Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

My first Andrews & Dunham tea ever! It’s as good as promised. I steeped according to the directions on the tin. With one teaspoon, I thought it might be a little light. It wasn’t. The tea was just strong enough, and I could taste the caramel notes I’d read about. Very good morning cuppa.

Flavors: Caramel

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

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This one is really good! Lots of depth and hints of maltiness and syrup. I’m so happy I don’t get any smoke, because I was a bit worried hah. There’s also no astringency, which is a delight.

Thrilled to have had the opportunity to try this one. Thanks Cameron!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Sil

ugh. I wish they’d release a new tin. I miss them

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75

Samurai TTB #10

For some reason, based on the name, I was expecting this to be a flavored blend. But it’s actually just a really nice, well-rounded black tea blend. Notes of malt, smoke, and a little bit of fruitiness. Not sure it exactly matches the name (it brewed up DARK for a tea called “sunshine!”) but tasty!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

From the Samurai TTB
I brewed this up strong and it doesn’t disappoint. The first steep was a bit more complex with malty and peppery notes, as well as a tart berry aftertaste. A good example of what a black Yunnan tea should be. The second steep is approaching bitterness, and has lost some of its complexity, but is still drinkable.
A very nice cup indeed.

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72

I was reminded that I had purchased this tea and never tried it when I saw a note from amandastory516. I’ve enjoyed all the teas I’ve had from Andrews & Dunham, so I’m not sure why this one got left out in the cold! Poor little thing.

It looks to be a mix of darker, smaller leaf and larger, golden-tipped Yunnan teas. Dry scent is very earthy. I saw the recommendation to steep in boiling water for 5 minutes and promptly ignored it for my own preferred parameters, because I’m arrogant like that. :P Maybe I’ll try their parameters in the future, just to compare.

I find this tea to be pleasant enough, but unremarkable. And really, in my experience with A&D, they do generally make very reliable, daily-drinking sort of teas. But in this tea’s case, I think it has a slight disadvantage, as I have tried many Yunnan teas in the past.

The dominant note here is a very mineral, earthy flavor, with a hint of smokiness behind it. I get a bit of wood and tobacco as well, which are nice complements to the main flavor. There’s perhaps a hint of dried fruit, like raisin or date, in the aftertaste.

I tend to love bready and sweet potato-y Yunnan teas, and I’m not really getting either of those notes here. For darker Chinese blacks, I prefer Fujian varieties. So this one just misses the mark for me a little as it’s fairly one-note without a ton of depth to it.

Ah well, it’s not bad! Just also not great in my opinion, especially compared to other Yunnan teas I enjoy.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Earth, Mineral, Raisins, Smoke, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Courtney

My gosh, I forgot about this company since I’d been mostly absent from Steepster for a while. There was one from these guys that was quite popular a few years ago.

Cameron B.

I remember seeing Caravan, Red-tailed Hawk, and Tiger Assam rather often a few years back.

tea-sipper

You’re not arrogant to know the steeping parameters you like! I can’t imagine any black tea tasting decent steeped for 5 minutes at boiling.

Cameron B.

@tea-sipper – I think a Chinese black tea like this one would be fine, I just can’t imagine it would be better?

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73

TTB. Really solid black tea. Tastes like a berry danish- notes of berries, and baked bread. Glad I got to try it!

Cameron B.

I think I have this in my cupboard, but I’m not sure I’ve tried it. Andrews & Dunham can always be counted on for solid black teas though! Plus the tins are pretty, which we all know is the most important thing. ;)

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72

The black tea in this blend is a little harsh for me. I also feel like the bergamot could have been stronger. It was all right, but one of the less good EGs I’ve had. I do appreciate the share though, tea-sipper! I drank the last of my cup and the resteep cold, and I’d say this tea definitely shines more as a cold latte. It’s much smoother that way.

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82

Thanks so much CameronB!  I always wanted to try this one when I first saw that gorgeous artwork and photo and description for the tea.  Sadly, I think I like the artwork and name better than the tea.  It’s a perfectly acceptable black tea, but I really expect something special to go with said name and artwork.  It’s a dark cup anyway, which seems only fitting with the name ‘Black Sunshine’.  The dry leaf has a slightly smoky aroma and the flavor is like a high quality assam.  Bright, brisk, strong, maybe a hint of berry on the backsip.  But I really expected special here…   
Steep #1  // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // just boiled //  3-4 minute steep

gmathis

I have always been a fan of A&D’s marketing mojo and backstories.

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Oh, no. I found an almost untouched tin of this faaaar back in the cabinet, along with some other giant untouched brisk black teas. OMG, no. I’m pretty sure I bought this back in 2013.

I know what I’m going to be drinking every day for the next long while. Consider this Day 1. I’m going to start reading War & Peace today as well and see which one I finish first.

