Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

70

Managed to cram in a mug of this before heading off for work today.

I’ll be honest, the reason I was drawn to this tea really has little to do with the tea itself at all; I just think the art on the tin is GORGEOUS. A&D basically always nails their tin art, but this might just be my favourite tin they’ve ever produced…

The tea itself is nice though; I’ve definitely had lots of Chinese green tea and compared to Japanese greens I far prefer the former. I’m not 100% sure how much of those Chinese greens have actually come from Yunnan though? I’m guessing not a whole lot. So, that does make this farily interesting as an actual tea too. My experience with it this morning was that I found it to be surprisingly full bodied with a very well defined vegetal green bean/edamame body quality and very faint nutty undertones and hints of smoke. Nor sure if I’d call it “otherworldly” but it was pleasant enough for a green tea.

Wouldn’t go out of my way to drink this (I prefer a much lighter, sweeter green profile) but there’s totally nothing wrong with it either.

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75

TTB #4

This was a surprise! The go-to flavor for holiday blends seems to be spiced orange. This one definitely has some spice to it, but no citrus that I could detect. Instead, lots of malty black tea flavor and a bit of smokiness which blended nicely with the spice blend. A bit overpowering on its own, but quite delightful with a splash of milk!

Flavors: Clove, Malt, Nutmeg, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

TTB #3

I enjoyed this one! The flavor is surprisingly light for an Assam: sweet and smooth and fruity with just a touch of astringency. If I didn’t already have so many good straight black teas in my cupboard at the moment, I probably would have held on to this one. Hopefully it will find a good home with someone else as the box continues on its way!

Flavors: Astringent, Fruity, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I’m not sure which of the two assams by this company is the one that I’m sampling from a traveling tea box, so I’m taking a guess that it is this one based on description. It’s an assam. It makes for an ok cup with some cream, but really isn’t seeming that fantastic. I’m keeping in mind that I have no idea the age of this tea… it could be quite old for all I know, but my impression is “eh”.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This is nice. Having it with a little cream. It’s rich in flavor, light on the malt, has a hint of smoke and seems like a pretty solid tea. It doesn’t have anything that stands out to me in particular, but strikes me as a nice cup in the morning.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70

hmm, I’m not sure what all the hype is about. I liked the smooth and malty flavours/mouthfeel here, but it isn’t the best Assam I’ve had. It was good, but lacked the
undertones of baked bread and overwhelming creaminess that I associate with a really good Assam.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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70

Thanks to the Travelling Tea Box I recieved this evening, I will be trying a lot of caffeinated teas today.

LPT: This makes the best latte ever using vanilla soy milk. Try it, it’s REALLY creamy.

So this is an interesting blend of Yunnan black tea and Indian black tea. I found it had a great malty flavour and tasted a lot like a Christmas blend. Rich, notes of spices (clove), something fruity, and a slight sweetness.

Flavors: Clove, Fruity, Malt, Spices

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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77

Love, love, love the Lovecraftian horror sort of marketing spin on this one; Damn Fine tea always nails their marketing, and the imagery on their tins is exquisite in and of itself. I’ll be honest, the tea sounded pretty good to me but the final straw in deciding to get it was 100% that tin…

I’ll try this Western and Gong Fu before deciding how I’ll be consuming the bulk of this tin – but I’m starting Western for my tasting because it’s just far more convenient for me/I can do it at work. It’s pretty good – damn smooth, that’s for sure. Flavour notes are a solid mix of malt, honey, baked bread, cocoa, and sweet potato with touches of woody/earthy undertone. Emphasis on the baked bread aspects, though! Really rich, thick velvety mouthfeel and good lingering presence of sweetness in the finish.

I’m certainly feeling it – and it makes me very excited to Gong Fu potential. Even if that doesn’t go well, though, I think this will make a very nice casual/daily drinker that still had well defined flavour/profile and doesn’t need any additives.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE5arf6PQCo&index=2&list=WL

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd79ab4F8A1/?taken-by=ros_strange

tperez

Oh my gosh, I almost want that tea just for the name/tin!

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1

Brewed especially strong for a milk tea preparation…excessively strong – perfumed with the oils sitting upon the tongue…will use it for baking/cooking purposes…

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 10 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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85

Delicious Yunnan black concoction with perhaps a bit of the Darjeeling peeking through. The Ceylon in this cup totally hid behind the Yunnan, or perhaps that’s all the dry leaf my teaspoon picked up. Or maybe my travel mug tampered with things as I was on the go all day. Ok, ok, it was only four hours but it felt like all day. Damn delicious.

Thank you for the share, Sil, and for giving me enough in the sample to have more of this at home in a proper cup or at least not covered up in a thermos-like container: like the context nature intended tea to be drunk in. Preferably wearing flannel pyjamas.

