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Bitter, Dark Wood, Dried Fruit, Malt, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Chocolate, Cocoa, Nutty, Baked Bread, Floral, Honey, Raisins, Caramel, Fruity, Sweet Potatoes, Wood, Earth, Flowers, Grapes, Orchids, Apricot, Cream
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Edit tea info Last updated by donkeytiara
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Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 10 oz / 289 ml

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56 Tasting Notes View all

From Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

We’ve noticed spring is struggling to get off the ground this year in our little corner of the USA. March came in like a lion but its fur got stuck to the permafrost so the lion continues to sit outside our door, calmly licking its paws and giving us the stare down. Fine. We’ll stare right back. Should be no problem as long as our supply of this great Keemun holds out. Good thing we have 150 2.5 ounce tins of the… Wait. We only have 150 tins? Whose idea was that?

Despite a strong desire to keep all these tins of Spring Keemun for ourselves, we offer them to you. This is a spring crop of Keemun Xiang Luo (Fragrant Spirals), so while this tea has all the usual, unmistakable tawny richness of Keemun, it is more delicate than you might expect. Lion and lamb, all at once. The leaves are so beautiful — elegant, dark, and shiny — it’s almost a shame to pour water on them! When you do, make sure the water is boiling hot and allow it to steep for at least 5 minutes. Or longer. This is a very patient tea.

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.

56 Tasting Notes

1324 tasting notes

Queued post, written May 28th 2014

The first cup of tea after having descaled the kettle is always a bit dodgy. Not taste-wise, mind. But oh-gosh-have-I-poisoned-myself-now?-wise. I’m always a very thorough rinser after that process, but even so.

I’m hazarding a cup, though. This is actually a resteep that I’m writing about here, since the first steep of these leaves that Auggy shared with me recently was consumed as part of a courage-gathering process before having to ring our former landlord to ask where the rest of our deposit had got to. I hate talking on the phone even when it’s about pleasant things and avoid it whenever possible, so you can probably imagine the amount of courage-gathering is necessary before ringing someone to quibble. So, yeah. Tea? Lovely, but didn’t pay attention.

So the second steep smells relatively grainy and quite malty. I do actually remember that I thought ‘malty and honey’ with the first steep. I’m not getting anything in the way of floral and/or smoky notes though.

The flavour is quite grainy, though, and VERY floral. It really lives up to the ‘spring’ part of the name. It’s like drinking a flowershop. When it cools down the flowers calm down a bit too, becoming a bit less overwhelming, but it’s still not the sort of keemun that I like best. I prefer them with a rougher, more smoky note.

This might, however, have something to do with it being the second steep. I really didn’t pay attention to the first one at all. I will do so next time I have this and add to the post.

If I remember. Also, no unforeseen poisonings of self, so I think the kettle is safe. The lid is still wonky, though.

Additional notes at the time of posting
I can report that the deposit issue has still not been sorted. We have been very very patient, but enough is enough. At some point during the next week we shall be contacting our solicitor.

In happier news, Husband worked out why the kettle lid had gone wonky and repaired it good as new.


I hope you get the deposit issue sorted out soon. That’s been a LONG TIME. And yay for un-wonkying the kettle!!

Holly Faye

I’d just like to say that I understand your dislike of talking on the phone. I’m much better than I used to be because I get forced to do quasi-cold calls for work, but I still make every excuse I can to avoid them!

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2379 tasting notes

This is a very smooth tea up until the very end of the sip where it is just a touch dry. Throughout the sip, it is sweet and malty and smooth and delicious. I don’t know if I would have wanted a whole tin but I am very grateful to Cavocorax for the generous sample that will allow me another cup or so of this lovely tea. Thank you Cavo!!

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1805 tasting notes

MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #1
I’m very excited to have MzPriss’ unflavored tea box make a stop at the house! This is like the classy, no nonsense, fancy restaurant of tea boxes… some of the best of the best are in this one. This is what tea boxes are for: sampling a ton of amazing teas. No offense to the other fun tea boxes (including the one I started!) So thank you to MzPriss, the other participants, and Single Origin Teas for adding a few teas to the box!

This is the first I went with. The leaves look oddly enough like Verdant’s Laoshan black. The flavor seems to be similar, but it has more tanginess rather than the chocolate & caramel that is supposedly in Laoshan Black, but is something I haven’t found too much. I wouldn’t say that this tastes like what I would imagine a keemun should be, no smokiness. But it is an interesting flavor. Not a bad cup, but not a keemun I would choose to stock. It’s a lighter brew, which I think is my problem with Laoshan. The steep suggestion is fairly long too… I know that over three minutes ruins Laoshan. Here I go comparing a tea to Laoshan again. Sheesh. I will never say no to trying any tea though! :D
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 5 min
Steep #2 // half a mug // just boiled // 5 min

Cameron B.

An unflavored traveling tea box sounds amazing! Hopefully another of those starts sometime soon so I can take part. :) And I really liked the non-smoky Keemun I had earlier today!


It doesn’t taste at all like Keemun to me either Tea Sipper – it puzzles me. And I’m so glad you love the box – I wanted it be a not huge but very classy and mighty box and I think we’ve accomplished that :)


VERY classy and mighty!

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239 tasting notes

So, although I haven’t been on steepster much the past few weeks, I fortunately happened to have the time and focus to check on the day it was announced that A&D were having free shipping to Canada – yay! So I decided to try a couple thing I have been wanting; this being one of them.

I made a cup of this shortly after my package arrived, and was quite pleased with this tasty keemun. Earthy, floral and fruity, with perhaps the lightest hint of smoke. Delicious and flavourful!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec



Can’t wait till mine gets here :)


:) Shipping was surprisingly quick!!


