I had a chance to meet the guys behind Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea at the Coffee & Tea festival earlier this year. They are fun, lively guys with tasty tea blends. I had the chance to take home the red-tailed hawk tea, and I finally have a moment to write about it.
This tea is a blend of black teas from 'The mountains of India" so the Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri regions come to mind. The dry leaves are floral with the scent of dried raisins and apricots. There is a grapey muscatel aroma which is most likely from the Darjeeling leaves. Very sweet and mouth watering. There is a sweetness and maltiness as well.
The brew- I like my black teas brisk, so I brewed this for a little more than the suggested 3-ish minutes. The brew smells malty like Assam but with that hint of Darjeeling muscatel as well. The tea is astringent but very pleasing. It is malty, hearty, and a bit bad-ass like the red-tailed hawk.It is still smooth, and very bright similar to some Nilgiris I've had before. A good eye-opening tea, but smooth enough to drink in the afternoon as well. There is a nice sweetness in the background which keeps the dried fruits in my mind. The tea is strong enough to hold up to milk and sweetener if that's what you prefer. A very nice blend.
You can read about this tea here, The descriptive hawk story is a good reflection of the company. As for the packaging, all of their canisters are artist-designed. This one is as awesome as the rest. I love the bold, colorful graphics and the sinister hawk. He's beautiful, but he's intense and bite-y. Just like the tea.
To learn more about Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Teas, you can visit their website here.