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195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85 Tasting Notes View all

  • “My A&D DFT Series 2 arrived yesterday. It shipped on Thursday so I wasn’t expecting it until early next week. I got it from the mailbox too late in the day to try any yesterday. After a...” Read full tasting note
  • “Auggy already commented on how to drive Jackee Muntz into Caramel City, so I’m going to take this opportunity to get a little goofy on y’all. [Like I really need an excuse.] I can’t take credit for...” Read full tasting note
  • “Tweaking parameters to see about getting back to the stronger caramel flavor. Water from the Zojirushi at 208° into an empty pot, then poured in the leaf, left the lid off for most of the brew...” Read full tasting note
  • “Oh Jackee! The time has come to say GOODBYE. And on my 6,100th tasting note, too! This is a SIPDOWN. Anyone know if A&D are coming out with new teas anytime soon? I’m not sure why…but this...” Read full tasting note

From Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

The middleweight dynamo, The English Wonder of West Midlands, has yet to be defeated in a morning bout. While it is known that he prefers to maintain a strict diet of milk and raw honey for up to three days before each contest, it may also be of interest to know that he has startled all manner of audience with his feats of manly engagement. Only last week he delighted onlookers in Wollaston and Great Wyrley with his repeated submersing of both fists in boiling hot water, emerging entirely unscathed and without remark.

Andrews & Dunham insist that you soak an ample quantity of these black tea leaves from China in boiling water for no fewer than four minutes. Repeating this effort will result in further satisfaction.

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.

85 Tasting Notes

545 tasting notes

My A&D DFT Series 2 arrived yesterday. It shipped on Thursday so I wasn’t expecting it until early next week. I got it from the mailbox too late in the day to try any yesterday.

After a delicious lunch of chicken enchiladas, I decided to go on the caramel quest with Jackee Muntz. The dry leaves were small – four to eight millimeters long and thin, mostly straight with some curves, and deep cocoa brown with some reddish and tan accents. They smelled smokey, like antique library books starting to burn. The wet leaves looked like broken pencil shavings in shape and were a rich brown and a dark sierra brown. They smelled smokey but more tarry, almost putting-down-asphalt like, but without the toxin edge to the smell.

The cup of tea was a rich brown with a touch of red to it and smelled smokey and burnt, yet sweet. The sweet part smelled like a dessert-type food that I haven’t identified yet. It reminded me of the fair. At first, I thought hot burnt caramel corn or kettle corn. But that isn’t it. I’ll keep sniffing subsequent cups and see if I figure it out.

And now for news of the caramel quest. I’d like to thank everyone who paved the way for me with their tealogs because I found caramel. The first sips were smokey and ashy with some sweet. As the tea cooled, I could taste the burnt sugar taste along with the smokiness. By about half a cup left, it was smokey and light caramel and just warm. The last few sips were caramel with a bit of smokiness and cooler. I also noticed it had a thicker mouth feel as it cooled.

I noticed the taste of this tea change a lot with the temperature of it. I’ve noticed that before but never so prominently. Maybe it was only because I was paying such close attention looking for the caramel. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting to be able to find the caramel in the tea, especially after smelling the dry leaves.

I think I was planning to write something more but I seem to have had a brain blank thinking about this tea. Since I’m planning to do a 2nd steep shortly and drink this tea again quite soon, I’ll end this tealog instead of leaving it up until I remember more of what I wanted to say.

Also, while I was typing this the thought occurred to me – I haven’t seen anything from takgoti in a few days. Where is takgoti? Has she been around, or told us of her absence, and it slipped my mind? (I just thought through my other favorite regular posters and they’re all accounted for.)

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec

I was actually wondering that too. She hasn’t posted in a while, and I don’t think she mentioned anything about going away. I hope things are okay.


Good job finding the caramel! I’m still hunting for it… :(


Shanti, is this still a good tea even without the caramel?


SUCCESS! Awesome you found caramel – I’ve been reading about the trials & tribulations of this tea that even though I haven’t (yet) tasted this one, I’m rooting for those who do!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Erin ~ It wasn’t just me not noticing her then.

takgoti, where are you? Anyone know where takgoti is? Should we be worried?

Shanti ~ I hope you find the caramel. Try drinking the tea more slowly perhaps. Mine was lukewarm and cooling by the time I finished it.

Lauren ~ I didn’t expect to find it so easily. Or so clearly. I am hoping I don’t have trouble replicating it.


Probably midterms for Takgoti.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Oh yeah, it could be about that time. Thanks Ricky.


Yay caramel! Hehe!
And no worries about takgoti – she’s on spring break right now and traveling a bit but she’s safe and sound!


I liked your description very much, with your notes about smokiness/burnt/sweet tastes. But you stopped me in my tracks when I read “…antique library books starting to burn.” I can absolutely understand the smell of antique library books, but when did you smell them burning? :-) And for heaven’s sake, please tell me what they are so I can pay for shipping to me.

