen you around in a while. Why is it only sometimes? Why is it only certain smells and flavours? You’d think it would be all the time, wouldn’t you? Perhaps I haven’t actually got it really, and the colour/shape/gender thing is something that just steps in to hide the fact that my imagination is failing me?

I think there’s Darjeeling in this. Or a high grown Ceylon. It tastes strongly Darj-y with the floralness and the grass and the slightly sour aftertaste. The latter there is tempered by whatever else is in there. Something stronger and maltier. Maybe Assam and/or Keemun. It’s not very grainy so I’m leaning more towards Assam. I can even catch a bit of cardboard-y notes in it as well. That’s usually an Assam tell-tale. I just really think there’s a third thing in here as well. The more I think about it the less I think it’s Keemun. I think we’re in Ceylon territory here. A mid- or low-grown one. Unfortunately when people add Ceylon tea to something, though, they don’t bother stating which area it’s from. I wish they would. Just look at all my Project Ceylon posts, the differences are HUGE between high-, mid- and low-grown and Sri Lanka produces tea at all three altitude ranges. Anyway, Darj, Assam and Ceylon is my guess.

I should have liked it better without the Darjeeling, but that’s hardly news. I find it quite tolerable in this blend, though, because the other teas mute the things I dislike about Darjeeling somewhat. It’s a bit like the Afternoon Blend from Jeeves and Jericho, which I recall as being very similar to this one. I can happily drink a tin, but then I don’t need to buy another afterwards.

We got two steeps out of this one, the second steep being just as strong as the first one. That’s unusual for Indian/Ceylon teas in my experience.


This tea grew on me. I wasn’t impressed at first, but I like it a lot now


I have a tin, but it hasn’t made much of an impression on me yet. I feel like I should brew some up now because we just saw a hawk sitting on our neighbor’s back fence, but I’m still full from lunch. I’ll probably brew up a few pots here and if it doesn’t talk to me much, I’ll take it into work and drink it there. That’s the fate of all of my lesser loved teas in any quantity.

Terri HarpLady

Skulleigh, that sounds like a great reason to brew the tea! :)
This tea is not my favorite of the A & D collection, & not a tea I can drink on an empty stomach because of it’s brightness & astringency, but for people who like ceylon & darjeeling teas, I’m sure it’s loverly, & I’m thinking it might make a good cold tea.


Oh yeah, it does make a good cold tea – I forgot I iced some leftover tea I had of this a couple weeks ago, with lime juice in it (I was out of lemon) and it was really good.

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428 tasting notes

The tea smells fabulous with sweet potato,cocoa, the brighter tones of malt and the spicy tones of gardenia, sharper tasting sweet berries and a touch of honey.

The dry leaf is mostly chocolate brown broken leaves with scattered golden tips

Once brewed it yields a red toned broth

There is a light flavour at first that is slightly vegetal with the bitter tones of malt, but this quickly dissapears and you get the heavier tones of malt, cocoa, and gardenia, that then sweeten into fruit, honey and cocoa notes. As it cools sweet potato is present in the first notes as well as a citrus note, and a hint of floral. Allowed to cool further the fruit notes come to the forefront with the sweet potato and the berry notes are more distinct.

The tea resteeps quite well, with sweet potato, citrus and malt notes more apparent.

I brewed this tea at around 92°C for three minutes and there is a mild astringency and a cooling feeling at the top of the mouth. There seems to be more caffeine in this one than Tiger Assam as I feel it buzzing in my upper arms. I am quite enjoying this mix of floral spice, fruit, cocoa and bitter tones. I might actually prefer it to Tiger Assam.

Thanks Sil this was a perfect first cup for today!


i wasnt impressed at first time i tried a sample. im so glad i picked a tin on NYC Fest. The more i drink it, the more i fall in love with this tea.


I think it might be a tea that might be easy to over steep, it does have those bitter tones. Others have found it to be astringent thats why I used a cooler temperature. The very first sip when hot was kind of vegetal and thin but as it cools it transforms to something really pleasant.


Yyz, you always make me want to drink whatever you’re having, but it’s rarely in my cupboard :-(
This time, it is!! I recently received a huge sample from a generous tea friend, I think I will try it tomorrow morning…


You are right. 200-205F and no more than 3 min for me.


yay! glad you’re enjoying it. it’s nice to be able to try these before committing to a whole 4.4oz tin!


and yes… keep it a little lower on the temp side with this one

Sami Kelsh

Ooh, this sounds so nice! Man, I really need to invest in these tea people, for reals.


sami just poke me sometime…happy to send you samples to try before you place an order since shipping will be a nightmare

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314 tasting notes

I checked my cupboard at home last night, and I am indeed out of all major Earl Greys excepting some decaf teabags and a DavidsTea sample someone sent me. Woohoo! I needed something to take to work for an everyday stash, preferably a black, so I picked through my tins. I noticed this one had gotten pushed to the back, so I decided it was a good candidate for being my morning work tea.