Flavors: Astringent, Dark Chocolate, Grapes, Malt, Raisins, Red Wine

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Sil

Awe….. I miss their teas. I should see what’s going on for July 4th haha

CrowKettle

They are solid and surprisingly lovable teas, eh? I still have this guy and a near-full tin of Carävan Resurrected so probably won’t need to reorder from them until I hit a 15 cupboard again.

Also, some people on here enabled me to order Dessert by Deb and a Unicorn (?) tin (I have no agency!) so I’m done for a while! XD

CrowKettle

While I was typing that I also checked out their social media stuff and they have been dead since December 2019. Don’t know if they will do anything for July 4th.. :/

Martin Bednář

Another company down (maybe) :( And it seems they had nice teas. Even the packagings. Aww, sad.

And today I learned something about the Red-Tailed Hawk as a bird :)

CrowKettle

I think they’re still open for business but their social media presence is just non-existent! Also, no new teas & tins in quite some time

tea-sipper

oh no, I hope A&D aren’t done!

Sil

they aren’t. they responded to my post very briefly.

tea-sipper

oh that’s good.

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95

Hi, y’all! I’m back-ish! I’m adding the “ish” there since I don’t trust myself to be consistent, but we’ll see.

I had a tea revelation over the past month or so, when I bought a Berkey water filter system. I ashamed to admit that for over a year I’ve been drinking/making tea with tap water. And before that I used a Pur water filter system. To keep this short: Berkey kicks Pur’s butt. Using this super-filtered water (with the fluoride filters), has given my tea new depths of flavor, all the while not leaving as thick a residue on my mugs.

So, I had a tin of A&D’s Holiday Blend from…almost a decade ago?! Probably 7-8 years old. It had never really impressed me. But now, all the harsh notes are gone, and it is a pure delight to drink. I shall miss it when my tin is empty.

And to try and be on here more often, while the inspiration of cleaner water strikes, I am trying to do a sip-down of any remaining tea I’ve stashed away (I’ve moved at least twice since last I wrote here). PLUS I’ve been purchasing more tisanes to experiment with for my evening tea, and I’ve found some really good ones.

I hope all has been well, and that you all have had happy holidays! TG

Preparation
4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
ashmanra

I enjoy my Berkey! Good to see you back here, and hope you will hang around a bit! :)

Rabs

Thank you so much! I’m really trying to focus on my health, and part of that’s mental health. And this site has some wonderful people talking about one of my favorite healthy treats. :)

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For quite some time, I couldn’t drink earl greys because they would cause headaches. I hated that bc this is one of my favourite earl greys and I just COULDN’T. curse my dumb body, basically.

but today, I am drinking up the last of this can. earlier this week, I steeped the last bits in a big ole pitcher and threw in some vanilla syrup and that is what I’ve been taking to work these last few mornings. no headaches. I love this tea and I’ll be savoring this last bit it of it. /chef’s kiss/

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75

finished this a couple of days ago. GOOD RIDDANCE.
the last day I had this for breakfast was accompanied by some beautiful and perfect Rainier cherries, what a send off.

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75

okay, so there was some user error the last time I cold brewed this. I made sure to get this in the fridge a lot earlier in the day and in the morning? yessss. but I also want to point out that my tea is PRETTY OLD (when was this released? I’m pretty sure that’s when I got it. I think they released Venus and the race car one at the same time and I got both…probably with Black Sunshine. it seems like forever ago?) it still has some nice spinach-y notes nevertheless and I love spinach sooooo. yeah. excellent for these hot days. I’ll be finished with this can soon, which is very exciting, bc the artwork is beautiful. I won’t miss this when it’s gone though.

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75

cold brew for breakfast, I think this may be user error because I couldn’t really taste anything? maybe I didn’t get this in the fridge early enough bc I was having A Day and forgot? but maybe also this is quite old. I’ll refrigerate this again when I get home and see how it is tomorrow.

I’ve had this tea so long, but I /do/ vaguely remember enjoying it…so…/shrug/

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90

Black blends have intrigued me for a bit now; when done well, they can combine the best characteristics of multiple teas into a deliciously complex cup. That’s what I hoped for here, and it delivers. This tastes to me like a combination of a solid, malty Chinese black, with some pu’erh and a bit of white tea. I have no idea what’s in it, but it’s quite tasty. A touch smoky, pleasantly earthy, a bit of sweet hay. Pretty smooth despite the flavour suggesting to me that I might have overleafed a tad.

Thanks so much for sharing, Roswell Strange!

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77

ah, yes. I love finishing off A&D tins, it always feels like an accomplishment. especially for this one, because it seems like this has been hiding in the cupboard for at least five forevers, popping out only occasionally and then hiding again. this is not my favourite tea from A&D, it’s brisk and bready and easy to drink, but it’s also just kinda meh. I’m glad that I had this for five forevers, but I’m also glad that it is gone.