I imagine you had occasion to help or attend one of those library-cleaning days, where no-one has checked them out for the last 25 years, so they toss them. I just don’t know where they burn them.


Erin—I actually don’t like it that much :x it’s smokey and piney, but I don’t really like that kind of tea. I like Thomas Sampson more, but even TS doesn’t seem that “special” to me…just a good straightforward black tea.

Robert Godden

My son and another employee once sieved through and removed all of the little caramel bits from a caramel flavoured black tea and ate them, They didn’t have to go looking for the caramel taste, they had it all. I wasn’t impressed when I noticed the tea on the shelf had no little bits.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Auggy ~ Thanks for letting us know about takgoti. I’m sure she told us and I forgot.

JustDucky ~ I love books, both reading and physical books. I love the way they smell, which is why, for me, a paper-y or old book smell is a good thing. I’ve never smelt books burning, but I’ve smelt antique books and I’ve smelt paper burning. So it smells the way I think old paper would burning. My local library system has several huge book sales each year to deal with the old or surplus books.

Shanti ~ Thomas Sampson is coming tomorrow.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Robert ~ You commented while I was typing my last comment. I can just see a little boy doing that. lol


Congrats on finding the caramel. I have heard so much about it, I just ordered my series 2 last night, I can’t wait for it to get here. Hopefully I find the caramel as easy as you did.

And yeah, I was wondering the same thing, I haven’t seen her lately either and was curious about it since she usually posts frequently.

Thanks Auggy for clearing that up.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Garrett ~ I studied up on Jackee to get the caramel. I followed their directions real good. =) My Series 2 came really quickly. Can’t wait to read your tealogs on yours.


Aww! I feel incredibly loved right now. Anyhow, I’m still trying to nail down the caramel ratios. I’m glad you managed to find some of it. I swear, y’all, when it’s strong, it’s like…WHOAMYGODCARAMEL.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Me too. I thought I’d spend mugs looking for it. And yay, you’re back. How was spring break? Did you get your party on?


It was pretty awesome! I did get my party on…ish. Not really. My idea of partying nowadays is mimosas on the couch with a book in the afternoon with the door open and music playing in the background. Mmm…


I know it was awhile ago that Erin asked this, but I do really like Jackee even without the caramel. He’s still sweet, and smooth, and smoky, but definitely Keemun-smoky not Lapsang-smoky. The caramel, when it happens, is an unexpected bonus that sometimes shows up as he cools.


I love your review. Jackee is a main man of mine and he’s comfortable in the sweaty atmosphere of the gym and also in the refined Library of an English country castle—a ducal seat, perhaps.

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260 tasting notes

Auggy already commented on how to drive Jackee Muntz into Caramel City, so I’m going to take this opportunity to get a little goofy on y’all. [Like I really need an excuse.] I can’t take credit for this idea. While I’m sure it’s been done elsewhere, I’m sapping inspiration from both an episode of Hey Ash Whatcha Playin’ and a rather brilliant Yelp review a friend of mine wrote. If any of you have never stumbled across text-based games, you might not get this. So here’s something ridiculous that may or may not help: http://bit.ly/DgJqE [Homestar Runner, Dungeonman 3].

Me: Jackee, what the hell? Why don’t you taste like caramel anymore?

Jackee: I do not understand “caramel.”

Me: Cut it out. What I am doing wrong?

Jackee: What’s a “wrong”?

Me: …What?

Jackee: You are holding a glass MUG. Inside of it sit eight ounces of dark copper liquid. Steam rises from the top, swirling into nothingness. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: …

Jackee: You take a sip of the TEA and burn your TONGUE. Cursing like a sailor whose ship has chanced upon a Kraken, you bang your HEAD against the COUNTER in frustration at your stupidity. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: HEY!

Jackee: What’s a “HEY”?

Me: Grumble. LET TEA COOL.

Jackee: You sit aimlessly, watching your TEA while you wait for it to drop an appropriate amount in TEMPERATURE. Occasionally, you blow on it, though you are unsure of its effectiveness on the actual cooling process. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.


Jackee: You take a sip of TEA. The mouthfeel is thin, but not quite watery. The TEA is flavorful – strong, with notes of smoke and pine and a light sweetness. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.


Jackee: Well, that was wasteful of you. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: It’s not my fault you don’t taste good to me anymore! It’s your fault you don’t taste like caramel!

Jackee: I do not understand that command.


Jackee: You log into your Steepster account. New reviews have been posted. Please click here: http://steepster.com/aug3zimm/posts/23176. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Just to walk you through my thought process at this point, now I’m really thinking. When I had Jackee the first few times, I was drinking out of a different mug and I didn’t know that my utiliTEA was messing me up temperature wise. Even when it turned, I don’t want to say bad, but “not as good” on me, I didn’t know about my utiliTEA’s little issue for the majority of my experimentation. I’d get a cup of caramel maybe one time out of five, but the parameters wouldn’t match up so I was starting to think it was all in my head.