Nice! Mine should be here soon then. :)


It will probably be there tomorrow! I ordered on the 1st, it shipped on the 2nd, and then arrived yesterday. :)


It’s very good and different from other Keemuns I tried( not that I tried many)


I went back to my notes. You should try it @ 5 min. If doesn’t get bitter or astringent


I will try longer next time. It might have been more like 3 minutes this cup as sometimes I don’t pay attention.. :)


If you try longer steep can you tell me if you noticed this tea gets slightly salty? It really bugs me that nobody mentioned it in their tastings. Am I the only one who got it ?


I remember reading that note about it being salty! I’ll try and have some tomorrow with a longer steep.

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845 tasting notes

This tea is beautiful. It smells nicely sweet and slightly smokey. Smells delicious. The dry tea leaves are small and curly and uniform. It actually hurts to take the first scoop out of the tin because it feels like I am crushing the leaves. Gives a new meaning to agony of the leaves :)

The tea brews up really nice, and also really strong. It agains have an excellent balance of sweet and slightly smokey keemun. It is very bold and malty. Just a slight dryness in the aftertaste but it is not astringent or bitter.

For some reason, I do not associate keemun with spring. This keemun is very fresh but the boldness and maltiness reminds me more of a late fall or winter. But I don’t care, it is delicious.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

yeah keemun = fall/winter for me


Don’t they call this one spring because it is a spring harvest? Man I really love this one…


Stephanie – yes..but it’s still got a giant spring on it ahha


True! :)


Oh man, I hate the feeling of crushing leaves when scooping!

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254 tasting notes

I have been enjoying this tea predominantly as a morning drink; although I’ve tried it for afternoons, it doesn’t feel right to drink any time after 11:30 AM.

The dry leaves are beautifully curled and richly dark, impeccably arranged in its relatively tiny tin. The presentation alone makes purchasing this tea worth it. The dry scent gives little; more subtle fresh earthy notes, appropriate as a spring crop.

Steeping brings out it’s very rich colors and aromas, lessening the subtle earthy tones for a more chocolate body with a hint of smoke beneath the surface. There is a surprising sweetness to it, which I did not initially detect until taking the aromas in a second and third time, as well as a light fruitiness.

The liquor, although very deeply red/copper, gives a light caramel aroma and nothing else. The flavor though, is very smooth and very fruity with a thick cocoa body. There is a slight astringency, but no bitterness.

As far as malty teas go, this beautiful tea may be the best I’ve had so far. Expectedly thick, but surprisingly subtle and delicate.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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197 tasting notes

From the Unflavored TTB.

I’m catching up on reviews since I’ve had trouble linking to steepster the last few days. The nose is full of rich chocolate, with a touch of smoke underneath. The taste is rich and chocolaty, mixed with a leafy flavor. Long, luscious finish. I’m a big fan of Keemun and this is just the kind of tea I love. As I got further into the cup, the finish turned slightly bitter. Still good, but perhaps a bit short of great. 2nd steep good but simpler. 3rd weak. A damn fine tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

This one is great! I’m a big fan of all the Damn Fine teas I’ve tried!

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224 tasting notes

Swap from Cavocorax.
Another tea I couldn’t resist trying right now. Lol.
The leaves are so cute. Curly and bunchy looking. No scent that I could figure but that’s due to the bag and me not feeling like dumping this into a bowl to sniff it.
1.5tsp/12oz @ 210*/5min – I was afraid that brewing it so long would kill it since I’ve never really let first brews go this long (too many killed cups this way), but that’s what Cavo put as a recommendation on the package, so I figure I might as well try it. Lol.
Brewed this has a fruity, smoky, ‘something’ sort of smell. I’m not really sure what that ‘something’ is honestly. It’s not woody, or spicy, or earthy, or malty. It’s just…rrgh. Hard to describe, or rather I don’t know the right word. Lol.
Taste wise this is smooth and slightly fruity and just a hint smokey. And slightly sweet, which is a surprise. It’s not a sugar sort of sweet. Just a nice subtle gentle sort of sweet. I could totally drink this without having to add any sugar or anything.
Also very very little astringency, almost not enough to mention, but I figure I should since it is (vaguely) there.
It’s very good. Barring finding another (better) keemun I’d totally want to keep this in my cupboard. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive. /flops/ XD

Edit: Did a second steep 6min @ 210* – Not as good as the first. Kinda weak and has that woody/sharp sort of taste that I associate with leaves that have already given their best. It’s drinkable, but I’m still probly gonna dump it in favor of one of the other teas I set out to drink today. Lol.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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1048 tasting notes

(From the Unflavored Traveling Tea Box)

I actually had this one last night but was too tired to type up my tasting note.

If this tea is anything, it’s smooth. It is also fairly sweet. Lots of fruity notes as well as some caramel and a hint of cocoa. Because the smokey notes are dialed back so much I had to remind myself that this is a Keemun. It’s very different from what I’m used to, but sometimes different can be a good thing.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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152 tasting notes

(From the UTTB.)

I don’t have any experience with Keemuns so I don’t have a point of reference for this one. It’s assertive on the front end, on the lighter side of malty, and it has a slight earthy quality about it. Light/medium bodied and smooth. There are some fruity floral undertones that are subtle, affecting the way the tea reads as a color to me. Bright reddish orange maybe? Much like the color of the tea liquid. It’s drying in a pleasant way that makes my mouth water. A touch of smoke and wood. There’s a thick, caramel sweet potato aftertaste that balances the other flavors nicely. The flavor is thick but the texture is not. It still maintains a bright cheerfulness. It’s quite nice.

New goal: find the perfect Keemun for me!
Gosh I need more breakfast teas. My cupboard is severely lacking. ;)

Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Wood


I really like this one too :)


i must be crazy because no one mentions saltiness of this tea like in aftertaste

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