Percy-cat update: I finally took her to the vet a couple of weeks ago and she chonky! I think of her as a baby and this is a MISTAKE, bc I feel that she is tiny and I’ve had to put her on a diet…and have felt so bad because she MEOWS at me and looks at me with her big eyes and I end up giving her more food bc I’m weak. her meowing is a big deal, because she usually just….gurgles? chirps? she makes weird noises that I sometimes don’t think are cat noises, but when she’s hungry she meows and I say ‘wow, Percy, you are a cat!’ and then she tries to trip me. rude. I’m in the process of switching her food, so that maybe that helps.

tea-sipper

Glad to hear Percy-cat is adjusting her new home. :D

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82

Thanks, Cameron B. :D Only a couple more of yours to go. What a beautiful sample box you sent me. I got to try all kinds of goodies from all kinds of vendors I’ve never experienced.

It’s almost midnight here so I skipped the gongfu and put 3.3g in 10 oz boiling water, let it steep for 4 minutes. Easy peasy. It was malty, good flavor with notes of caramelized sugar, raisins, brown sugar, dark cocoa notes. No faults in it, it’s a very smooth black tea. I just usually like my black tea bolder, maltier, breadier than this one. On a positive note, of the ones I got to try, A&D does seem to have good tea. :D

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Dark Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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80

First A&D tea! Thank you Cameron B. :D

The dark leaves had brassy orange-ish-gold tips. The first couple of infusions had quite a bit of smoke, campfire as someone accurately said in another review. I got very little malt flavor at this point and became slightly dry, different spice notes like pepper and cinnamon. In later infusions, I got some malty sweet notes, slight sweetness in the finish. The more infusions, the more malt came out, some cocoa notes. I’m thinking that this would be better as A&D suggested, a long steep like 5 minutes vs Gongfu style.

I don’t know how pricey or whether it’s inexpensive but I would classify this as a good daily drinker type if it’s not expensive.

Porcelain gaiwan, 4g, 212°F, 110ml, rinse, 8 steeps: 10s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 55s, 65s, 75s, 120s

Flavors: Black Pepper, Campfire, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Malt, Pepper, Smoke, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
tea-sipper

I almost had this one today… also from Cameron B. :D

Kawaii433

hehe Since we’re talking A&D, what is your favorite tea from there? ^^

Cameron B.

I still haven’t tried this one… I should really rectify that.

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92

I was inspired to drink one of my Andrews & Dunham teas after seeing a note from amandastory516. Thanks, Amanda!

I’m enjoying this cup greatly while eating some Laughing Cow cheese and nice seedy whole grain crackers. This tea is lovely with the food, it’s strong enough to hold its own but not too strong.

I’m an Earl Grey lover, and this is a good one. The base is somewhat brisk but still smooth and flavorful with notes of wood and hay. The amount of bergamot is perfect, the starring flavor but not overpowering. It’s not perfumey at all, which can sometimes be an issue for me with cheaper Earl Grey blends. I’m also getting a light peppery note, but that could be a result of my food pairing.

Delicious, comforting and refreshing all at the same time! And the tin is so cute, I don’t even mind how highly impractical it is to open… :D

Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Citrus, Hay, Lemon, Pepper, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92

365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 5/365

Yay, I’m finally writing about one of the A&D teas that I ordered a few weeks ago! I was so excited to see them back in stock, so I immediately pounced on a 3-pack of Black Sunshine, Tiger Assam, and this tea. According to the website, this Earl Grey is on an Asian black tea base. Obviously, that’s a bit vague since all three of the most popular black tea regions are in Asia… I don’t often drink “plain” Earl Grey blends, tending to prefer those with added citrus or vanilla, but I figured this one would be worth having as I’m sure the base is high quality.

I steeped this using my usual black tea parameters – 3 minutes at 200°, even though the website recommends a longer and hotter steep. I guess I’m just a creature of habit!

I will say, I’m very much enjoying this one. The base tea is definitely at least partially Chinese – smooth and mellow with nice malty bread and earth notes. There’s a bit of woodiness present as well. I love Chinese black teas – they’re not sharp or astringent, but they’re still so flavorful.

This one makes a lovely base for the bergamot. I was worried about the strength of the bergamot, as I’ve had Earl Grey blends in the past where I found it to be overpowering. But here, the bergamot seems perfectly balanced to me. It has a pleasantly sharp citrusy flavor without being floral or perfumey. There’s also a bit of a pine/eucalyptus note from the bergamot, which really drives home the great outdoors theme of the tea for me.