By the time I figured out the temperature problem, I barely had any Jackee Muntz left, so I tried a few cups on the stovetop and they rendered much of the same. I also tried it in a travel mug, and the smell thing didn’t seem to fix it either. I did discover that steep time didn’t appear to have too much of an effect, though, so long as I kept it somewhere around 3:30 to 4:30, it was pretty consistent.

Part of me must have still thought I could get it back to caramel. I think that I was partially re-invigorated after the discovery of my utiliTEA temperature issue, so I re-ordered Series 2, but the first cup of the first tin was not successful either. After reading Auggy’s review, something clicked though. A lot of it had to do with the fact that she had actually found the caramel and that gave me hope [and also reassurance that I hadn’t completely lost it]. But also I was looking at the temperature [205°] and thinking about maybe it was the shape of her travel mug. But my mug hadn’t been shaped all that differently from the one I like to use now. Except…it had been a bit larger. So maybe the tea to water ratios were a bit different… No, I DON’T KNOW WHY I DIDN’T THINK ABOUT THAT BEFORE.


Jackee: Which mug would you like to change to? To see your current mugs, type INV.

Me: INV.


This is the mug I was originally drinking tea out of, by the way – http://bit.ly/4Am3Xb – the bottom top one. Oops.


Jackee: You switched your BODUM MUG for your CAFÉ MUG.


Jackee: You turn on your KETTLE and wait for the water to heat, measuring out a heaping teaspoon of TEA before dropping it into your INFUSER. In a few minutes, the WATER is boiling. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.


Jackee: You wait impatiently while the water cools to the appropriate temperature. You really should learn to be a little more tolerant.


Jackee: I do not understand “SCREW.”


Jackee: You measure out 11 ounces of WATER into a MEASURING CUP.


Jackee: POUR WATER where?

Me: Into the mug, you idiot.

Jackee: I do not understand “idiot.”


Jackee: You pour the WATER into your MUG.

Me: STEEP 3:15.

Jackee: Doesn’t that seem a bit short?

Me: Now you’re helpful?

Jackee: I do not understand the question.

Me: STEEP 3:45.

Jackee: You let the TEA steep for 3 MINUTES and 45 SECONDS, watching a couple of stupid VIDEOS in the the meantime before removing the INFUSER.


Jackee: You burn your TONGUE and your IQ drops another few points. You take out a FLYSWATTER and slap yourself across the face. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.


Jackee: You sit aimlessly, watching your TEA while you wait for it to drop an appropriate amount in TEMPERATURE. Occasionally, you blow on it, though you are unsure of its effectiveness on the actual cooling process. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.


Jackee: The TEA feels heavy in your mouth. A soft note of pine hits your TONGUE, but then gently fades away. You are greeted with the taste of burnt sugar.


Jackee: The TEA feels heavy in your mouth. A soft note of pine hits your TONGUE, but then gently fades away. You are greeted with the taste of burnt sugar.


Jackee: The TEA feels heavy in your mouth. A soft note of pine hits your TONGUE, but then gently fades away. You are greeted with the taste of burnt sugar.


Jackee: The taste of burnt sugar slowly melts into the background and a salty note enters the flavors sliding around on your TONGUE. Anxious, you hold the TEA a bit longer in your mouth and are greeted with the overwhelming taste of caramel.


Jackee: What is a “Poseidon”?

Me: I hate you.

Jackee: I do not understand that command.

Me: …


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I won Thursday.

Just a few more notes on the tea, because really that’s what all that mess up there was about, I did try steeping this at around 185 and didn’t quite get there in terms of the caramel, so I think that your temperature needs to be at least around 190°F, and could probably go up to 200°F but 205°F might be pushing it. [Auggy mentioned to me that her mug was cold and so it probably temperature dropped when it was in there somewhat significantly from the 205°F.] All this being said, all I can say definitively regarding the temperature is that it should be just below boiling if you hope to achieve this. It’s possible that we’re both just mad.

In regards to the tea:water ratio, I use one of these – http://bit.ly/5SpSvE – and when I measured it against a teaspoon last night it was like…1 1/4 tsp. Give or take a bit. I fill that up that spoon with just a teensy bit over, so somewhere thereabouts. The amount of water I put in the cup is somewhere between 11 and 12 oz, closer to 11.

All of this is assuming you a) have some Jackee Muntz on hand and b) want to try to replicate the caramel taste. I usually don’t get this specific in my logs, I know, but this has been bothering me for quite some time and I’m afraid that you’re seeing the aftermath of my GEEK OUT session here.

And thus endeth the really long tea log. I’m giving Jackee the ratings bump back to where he deserves to be, now that he has realized his potential for me again.


195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec


Seriously. I’m in love with interactive fiction and text adventures, and this is a totally WIN parody of that sort of stuff.

And yay for CARAMEL!


♥. Just… Srsly. ♥


You crack me up! :P


Nice review that was so funny. And yum caramel.


niiiice. i can’t say anymore. homestarrunner is a fave of mine anyway.