And hurray that the notice feature appears to be fixed! Yay! Thank you, Jason! We appreciate you.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

I reached for this as tea of the morning after a hectic day of running. Thankfully, my health has been accommodating the past few days for which I am so grateful. Hectic days are not usually within my capacity, so truly truly truly yay!

The first sip of this tea hits you with a kapow, followed up with the bready smoothness. Nice malty scent rises from my cup as I inhale the deliciousness. Delightful.

Thank you for the sample, Sil.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Black Currant, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

Glad you get to try these :)

Evol Ving Ness

You and me both!

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100

GCTTB6

Mmm, yeah. I started my day with this punchy tea. Malt with all capitals, but also a raisin or prune sweetness and intensity. A slight bit of dryness post-sip but a bit of honey too. I am very much enjoying this cup of goodness. It seems to be waking up cells that have been inert for a long while. Happily, I gave this one a brief steep, like two minutes. I suspect more steeping would not augur well. That said, I am adding this one to my shopping list because wow: damn fine tea.

I drank a charcoal roast oolong the other day and enjoyed it with chocolate. I am prolonging this ritual here. Chocolate and tea can be an awesome thing.

Thank you, Sil, for adding this one to the box.

Flavors: Malt, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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73

GCTTB

My morning tea and it is quite nice. Smooth and fruity. Slightly citrusy and just a bit pithy. I don’t know how often I would personally reach for this but it is a nice cuppa. Thank you Sil for adding it to the box.

Evol Ving Ness

I like how you are thanking people individually for adding things to the box. How thoughtful. And adorable too.

VariaTEA

Hahaha well thank you. If I know where it came from I figure why not thank that person for sharing.

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Thanks for deleting my note, Steepster. That was really awesome of you. Let’s see if I can recount what I was saying.

Didn’t drink any green this morning and rhinkle came in earlier than usual, so we opted for hong for our morning tea session together. I don’t usually feel well if I try drinking them in the same day.

This was a single 7g sample that I got from someone—I no longer remember who it was—and tossed it all into the gaiwan. First steep smelled immediately of cocoa and yielded a nice, deep red liquor. The taste was of rich, earthy cocoa with just a bit of a tannic bite and the slightest bit of acidity.

The flavor deepens in the second steep, and letting it cool results in a much smoother flavor and texture, almost as if it has a creaminess. I get hints of smoke, as well. Steeped and sipped on this one on and off over a few hours. It was enjoyable.

Flavors: Cocoa, Creamy, Smoke, Tannic

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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I’ve had this sitting in my cupboard for a while. Been occupied with drinking pu’er and oolong as of late, so my small collection of black teas has been somewhat sadly neglected.

Anyway, had a cup of this with breakfast a few days back. Didn’t take any detailed tasting notes but the smoke note has faded from what I remember. Sweet, smooth. Definitely need to finish this one up soon though, it’s lost a fair amount of its original flavour.

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71

There was some malt, some black flavor. It was certainly better than the Drunk on Red, for which I was grateful, but there wasn’t much special about it.

The blend was very sticky, in that it contained a lot of sticks.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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OMG….. this tea wasn’t even in my cupboard. That means I haven’t updated it in forever. Shouldn’t really be surprised, the last tasting note I wrote was when I was in San Francisco -sorry Steepster I’ve been ignoring you.

This isn’t my favourite A&D blend but it’s nice. It’s a little too light and bright for me. Normally prefer something a little darker and smoother. Not getting much of the smoke that others are mentioning. I do think there is some fruity, grape something in here. For my tastes this is good not great.

Sil

Heh we miss you lady!

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85

Finally digging into my Andrews & Dunham stash. Again, trying to anti-gollum my teas. It pairs well with the “french toast” overnight oats I’m having for breakfast. I’ve never had overnight oats before…and I think I like it? Like oatmeal, I struggle with the texture though it tasted good. The tea seems perkier with the sweetness that was left in my mouth from the oats (there’s banana, vanilla, maple syrup, and cinnamon in it). I look forward to several more steeps. NE

MrQuackers

Oveenight oats are the best. You can toss in raisins or dried fruit too of you like. There’s always the microwave if you want warm cereal.

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86

Sweet and malty with good mouthfeel.

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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66

Group buy with Tea Tiff.

This is a very smooth and somewhat smokey black tea, with a bit of sweetness showing up as it cools. I don’t think I care for the smoke here. I like it better than Octoberfest, but not as well as Tiger Assam, or Red-Tailed Hawk

Flavors: Smoke, Sweet, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Group buy with Tea Tiff.

This is a very smooth black tea. It mostly tastes like wood with a hint of sweet potato to me. It’s good, but not as good as Red-Tailed Hawk.

Flavors: Smooth, Sweet Potatoes, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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