2010 Damn Fine Holiday Blend

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Black Tea
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205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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135 Tasting Notes View all

From Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

We weren’t planning to release a Holiday Tea this year. Instead, we thought we’d spend the Holidays the usual way – drinking leftover Carävan and Earl Grey, racing RC helicopters, and ranking our favorite concept albums. But lo, our designers were possessed by the spirit of the season and knit us these incredibly “tasteful” labels. We couldn’t resist creating a custom blend of delicious tea to stuff into a cozy tin. Sure, they’re a little itchy and the fit is a bit old-fashioned, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

The Damn Fine Holiday Blend is a one-of-a-kind blend of black teas. No, it’s not flavored with anything but pure, delicious tea. It’s full-bodied and bright, tastes great with or without milk, and is especially awesome with cookies. Brew it for four minutes in boiling water.

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.

135 Tasting Notes

635 tasting notes


Thanks to LiberTEAS for generously sharing this one with me. It’s been in my cupboard for a loooooooong time. I held on to it because I couldn’t bear parting with it. But what’s the use of tea if you don’t drink it? I’m super sad to see this one go finally. :( See my other note.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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243 tasting notes

Instead of my original plan of just dusting over why I have not posted in so long, let me be completely honest. A lot has changed in my life, and while I could come up with excuses and reasons to tell you, they don’t matter. What matters is that I essentially had lost my way and stopped enjoying the teas I was drinking, it was becoming a game, something to rate and critique to add to my personal list. I had lost the passion and appreciation for the tea that had brought me to this site in the first place.

I plan to not do that anymore. I want to slow down and actually enjoy the tea and really experience it instead of just ranking at rating it. I have had many teas in the break, I will go back and experience what I can and rate them appropriately, because I do love doing this, but I had been doing it for the wrong reasons, I am sorry and I plan to rectify this.

Whew – now that that is out of the way, I want to say this tea is delicious. Infused hot, no additives, four minutes. Sipped as it cooled there is a delicious black tea flavor in this, it is clean and bright and crisp without being astringent or bitter. The aroma of both the dried leaves and the brewed tea is fantastic, captivating and intriguing. I will be drinking this more often. Thank you for bringing me back.

4 min, 0 sec

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50 tasting notes

Y’know, I hadn’t quite been feeling the holiday season this year. I’m separated from my family because of finals period, Dan is far away in California, and Ohio weather is pretty morose. (There is a reason why Ohio has produced more astronauts than any other state – my personal belief being that this state makes people want to flee the earth.)

However, Andrews & Dunham makes me feel home for the holidays, if only for the half hour it takes me to drink a giant mug-ful of this blend! The word repetitively used in reviewing this tea has been “bright,” and I couldn’t agree more. Brews to a beautiful dark rusty color, and I am so pleased to find a black tea I like without milk or sugar. It’s very light as far as black teas go, slightly bitter if left in even a touch too long, with some sweetness particularly noticeable when adding milk etc. The second brew did not hold up very well in my experience, so I’m probably a quarter of my way into the tin! (What can I say? It’s not my fault holiday jingles are in my head! Damn radio.)

Where Sampson tastes like bread, this blend tastes more fruity, or snappy. Kind of like a gay Santa doing tap dance in a sparkly spandex suit. With bells on his toes. Maybe.

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LissaMarie “There is a reason why Ohio has produced more astronauts than any other state – my personal belief being that this state makes people want to flee the earth.”

Hahah! You’ve got a great sense of humor :)


lol…loved this post!

and don’t forget the jazz hands. :)

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1328 tasting notes

This one courtesy of Ricky (I love that I finally have a good system for remembering where stuff came from!)

I don’t care that it’s not christmas yet. I have discovered that when it’s warm, my room seems to be one of the hottest in the house. When it’s cold, vice versa. This is what I get for having a room with no windows in it. So since the whether has been decidedly autumny as of late, I’m freezing to bits. Or I would be, had it not been for the fact that I’m under the slanket.

