580 Tasting Notes


1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C. Second infusion. Steeped 4 minutes 15 seconds.

I want some black tea, but I have these glorious leaves left over from last night. One does not simply steep an oolong a single time.

Floral in scent — wildflowers and grass. The taste is more mineral on the second infusion, but also stronger on the florals and cream, especially in the finish. Some stonefruit. This tieguanyin has been lightly roasted, just enough to bring out some depth. Liquor is pale gold.

A stunning tieguanyin.

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1.25 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped four minutes.

I am drinking this so quickly it hasn’t got time to cool off.

An excellent blend, withheft, body, notes of smoke and cream, and some slight astengency and mineral in the finish. Great caffeine punch, too. I love this blend, and I always order more than one tin at a time, because when I’ve got it, this stuff doesn’t last long.

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1.5 tsp for 250mL tea @100C, steeped 3 minutes.

Oooh, this is much better today. I’m getting some Muscat notes, too, some pleasant astrigency. The shorter steep time makes a big difference.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @ 100C, steeped four minutes.


Been a while since i had any Double Knit. This excellent blend gives heft and malt with some subtle cream and smoke. A brilliant blend. One of my favourites.


My first A&D order arrived yesterday evening. Your note reminded me to put DKB at the front of today’s tea queue (right after breakfast). Thanks!

Michelle Butler Hallett

I had just gotten mine, that lovely make your own 3-pack deal they’re offering. Two Double Knit and one Red-Tailed Hawk to try. Love Damn Fine.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes.

Bright and sparkly up front. I was expecting more of a Nepal-Darjeeling sort of taste profile, but this deepens into something stronger and a bit maltier. I’m guessing this has a lot of Nilgiri in it. I notice the steeping suggestion is three minutes; my four minutes have brought out a bitterness I am not enjoying. Next time, I’ll follow the instrictionsd.

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1 pyramid sachet for 300mL water @100C, steeped five minutes, drunk bare.

I got this as a sample with my Harney & Sons order some months ago and just found it while tidying my tea cupboard.

A juicy Assam, but light in body: no heft, and not very much malt. I thought the liquor looked pale as it steeped, so I went five minutes, which might have been a mistake: the tea is bitter. It’s okay. It’s not an Assam I’d go out of my way to order, though.

Flavors: Malt, Peat Moss

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped six minutes and fifteen seconds.

Honey, bread, roses, earth. No astringency. A soft and downy mouthfeel from those gorgeous leaves. Mineral sparkle on the finish. I love this tea.

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2tsp (fluffy tea, long leaves, hard to measure) for 300mL water @ 95C, steeped four minutes.

I got some of the early 2014 version of Imperial Breakfast (I think), which I notice is already sold out.

A bit lighter than last year, with the pu-erh perhaps less potent — fine with me. The white tea gets to dance, and the Yunnan gives a clean depth. I am learning to appreciate the pu-erh in this gorgeous blend. Nice caffeine lift, too.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Honey, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Peat Moss

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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I can’t “like” anyone’s tea notes. This is irritating me. Whatever browser I use, I can’t “like” anything. GAH.

Back to tea …

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C, rinsed, steeped 3 minutes, then steeped 4 minutes.

Both infusions gave me an exquisite tieguanyin, with sharp florals, a touch of cream, faint vegetal notes, even, I thought, some faint and light musk, a light toastiness that just coaxes everything else out a little more, and so much oolong beauty that I have trouble writing about it. This tieguanyun needs, and will reward, your full attention.

Flavors: Cream, Flowers, Grass, Honeydew, Mineral, Orchids

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

I can like, but the heart is tiny and it doesn’t stay red. I sent them an email a little while ago begging them to have a look at it, because non-stick likes are really frustrating me. I heard of someone else who couldn’t like anything either, but I don’t know what they did to fix it.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I’ve been corresponding with Steepster on this and other issues, including recurrent e-mails asking me to finish a purchase I never started. It all seemed to start when I asked to be removed from the Steepster Select mailing list, as, being in Canada, I can’t take advantage of Steepster Select (they ship only to US addresses). Steepster can give me no clear answer on the “like” thing, nor on why I keep getting the “finish your purchase” notes. It’s such a small problem, in the scheme of things, but it’s all irritating.

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1.5 tsp (more or less, fluffy leaf) for 300mL water @100C, steeped 5 minutes. Second infusion.

These rich leaves give up a second 5-minute steep that is very like the first — perhaps not so downy, and a bit more mineral. Not only an excellent tea but an excellent value. Damn Fine does it again.

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I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Floral oolong and complex black teas are my favourites.


St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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