What @angrboda said. I’m going to go make some caramel Jackee Muntz right now.


@teaplz Hahaha, not gonna lie, they get kinda tedious for me. And usually there are too many players that have been doing it for yeeeeears and they just go FOOM FOOM FOOM everywhere and I’m just sitting there, all, “Nooooow, north is…”

@Everyone Aw thanks, Steepsterites! [Steeps? Denizens of Steepster?] I’m glad you enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun writing it.

@Jack I’m curious to hear how it turns out. I made it again this morning just because I wanted to be SURE it wasn’t going anywhere, and it worked [PHEW!]. I think I’m gonna try to dial it up to 200°F next time; might make it a bit stronger.


Oh takgoti, I meant more of interactive fiction/text adventure than a MUD. There aren’t any players except for yourself. You use an interpreter to play them on your desktop, and they’re usually free. Zork’s the most famous one. They’re sort of like interactive stories, and you emulated one exactly in your post. They’re often filled with puzzles and narrative elements. Their hey-day was in the 80s, although people are still making them today. www.ifcomp.org is the website for the annual competition. This is what Strongbad was parodying, not the MUDs (text-based RPGs where everyone runs around killing things).


@chrine Thank you!

@teaplz Sorry, that wasn’t clear. I was speaking generally of text-based games. The entire schema tends to bore me after a while. I’m too used to my graphics. My brain is lazy. The FOOM FOOM crazy player thing is just an added get-me-outta-here bonus for some text-based games. Though I guess that’s true for a lot of games. [Oh, WoW…]


Haha, amazing =D. It took me a while to catch on. I’m slow :(

My bodum cups have cracks in it! It’s so sad. I have a 12oz and two 8oz ones. Every time I wash them out, I hit them on the faucet.


Sorry for the stupidly long, long-winded explanation right there. I just geeked out cause I never get to talk about this stuff with ANYONE.


lol i used to play a MUD with my fiancee but he was a FOOM FOOM player where i was like “ok i go west right?”


@Ricky Eep, that blows.

@teaplz No worries.

@Kitch3ntools HAH, I know, right? I finish reading the description and I’ve finally decided which direction I want to go into and the computer’s like, “Uh…you’re dead.” I’m not much better at single player text adventures either – I die far too easily. I think that they are largely responsible for why I was terrified of dying at any given turn when MYST came out [even though I was told on several occasions that you couldn’t die – you COULD get trapped forever at one point though].


Myst was just terrifying in general! The eerie music, those talking books… the fact that you were ALONE all the time. And those puzzles were damned hard!


Haha that was somewhat entertaining =]


@teaplz Truth: I used to make one of my parents sit in the room with me when I played MYST. My dad was better because he’d actually try to help me when I played it. I also used to do the same thing with Prince of Persia when that first came out. In my defense, I was nine, but I’m still a wimp. I can’t play stuff like Bioshock or Dead Space when I’m alone. Or at night.

@TeaCast Thanks?


Someone needs to get this girl a copy of Inform7. (Maybe it’s a higher version than 7 now, actually, that’s just the last I was aware of/obtained, admittedly).

All that was missing in this review was a grue. Grues are compulsory.

The temptation to totally overshare in this comment section is overpowering. In my Other Blog Life, I cover/review video games. Obviously, steepster needs its own fem gaming clan, or something.


sophistre, there’s Gargoyle for Windows that’s an all-in-one interpreter. Pretty awesome. And I’d love to know your Other Blog Life! And I’ve been dying to post this somewhere, to someone that would understand, ANYONEhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nigRT2KmCE

takgoti, I can’t play ANY of those games, period. I end up screaming and throwing the controller. Everyone makes fun of me. I tried to play Silent Hill once. I had to run away from the TV, and beg someone else to turn it off within 20 minutes of starting. So we are comrades in wimp-ness!


@sophistre I had to look up what that was. Wow. [It looks like 7 is the highest version, too.] From what I skimmed it looked like a text adventure constructor program of sorts? I totally see myself becoming fascinated with the idea, losing myself halfway through, and then shoving it in the corner where half of my unfinished craft projects are.

Oh, also, I definitely typed out and deleted, “You are likely to be eaten by a grue,” about three times before deciding I might be exposing just a little too much geek on the internets. Clearly, I was wrong.

@teaplz WORD. I also refuse to watch scary movies. A couple of friends called me once and told me to come over and hang out. So I drove over there and they were watching a movie, and I asked them what it was and it was some creepy Japanese film so I definitely left. Hadn’t even gotten my shoes off. I can’t sleep when I see that stuff, and the fact that I even am thinking about it so much now is probably going to result in the need to put on something like Anchorman so I can actually go to bed. Yes, I’m that bad.


That video was a fine way to end a very sleepless late-night-early-AM. ^^

That’s precisely what it is. It’s very intuitive about how it handles object creation (which is really all the code for text-based games is, afaik). Fun, interesting. After I discovered it, I did precisely what you’ve described above. I think I have a copy lying around on a disk somewhere, but I never did anything with it.