Nice hot cup of tea, then. This one, in spite of it being a holiday blend, seems appropriate.

Now, is there a cheat sheet somewhere with what the blend is made with? The leaves smell kind of Keemun-y grainy to me. And with a touch of Assam-y raisin notes. After steeping it strikes me as very Keemun-y and with something else that gives it a chocolate-y note. I’m suspecting Fujian in play here, but I’m far from certain. (Notice how my mind works in primarily Chinese blacks? I haven’t even considered the possibility of Ceylon or Kenya in the mix…)

I was using the timer for something else when brewing, but I thought I would be able to remember to got and pour before it went off. I wasn’t so it’s had an unknown length of steep but definitely longer than it ought to have been. There is a certain small amount of oversteepedness to the flavour now, astringent but not truly bitter. Actually, to be honest, it’s handling this little mistake admirably.

There are definitely Chinese involved here!

The astringency comes across here as that pseudo-smoky note which I associate with Keemuns. It’s got a whole lot of flavour this one. I’m very pleased.


I’m having this one shipped as we speak. Only 14 left so I might have to get more if it’s that good!

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1626 tasting notes

My mother bought this for me for Christmas! I was so happy! It looks like a small can of paint. The label is super cute and theres a snowflake sticker on the top of the can. I also love the holiday letter that was enclosed. So carefully I opened the tin with the end of a spoon. VOILA! Black slightly curled leaves with small specks of green. Smells slightly smokey and sweet. Love it.

Upon steeping, the liquor was a dark golden brown. It reminds me of Yunnan or a milder Keemun. I wish I knew what was in there. There is no hint of bitterness. Delicious! I drank this plain. There was a hint of nuts, sweetness, cream, and slight smokiness to it. Brings back memories to my first Keemun. Very good tea. :)

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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184 tasting notes

Damn Fine Holiday blend, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee in the morning, when I’m trying to wake up.
I love thee in the afternoon, when I’m trying to stay awake.
I love thee in the evening, even though you keep me up.

Perfect, as always. I’m very glad I’m aesthetically driven and loved the packaging, since I got a fanfreakingtastic tea out of my packaging-driven impulse buy. I surely will miss this when it is gone. But until that time, I’m going to enjoy every cup.

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I really wish I could try this. I’ve only read amazing reviews on it, but I recently discovered it was a limited blend and is no longer available.


Would you like me to send you a sample? I’d be more than happy to.


AHHHH!!! Really?? You’re awesome! Thank you! :)

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372 tasting notes

So much to get done today. Tomorrow I’m leaving on a mission trip to Guatemala for a few days. Thank you Janefan for this one. I always try a tea once before I review it to allow my palette to adjust to the tea. So the first cup was lighter. I didn’t get any smokiness really. It was like an Assam. Then when it cooled there were some honey notes like a Darjeeling maybe. This morning though when I brewed it was all Yunnan. A strong Yunnan black aroma, and on the drive to work. Good morning smokey. Yeah this is a really good blend. I’m bummed I waited to pull the trigger on it before it sold out.


Travel safety to you.


have fun!


ooh take plenty of pics!! safe travels :)

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558 tasting notes

Ahhhh…now this is a delightful cup. It’s so smooth and almost a little sweet. I enjoyed a large mug of this while eating my blueberry bagel this morning. They really seemed to go well together. The sweetness of the bagel brought out almost a maple/molasses flavor in the tea. I can taste a very faint smokiness that others have mentioned, but only if I concentrate really hard. I prefer not to concentrate this early in the morning so I am just enjoying a fine cup. Much thanks to oOTeaOo for this sample!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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784 tasting notes

A nice, mild black tea blend. No bitterness or astringency. Wouldn’t be anything exciting, but has a very interesting tartness at the end—almost cranberries.

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22 tasting notes

Goodies came in! http://goo.gl/H6uQk

Enjoying some damn fine tea at the office with Mister Rupto.

Woaps, brewed a bit light.

Brewed in Huge Glass Teapot


I soooo want to try their new teas!!!! :P

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