Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tea Review 97 - Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

As of this writing there's a prominent display ad from Andrews & Dunham posted at Tea Guy Speaks. Which is as good a time as any to discuss my review policies. Which I would gladly do but I don't really have any review policies. While it seems a conflict of interest to review an advertiser's product I attempt to be honest and not be influenced by the towering heaps of cash they're flinging my way.

But enough nattering about all that. Even before they signed on as an advertiser I was of the opinion that A&D might be on to something with their particular business model. To be honest, I'm growing weary of tea merchants who try to be all things to all people and thus offer a smattering of this and a bit of that and nothing that sets them apart from the mob.

Not that there's anything wrong with having a wide selection of great tea. I can think of a few merchants who pull that off very well indeed. But A&D don't even make an attempt to go that route. What they've done is narrow their focus to three different types of tea that they'll be releasing in one limited edition several times throughout the year. When that edition's gone it's on to the next limited edition.

Which is a nifty idea that means nothing if the tea is crap. Fortunately it's not. The Ceylon didn't quite sell me on the merits of that type of tea, but that's no surprise since I've yet to meet a Ceylon that I truly like. This one was close, but no cigar. Also in this edition was something of a curiosity - a black tea from Nepal. I'd liken this one to a not quite so aromatic Darjeeling. Where I found both of these varieties to shine was when I made them into a nice iced tea. Rounding out the edition is a Dragonwell, further proof of the age-old dictum (okay, I just made it up) that you can't go wrong with Dragonwell.

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