And alas, we three diverge on the matter of survival horror games and horror films — I am a sucker for both, despite having hated scary stuff as a kid…I suppose ‘Alien’ was probably responsible for converting me. I play them and watch them now even though playing them alone is sometimes out of the question and sleeping afterwards is usually nearly impossible. I don’t know if this makes me a masochist or what. Maybe I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush!


@sophistre Haha, thanks! Also, so far as the horror thing goes, for me it’s mainly the creepy feeling like someone’s watching me feeling that gets me. That and the suspense thing. I totally psych myself out. The act of being scared if I’m not expecting it is something I can usually handle. It’s the expectation of being scared that is when I get freaked out. [I don’t think I actually realized this until I typed this all out.]

Funny, somewhat related story, a friend of mine used to hear the voice of Robert Stack from Unsolved Mysteries in her head whenever she’d go out to put the trash on the curb or something similar. “It was a normal Wednesday evening on this quiet street in Baltimore, Maryland. Jennifer Johnson was walking her trash out to the curb…”


@teaplz – I stopped writing them for ages, but as of recently I’m sort of trying to reassemble anything that wasn’t official onto a tumblr page, which is now listed in my profile, if you’re curious. ;) I’m lazy and update the video-game specific stuff rarely though, alas. I’m pretty behind.

@takgoti – I totally psych myself out. I am able to think of infinitely more frightening things once I’m jumpy than the movie or game can throw at me, for sure. I’m not ashamed to say that there are nights when the bathroom light stays on! Thinking about it, I wonder why I do this to myself…ahh, well. That’s pretty funny about your friend. I guess for me it’d probably be Bill Curtis!


Great post. I love the detail. I think you should do more of this. But man, that was long! :)


This’ making me feel bad that I haven’t logged onto any of my usual MUDs in a while. All of my characters have probably expired. Ahwell.

But I’m interested in the tea now. Hmmm. Very interesting read.


@Tyler Hahaha, thanks! [Though I don’t think I’ll be writing another review like that anytime soon.] And yes, I tend to be very long winded. Oops?

@AJ Sounds like me and my relationship with WoW. Though I think/hope that my characters haven’t expired. Anyway, you should check Andrews & Dunham out! I can’t make any guarantees as to how you’ll get along with them, but I like them quite a bit.


I poked through the website a few times! It just takes me forever to purchase items online. I am a very apprehensive online shopper, despite glowing reviews. Actually, it extends offline as well. It takes me a few days of staring to decide.


@tak: Not that I play WoW, or if I did that I would even acknowledge that sort of thing in a public forum, because I totally would not, but if that were true, I’m sure you could find me on Malorne.


LOL. Reading this, I felt like I had been sucked into the Lost Treasures of Infocom. Oh, and as for where north is: you need a pencil and some graph paper. You haven’t met tedious until you’ve mapped a text adventure. Its even more tedious than mapping a pre-auto map function CRPG. ;)


I <3 You! :-D

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911 tasting notes

Tweaking parameters to see about getting back to the stronger caramel flavor. Water from the Zojirushi at 208° into an empty pot, then poured in the leaf, left the lid off for most of the brew (honestly I just wandered away and forgot). Decanted, let it cool for a few minutes while I made the husband a big mug of PG Tips.

Now I’m sipping on it and it’s heavy and silky so I’m thinking this is good. I’m barely into the cup at all and getting burnt sugar. The smoky flavor is just a hint without the edge I sometimes get from it when brewed stronger.

Okay, half way through the cup now and this tastes like a silkier, slightly heavier version of the Lupicia’s English Caramel from yesterday. And the more I sip, the stronger the caramel taste becomes and the more in turns into a caramel chew.

The last third of the cup is filled with sweet caramel. So sweet and smooth and just awesome. It’s like a thin caramel sauce – silky, heavy, sweet, rich, sweet, caramel. I pretty much gulp the last third of my cup down because it is so delicious.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

Argh!! I feel sad because I’m still not getting caramel chew, just smokey pine :(


Nice! I’ve liked your reviews of this one. I just gave in and bought the set, but haven’t tried Jackee yet cause I usually prefer Assams to Keemuns. This will totally useful for when I do.


Does this tend to work with keemuns in general or is it just this one?


Auggy, which Zojirushi do you have?


Is Shantea purchasing a Zojirushi now? =]


Shanti, the less leaf I use, the less pine I seem to get and the more caramel, but the cup has to cool a decent bit for it to really pop and get gooey.

Harfatum, I adore Thomas! Jackee didn’t overly impress me until I accidentally ended up with the caramel and then it became pretty awesome.

Angrboda, I’ve never had this happen with another keemun but I haven’t tried to get it from any others either. I think it’s just this one. Maybe.

