Tea type
Black Tea
Yunnan Black Tea
Dried Fruit, Earth, Mineral, Raisins, Smoke, Tobacco, Wood, Black Pepper, Campfire, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Malt, Pepper, Spices, Sweet, Baked Bread, Creamy, Tannic, Tea, Biting, Brown Toast, Cedar, Fig, Forest Floor, Honey, Oak, Thick, Winter Honey, Rainforest
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 10 oz / 295 ml

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37 Tasting Notes View all

From Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

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!

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.

37 Tasting Notes

804 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!

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

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206 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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2552 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

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

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.


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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1366 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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3550 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


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

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5293 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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373 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

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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


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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1994 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: Baked Bread, Malt, Pepper

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… :(


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

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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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12103 tasting notes

Another one that someone requested get added to the Discovery Tea Box that I felt like I should revisit while I had it pulled out of my cupboard and super accessible. I realize I’m making my cupboard sound like some sort of complex, hard to navigate filing system but, well, it kind of is!?

I should drink this one more often though; it’s really full bodied and flavourful which I know describes a lot of straight black teas – or at least a lot of the straight blacks that I own in larger amounts. But, in addition to that it’s also nice and sweet. Lots and lots of natural chocolate notes, but then also a really nice handful of other notes like oak wood, cinnamon, and allspice. I added a little cherry infused honey into this cup also, and that really mild hint of sweet cherry added this excellent little undertone of fruit flavour to what is normally a darker, more decadent leaning profile. Plus, with how chocolate-y this tea tastes I think cherry is a REALLY good pairing flavour.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf8Tda6rmi4&index=13&list=WL

Mastress Alita

My “cupboard” is also a complex, hard to navigate filing system! It is organized, but that organization spans between two kitchen cupboards, one shelving unit in the living room, a set of kitchen drawers, tins across the top of my stove, and a set of drawers located in my bedroom… and all this in a little one bedroom/one living room apartment… I have problems!


The first step is to recognize the problem. The next is to drink the problems away.


YES, that is exactly it, derk. :D


Nice song pairing! I like the cherry honey idea. I helped Mastress Alita set up part of that cupboard, and it’s a glorious tea selection to sample from. Like an underground tea shoppe. I also agree with derk.

Roswell Strange

Nearly all of my 600+ teas I keep in the same room – within that room I have a section for ‘cakes’ of tea, then I have two book shelves with all my tins of tea which are sorted by tea type. I have A LOT of samples of things though; so those are sorted into a series of boxes on top of two different desks. One desk has all straight/unscented teas which are then sorted into mini boxes of black tea samples, aged white samples, sheng samples, shou samples, and then green/oolong are together since I have such a small amount of both. Flavoured teas are in boxes of herbal/fruit infusions, rooibos, black tea, white/green together, and then pu’erh/oolong/mate. It’s just hard sometimes finding that ONE SPECIFIC tea – even if I know exactly what box it’s in there could still be 50+ teas in that box…

Also; there are A LOT of good Lucky covers out there Todd but this is probably my second favourite? This is my number one though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5Cp55MvX54 Great song!

Mastress Alita

So true, even when I know exactly where a tea will be because I have, say, all flavored black samplers in a specific drawer, that doesn’t change digging through it to find a specific one when there are so many of them, and though I have all my pure greens in a specific spot on my shelving arranged in alphabetical order, I’ll still have to remove a bunch of bags if I need a certain one that just happens to be located near the back…

Basically, no organization system fixes the “too much” problem, heh. :-P

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