Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Yunnan Black Tea
Flavors
Dried Fruit, Earth, Mineral, Raisins, Smoke, Tobacco, Wood, Forest Floor, Malt, Smooth, Soil, Thick, Wet wood, Black Pepper, Campfire, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Pepper, Spices, Sweet, Bread, Creamy, Tannic, Tea, Biting, Brown Toast, Cedar, Fig, Honey, Oak, Winter Honey, Rainforest
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
High
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Shae
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 10 oz / 310 ml

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40 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Thank you, Shae, for this sample. Not sure what the octopus legs are about in the picture. I don’t sense any marine attributes. The wet leaf has some gentle woodsy attributes that are very nice...” Read full tasting note
    81
  • “ 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...” Read full tasting note
    75
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
    75

From Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Unfathomable blackness explodes into blinding light in this unique blend of high-grown hand-picked Chinese Yunnan teas.

While preparing this custom blend of Chinese Yunnan black teas, we discovered this crumpled fragment of a letter addressed to a Mr. C.D. Ward amongst the leaves:

“. . . barely escaped the ancient crystalline city whose vast aggregations of night-black masonry are monstrous perversions of geometrical laws. Amazingly still in possession of a modest reserve of the bizarre leaves which sustained us despite teetering on the brink of gibbering insanity. Once you grasp the extent to which the discovery of these leaves was both sudden and perplexing, how their fullness seemed to absorb us even as we believed ourselves to be the ones consuming them, the nature of our secrecy will seem an act of kindness and caution, and not the result of mere paranoid paralysis. It is a gateway to a forbidden world of untrodden wonder . . .”

Ignoring all rationality, we continued with the blending, our hearts beating like the drums of a forbidden cult. Darkness fell and strange lights appeared in the northern sky. Were they a natural phenomenon? Or the result of the dark brew we steeped?

As you will soon discover, Black Sunshine is a powerful blend of tea. Its strength draws from primordial temple ruins upon cloudy Asian mountaintops, and in its darkness lie the dreams of time.

Warning! As you steep this tea for 5 minutes in boiling water, contemplate not the black abyss that is the emptying tin or suffer unutterable despair!

Ingredients: 100% Chinese Black Tea

https://www.damnfinetea.com/black-sunshine/

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.

40 Tasting Notes

81
965 tasting notes

Thank you, Shae, for this sample. Not sure what the octopus legs are about in the picture. I don’t sense any marine attributes. The wet leaf has some gentle woodsy attributes that are very nice though. Old cabin in the woods, mossy wet logs deep in the forest, and cedar. This is a light black. Not brisk but it does contain a good tap of astringency if you go over the steeping parameters. The flavor is very woody. A slight hint of malt and malt o meal. Old, dry, decaying wood. A bit of resin and varnish in the aftertaste. You could add milk but I don’t think this one is quite strong enough.

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75
826 tasting notes

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
292 tasting notes

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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75
3059 tasting notes

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
1609 tasting notes

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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82
3803 tasting notes

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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90
6024 tasting notes

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!

Tommy Toadman

Sounds good :)

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80
379 tasting notes

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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95
1999 tasting notes

Wow. Just. Wow.

Yunnan is my favorite black tea, and I didn’t realize this was Yunnan until I opened the tin.

The dry leaves are long, beautiful, and dark with silvery tips. They have a malty, baked goods smell. The steep very red, a dark cherry color. The tea smells like baked bread with a touch of…. pepper?

I’m not getting smoke in the flavor as others are, but perhaps that is because I am nose and taste blind to smoke right now because of the air quality here in the SF Bay Area following the Camp Fire. I understand why some might call it smokey though. For me, it’s more of a character than a flavor.

I do get a baked goods flavor with the depth that is hard to describe and I find characteristic of Yunnan (I also find it in some red wines). The tea has pleasant aftertaste. Not really sweet, but not sour or bitter either.

I don’t find it heavy or woody either, like some others have noted.

It’s just a really, really nice Yunnan blend.

Flavors: Bread, Malt, Pepper

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Mastress Alita

Oh man, I love me a Yunnan too.

Cameron B.

Aww, I wish they were still offering this one… :(

tperez

Just ordered a some! I love Yunnan blacks, and the tin is awesome, so I couldn’t resist.

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89
81 tasting notes

I love this tea. I love smokey/baked goods-y black teas. I was hoping that I could score another tin with the free shipping promo going on now BUT ALAS. I was tempted to get a back-up Double Knit Blend but…I haven’t even opened the one I have yet. shrugs

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