Shanti, I have the 4-L Zojirushi CD-LCC40 (http://www.zojirushi.com/ourproducts/elepots/cd_lcc.html ) but have been eying the CD-WBC40 (http://www.zojirushi.com/ourproducts/elepots/cd_wbc.html ) since it has a 140° setting. Just waiting for an excuse!


I have that one! The one with 140F. I realize it wasn’t that important after I got it and I wish I got the newer ones that allows me to unplug it from the wall and still dispense water. So how do I knock it down to 140F or any temperature quickly? I usually leave it around 3L. If I need to drop the temperature really quickly, I just pour in some room temperature water. That seems to do the trick =]


Part of me wants to make some of this today, but a bigger part of me wants to try some of the tea I got in the mail, so Jackee shall need to wait until tomorrow. I’ll be trying less leaf when I do, though.


What’s the minimum amount of water you have to add to the machine for it to work? Can it do 8 ounces of water at a time, or do you have to do more?


You can do 8 ounces, but it’s kind of a waste. Basically you fill it up and just leave it there and it keeps the water at that temperature. It’s 700watts when it’s boiling and 120watts when it’s keeping warm. I use to boil water throughout the day with a 1500watt kettle so that burned a lot more electricity. 4 liters of water lasts me about 1-2 days.


Ooh, I’m so glad you mentioned wattage since I’m trying to keep my energy bill low. :) So do you set it to boil once (using 700 watts) and then keep it on the “keep warm” setting all day? Does that use up 120 watts every hour?


Oh wait, I think that’s wrong…anyone want to explain to me what watts means, in terms of the amount of electricity used?


Well, we’re billed by kilowatts. Zojirushi has an energy saver thing. Basically you can set it to go to sleep in X time and then wake up and reboil. I’ve never used it.

Before I use to hit the reboil button on my 1500watt machine 5-6 times a day. Let’s say it took 10 minutes to boil water. That’s 1500watts a day. My zojirushi, it’s basically, HEY, I’m not saving electricity =P It’s only if I use the energy saver that I would really be saving electricity. Oh well, it has it’s convenience. I should time how long it takes for my electric kettle to boil water. I know I use to hit the reheat button a lot of times throughout the day. If it’s only ten minutes to heat water, it won’t make much of a difference. If it’s 15 minutes and I boil it 6 times, then zojirushi wins. Too many factors to weigh in.


So the most energy efficient way would be to just boil each time you want hot water? Or is there some other way… (Sorry for all the questions…I am awful at engineering and physics, lol)


Yeah, I’m pretty bad at this too =]

I believe so, I mean if you just boil exactly what you need it would obviously be the most efficient. Then you wouldn’t be wasting any electricity =]

I have a tendency to boil a huge pot of water, because I’m too lazy to keep refilling and reboiling, etc. Basically it’s just convenience here. I don’t have to wake up in the morning fill my kettle with water and hit the reboil button. I mean I could fill the kettle with water the previous night and just hit the button in the morning, but whenever I want tea, I can just press dispense on my Zojirushi.


Ah, okay! That makes sense. Thanks Ricky for your patience with my ignorance :)


I love my zojirushi so, so much. Having hot water immediately ready when I stumble into the kitchen in the morning is awesome. The only way in which it could conceivably be more awesome is if you could program it with a clock, so that it automatically popped to 208 in the mornings to give me my black tea caffeine fix after I spent the evening drinking oolong and white at 175 for those times when I forget. Hardly complaint-worthy!


Yeah, the convenience is amazing and the fact I can actually get the water at the correct temperature! =] I’ve done that a few times, but 175F to 208 doesn’t take that long to annoy me. If I’m in a big rush, I just use my good old water kettle.


I’m with sophistre on the Zojirushi love. I’m too impatient to wait for water to boil each time I want a cup. And then if I had to wait for it to cool down to 175? No way! Each night I set the sleep timer so the water is at 208 for morning tea, then set the timer again (this time on 195) when I go off to work. When I come home, I knock it to 175 and do my normal just got home stuff. By the time I’m ready for tea, so is my water! When I don’t have the convenience of my Zojirushi, I drink a lot less tea. ♥ my Zo.


Just to jump in on the power discussion really briefly, we’re actually billed by the kilowatt hour. [Not to nitpick, but I’m taking physics this semester which is bringing up to a rumbling two years.] There’s some extra conversion that needs to happen to really be able to figure out your actual bill [Shanti, if you really want an explanation feel free to DM me], but I’m not going to get into it because I’ve been whipping my nerd around a bit too much here.

Regardless, figuring for proportionate power usage will help you figure out things well enough, though some companies have fixed payments for power usage no matter what you use, and some bump their rates up once you surpass a certain number of kWh.

Ok, seriously, that’s it. Yay Zojirushis, even though I don’t have one. I’d like one. Someday.

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6768 tasting notes

Oh Jackee! The time has come to say GOODBYE.

And on my 6,100th tasting note, too!

This is a SIPDOWN.