Delicious! I’m so glad these A&D teas are so tasty, as the tins are so gorgeous that I would likely buy them regardless… ;)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsQyIZNluj8/

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bergamot, Citrus, Earth, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Malt, Pine, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Kittenna

Sounds delicious! I love Chinese blacks as the base for flavoured teas and can only imagine how delicious this would be!

Kittenna

I should have reread my comment and used a synonym instead of delicious twice… awkward. :D

Cameron B.

Doubly delicious! ;)

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79

Sipdown 142/395

This is probably going to be my last new tea of the day. I have plans to resteep my Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake leaves after this, and then hopefully get another couple of cups out of this leaf, too. I had originally planned on trying to use up three more samples, but I can feel a migraine coming on and it was going to be a very Nina’s Paris heavy day, so I think I’ll save them for tomorrow or Monday. I’m aiming to have my cupboard at or below 350 by Christmas.

What a lovely straight black tea! I remember drooling over reviews of this back when it was first released, and immediately adding it to my wishlist despite rarely drinking straight unflavoured teas back then, especially loose leaf without milk or sugar. I’m a true English girl, at the end of the day. Sil sent me this along with a few other unflavoured black teas, when I told her I was trying to expand my horizons, and this tea was truly one that helped me appreciate more unflavoured teas, particularly without additives. It is strong and bold, but with very little astringency (something I abhor and the main reason I still add milk to certain teas). It has a malty flavour and bready note which just make me want to curl up in a ball with a thick jumper, a classic novel and a cup of this tea. It’s comfort tea! There’s a honeyed note somewhere in there too, but it’s not as prominent as the more savoury, bread and malt notes so I think that this would be a perfect breakfast tea. I’m not getting any chocolate notes as others have mentioned, and I’ve never smoked so couldn’t say if there are tobacco or cannabis notes, but it does sound interesting. I wonder if they’re there and I just didn’t pick up on it… Either way, this is a delightful, hearty tea which I am particularly enjoying in this crappy weather.

Thanks for helping me try yet another wishlist tea, Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
tea-sipper

AH this was an amazing tea. :D

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90

In the past, I had always steered away from this tea bc I’m….not a fan, usually, of smoky teas. or at least I wasn’t, this past year year though? give me all the smoky teas. also, give me all of the dianhongs. so, I was surprised (and excited) when A&D finally had some teas in stock and jumped and bought their custom set and uh. I love this. I was worried about too much smoke, but this is perfect.

plus, the lil guitar pick that came with it? perfect.

the 7th tea of Christmas is also exciting, but I was in need of something stronger this morning. I’m ready to go home and try it.

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Sipdown! Thanks for the sample… Sil? I think I waited a touch too long for this tea (and it was looking a little crushed), but I did get some tasty raisiny notes and am sure this is quite tasty fresh and whole!

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89

Pretty unbelievable that this has no notes yet.

I got a little derailed from my “try everything in the cupboard once and write a note about it” project yesterday. I was feeling pretty drained and washed out so I only made it through two black teas. I’m feeling a little better today so we’ll see how far I get.

Anyway, A&D has cute descriptions of their teas but they are more artistic than functional. This one, for example, doesn’t say what sort of Indian black tea it is or whether it is a blend. The leaves look more like Nilgiri leaves to me than anything else, though I suppose they could be Ceylon. The flavor is bready with a bit of throat grab like Assam. Maybe it is a mix. I can usually tell Ceylon by its color after steeping, but yesterday a Ceylon blend that didn’t have the color baffled me so who knows.

The leaves do smell a little like the Double Knit Blend leaves, a sort of earthy smell with a muted sharp note. Which argues for Ceylon, since that was what was in Double Knit.

The tea has a bready smell after steeping and is a clear, dark amber.

It has a mild flavor, which is surprising. I expected something rocket-fuel-strong from the extended racing metaphor. It is medium-light bodied and a bit brisk.

It’s the kind of Indian tea/blend that makes you think of “tea” as the flavor. That sort of classic, essential tea-ness that those of us who grew up with Lipton as the only choice associate with tea. It has a slightly sweet aftertaste.

It’s much more flavorful than Lipton tea bags. It’s as though someone took that flavor and photoshopped it into something enhanced.

It’s very good, but it doesn’t send me into the stratosphere like yesterday’s blends with China blacks in them.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Cameron B.

I would love to know your thoughts on the best A&D teas. They’ve just restocked and I want to order a 3-pack.

I’ve already decided on Black Sunshine and Tiger Assam, but am wavering between Caravan Resurrected and Double Knit for the third tin…

__Morgana__

Caravan is one of my favorites. I would go with that unless you don’t like smoke. The smoke isn’t heavy, it’s just sort of a side note. But if you hate smoke it could be a problem.

Cameron B.

I’ll keep that in mind! I ended up going with Mount Gray for the third tin. For some reason I’d forgotten about it, LOL!

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