I brewed up a cup this morning, and it’s doing its job quite nicely. No bitterness, just a good basic cuppa. It goes well with my breakfast of hard-boiled eggs and grapes. I am actually wishing for something malty this morning, but that is not this tea’s fault.

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218 tasting notes

Thank you, Cavocorax, for a super-generous sample of this!

The first sip of this clear and copper brew made me think of… Calming Manatee Meme ;D I have no idea why! It’s black tea, there shouldn’t be much calming about it. Yet, that’s how it is like. As if somebody patted you on the back and said “Everything will be just fine!”

It smells absolutely amazing. Chocolate, roses, bread are only some of the notes I detect. Each sip is like a different kind of cake – chocolate, banana, pecan. It is still more than just a straight black blend of a sweet character. There’s certain astringency and bitterness to it, pretty mild, and definitely not unpleasant, that gives it character. It could just become one of my favorite black blends, very obvious rival for H&S’ Queen Catherine.

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

Well now that just sounds amazing.


It’s good stuff! I am trying to squeeze another steep out of it right now.

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19 tasting notes

Definitely my favorite Damn Fine Tea. Smoother than the Double Knit Blend, but more flavorful and pronounced than the Tiger Assam. This has everything that I look for in a black tea: It’s malty, rich, slightly chocolately, and almost but not quite bitter. When someone says “black tea”, this is what first pops into my mind.

Works great as both a morning and afternoon tea, depending on the steep time. Love this one!

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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533 tasting notes

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C. Steeped 3 minutes 15 seconds.

When, oh when, will I learn to stick to a 3-minute steep? Those 15 extra seconds make a difference. If you really like astringency and pucker in your tea, steep over 3 minutes.

I’ve need a while to warm up to this one. It’s bright and cheerful, with some pucker — but with no bitterness, no acid. The body is medium to heavy with a creamy heft that I really like. Mouthfeel is smooth; I can see lots of down floating in the dark copper liquor through the walls of my glass mug. An assertive India black tea that will wake you up and remind you just why you started drinking tea in the first place.

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432 tasting notes

today was very stressful day. I went with my older DD to finally remove her braces. She was very nervous about the whole thing. She made up her mind that everything will be a disaster and painful experience. i made this tea in my timolino before we left the house. once we got to the office she was even more nervous and asked me if she can try my tea. She gulped the whole thing and said it was very good. i had few seeps and liked it as well. the tea calmed her down .
When we got back i resteep it. I rarely resteep Indian tea (A&D told me at NYC Coffee and tea Festival its a blend of Assam, Darjeeling and Ceylon) it was a very good flavorful resteep. Gorgeous brown burgundy color. this tea is very nice and Im happy that i bought the tin.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I love that your daughter was able to be calmed by your tea. :)
Hope that everything went well (if I was her, I would’ve been extremely nervous…and if my mom had tea to comfort me, it would’ve made me feel so much better.)

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1766 tasting notes

Twinkle, twinkle red-tailed hawk,
aren’t I happy that I’ve got
such a tasty bright new tea.
Oh darjeeling’s fine by me.
Twinkle, twinkle red-tailed hawk
yes I’m happy that I’ve got…


want miiiine!


Monday? Hopefully Monday. At least you should be able to fit those on your shelf. :D

Terri HarpLady

Sil, did I send you a sample of it?


you did terri! and now this + keemun + double knit + tiger will be here on monday

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6037 tasting notes

this tea makes me happy. unresponsive companies on FB does not. If you’re going to have a presence on social media…that means you need to have a presence/respond to ppl. ESPECIALLY if there are questions on your FB and then you come back to your page, make a post, update pics..that means ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THERE WHILE YOU’RE AT IT! sheesh….


Ha. I logged on to see if I could see your question, but I didn’t. Maybe I was looking at the wrong company. :P


haha there are a few companies out there that this drives me nuts over.


Well it’s a valid complaint. You’re either there, or you’re not. And if you’re not,you’re actually making your company look worse than the advertising helps…

Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Hi Sil! What was your question? I can’t seem to find it in our Facebook Machine. I’m over 40 so that might be the issue. ; )


haha sorry for the confusion (damn fine tea) you guys have been awesome….i was just mindlessly ranting about other companies :)

Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Whew! I was going to go buy a new computer. “The Facebook in this one is broken.” ; )


hahaha i’m super excited about the new keemun. i think i have 4-5 tins i want to buy asap!


Me too! Too bad you guys weren’t in Canada!
(I had to laugh at the facebook comment. You guys are great.)


oh for a free shipping promo to canada ‘cause we’re awesome haha

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624 tasting notes

This smells like it should pack quite a bite, but it is surprisingly smooth despite that. I’d say it’s medium smooth. A deep mahogany brew that is Assam-like but not that malty. I find myself wanting to try this alongside a Nilgiri. Thanks, boychik, for sharing!

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

maaaaaaan…so impatient for my samples of this from terri to get here


I love tin design.

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