Anyone know if A&D are coming out with new teas anytime soon?

I’m not sure why…but this taste exceptionally well with Graham Crackers. LOL :)

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158 tasting notes

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

12:30pm: Resteeping Jackee. He is teasing me, taunting me from the underbrush with glimpses of caramel and confectionary, but smoky still. I am dogged in my pursuit of my elusive quarry. I will have him. I will record my every cup, and all resteeps.

1:00pm: Blast. Too much leaf. Delicious, and yet I feel I am falling father and father behind my prey. The scent was so close before. Damn it all!

1:45pm: I’ve read and reread the copious amount of notes from those who went before, and determined to decrease the steep time, and the leaf amount yet again…and now the trail is hot again.


3pm: We strike out yet again.

3:30pm: And again…sudden impulse to alphabetize video game and cd collection ignored as irrelevant side-effect of caffeine consumption…

4pm: And again…

5pm: Is it 5? …I can hardly keep track of the time…the cups of tea…the tea that looks for a moment as though it will reveal itself to be caramel tea toward the last, but which goes on to breathe its last, only tantalizingly close to what I seek! I feel it shall drive me mad! This expedition is a failure, a failure! I also may have consumed too much caffeine in my pursuit of this ghost, this paper tiger…

6pm: I CAN SMELL HIS MOCKERY. There in my empty cup, let sit for a time…the sweet smell of caramel…sweeter than the tea that occupied the cup, and now I am sure that he TOYS WITH ME! Hands…have begun to shake…

7pm: So close…so close…I can’t give in now…ohhh, the lovely colors…

7:30pm: Tea… i

DanGe rous (halp)

fzzbrtth x.x

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec

I am sending you my silent support via the cyberspace! I weep for you today as Caramel Jack eludes you once again, but never fear, you WILL succeed, I am sure of it!


Keep fighting the good fight, sister! I also felt taunted by the caramelly smell of my empty cup…Jackee Muntz is a heartbreaker.


Oh my god this is hilarious. And also infuriating, as I struck out today as well. I swear to Thor, they need to rename this tea Loch Ness “Caramel” Sasquatch.


“I CAN SMELL HIS MOCKERY Okay, that cracked me up! Good luck finding it! Make him eat his mocking words! :)


It is noon…and I’m only just waking up today…hung over from having given myself the caffeine shakes at almost 8PM. Some restraint might be necessary in the future. x.x

It’s reassuring to hear it’s finicky for you too, actually. I can totally sense it there! And warp the flavors in my head if I think about them and concentrate…but…I think that qualifies as trying too hard. I will get it, though.

It is a pretty awesome keemun either way, though.

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96 tasting notes

You know how there’s that whole anti-woman b-s stereotype of women always trying to change their partners? Well, I think I’ve been acting out that stereotype—yikes. Because Jackee ain’t no dessert man—-he’s pure smoke, pine, savory velvet. And I don’t know why I spent so long trying to change him to some kind of caramelized wimp, because he is pretty awesome as he is. Giving him a huge ratings bump.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

lol!! Love this note! :)


Wonderful! Jackee is who he is, and that’s quite close to a walking, brawling, burly divinity.


LOL! Hhahahah =P Jackee needs to talk a stroll into Jacqueline’s garden now and show Thomas whose boss. Thomas was always picking on poor Jackee calling him sweet and sugary. Nope Jackee ain’t going to take that no more.

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314 tasting notes

I’m obsessed with Jackee.

I’m not particularly sensitive to caffeine, so I can safely enjoy Jackee in the evenings. It’s perfect, because evenings—the best evenings— are an introspective, contemplative time for me and Jackee serves as a good companion. Tonight, he mainly evokes antique pine bookcases, rows and rows of them. They are filled with with Old World books and scrolls (of course).

And I am in their midst, overwhelmed…..eating a sugared biscuit.


Just lovely, Stephanie. I like Jackee so much. He does seem to evoke old libraries in British country houses for me.


Thank you Doulton!! :) I’ll be crushed when this tin is done!


Stephanie -I know how that strong love goes! I have it with Thomas but not with Jackee. If you would like to trade – I’ll send Jackee for some generally equivalent samples from your tea cupboard – PM me :)

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1353 tasting notes

Where are all my Steepsterites at? It seems that there is so little activity these days and so few new posts when I come back. Yes, this from a person who has previously complained about not being able to keep up. Maybe I should have a looksie around and add some more people one of these days.

Anyway, I was in the mood for something caramel-y and since the Kusmi order so infamously disappeared I haven’t actually GOT anything caramel-y. Others have, however, successfully found strong caramel notes in this one, so even though I haven’t had the pleasure myself, it’s still the closest thing to caramel that I’ve got at the moment. I didn’t have that many leaves left, so I’m hoping there were enough to make it a decent cup.

The aroma is quite promising. It has that slightly smoky and quite sweet smell of grain and sugar, although I wouldn’t go so far as to call it out-right caramel. The smoky part of the aroma has definitely suffered under the smaller-than-usual amount of leaves, as it is only very vague.

The flavour, unfortunately, is a bit on the weakling and watery side. There’s no hints of smoke in it and only vague promises of grain. The smoke can still be coaxed out with excessive slurping but I haven’t yet managed to convince the grainy notes to make an appearance with this method. Probably a good thing I’m alone, or all this slurping might annoying to be in the same room with after a while.

The important thing here, however, is not the smoky note.

I shall put in a small break here to let those of you who have followed me for a while pick your chins up from the floor and get yourselves around that statement.

Feeling better? Okay.

The important thing here is the note that comes after the smoky note. The smoke is there at the beginning of the sip. Of the slurp, actually. It fills the mouth and dominates the flavour all the way through to the swallow.

And that’s when the important thing happens. It turns all sweet and smooth and almost sparkly. Just for a moment and primarily on the aftertaste. It’s not that heavy caramel note of legend, but I think it’s something related to it. If I had used twice as much leaf as I did (only had half a decent amount left), I really do think we would have been in business here.

I’ve rather enjoyed this one, even if the last bit of it has been shelved for a while. I just haven’t really felt in the keemun-y grainy mood much lately. Thank you, Auggy.


I agree. Steepster is feeling slow/dead lately.


I’m here!


I’ve been slurping the same ol’ stuff, mostly, so haven’t been logging doubles on stuff about which I don’t have much new to say. (I don’t think that was very grammatical, but you get the idea…)


- followed both of you


I’m the same as gmathis, I’ve just drinking the same old same old at the moment! So I read, but don’t post much! But I’m getting a new shipment this week _ Hurray!

On another note, this tea sounds delish! Mmm :)


It could be the people you are following. Over the past few months, Steepster has actually been growing/gaining more users faster than it ever has before!

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2036 tasting notes

Yesterday, after the Earl, I did a Keemun from Harney & Sons. Today, I’m trying the fabled Jackee for the first time. He’s even more intimidating than Samovar’s Yunnan Golden Buds in terms of fame here. He’s like the really handsome and popular guy I was too intimidated to even talk to in school. I just knew no matter what I said he’d consider me a mild annoyance, like a gnat buzzing around his head, and that was if I was lucky. If I really made a fool of myself he’d consider me a foolish gnat, which would be even worse. And this with the full knowledge that he’s already taken anyway, so what’s the point. ;-)

The smokiness of the dry leaf was surprising to me, even though I’d seen mentions of Jackee’s smokiness. I wasn’t really expecting quite that much, since I think of him as a Keemun given his name and yesterday’s 100% Keemun didn’t have nearly this much smokiness; I only noticed anything near smoky in the aftertaste and that was pale by comparison. So I’m thinking Jackee must have some lapsang mixed in? I really should read all the notes methodically to see if anyone has actually figured out what is in here. I just read enough before trying this to know to try a lower steeping temp to make the caramel come out. I am guessing to some extent at my steeping temperature, because I boiled the water in a regular stove top kettle and I don’t trust my thermometers. (The BF took off in the car WITH THE BREVILLE STILL IN IT before I could get it out. Curses!)

The aroma of the steeped tea is also smoky, in a mild, non-tarry way, and here I get some sweetness as well. Yum.

Now for the taste. I get why everyone loves this. It’s got a mix of all the flavors and character that set off my pleasure centers: smoke, sweet, smooth and round. I have a feeling I need to play with it a bit more to get the parameters just right. I can see the caramel hints but I think I can make them come forward more with practice.

I will say though that I’m just as baffled as to what to expect from a Keemun now as I was yesterday since this is quite different from the Harney’s. I still feel the need to broaden my Keemun horizons before assessing how the Harney’s fares as an exemplar.

Jackee, though, is obviously in a class by himself.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Lol! Could it be that your bf is a wee bit jealous of the Breville and he acted out of a subconscious desire to separate you two? ;)

Loved this note!


LOL! Could be, but I think it is more likely that neither of us has any short term memory left for lack of uninterrupted sleep since becoming parents 6 years ago. ;-)


No lapsang – Jackee’s 100% Keemun. A&D was witty when naming series 2. jacKEEMUNtz. thomASSAMpson. Hehe. But yeah, some Keemuns are smokier than others. I’m not sure what makes the difference with the smoky, though. Just one of the great mysteries of life tea?


Thanks for solving that for me, Auggy. I was pretty amazed at the difference between the two Keemuns I’ve tried. I have some more samples from other companies and it will be really interesting to see where they fit in the smoky continuum.

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2939 tasting notes

I love it when I find part of a tin of really good stuff I forgot I had!
A whole pot at the ready on this second rainy morning in a row. This is as rich and grainy and (just slightly) smoky as I remember it. Mahogany personified.

Hopefully, Jackee’s ready to add a little punch to my vocabulary, too: blessing arrived in the form of a writing assignment with a bit of a knockout deadline. Time to get at it!

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