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looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness.

27 Replies
Cofftea said

Shu Pu Erh may be an option too if you like those kinda teas. Amber Pu Erhs aren’t bad.

Buster said

I love Pu Erh teas, but they are not for everyone (some people find them a little “earthy”)—- I would suggest a sample before purchasing a large quantity. Your local tea shop may have some Shu Pu Erh (cakes) or some loose leaf Pu Erh - try them out and see how you like them.

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Pithy said

Don’t buy any black teas made from the large-leaved Assam plant. Instead, try first flush darjeelings or chinese teas that are comprised of mostly golden tips. The buds are the sweetest part of the plant and will not have as much astringency.

Also be careful not to oversteep your teas. It may be ok to steep black teas for 5 minutes if they’re low grade or you’re going to add a lot of milk and sugar to them, but for higher grade blacks with more delicate flavors, 2 minutes is usually fine.

Puerh may not be a good choice if you’re looking for something milder.

Cofftea said

Not bitter doesn’t necessarily mean mild. But I definitely agree that bitterness is the tea’s way of saying “Hey, I wasn’t prepared correctly!”

Cofftea said

You are the 2nd person to say Assams (especially when used for a base as a chai) can be bitter. I don’t think I’ve ever had black based chai that wasn’t Assam and it’s never been bitter.

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Chef8489 said

I am verry fond of oolongs. They are my favorite catagory of tea. I am trying to enjoy all types of teas and expand past oolongs. I really want to try pu erh teas but having problems thrpwing money at something I am not sure I will like or still don’t quite understand fully. I understand most other teas quite well and trying to expand my tastes. As of late, most black teas give me terrible indigestion and thus is why my search.

Cofftea said

Jeremy, send me a PM and I can give you a run down of pu erhs so you understand them better. I’m in the same boat as you- except for the few blacks I listed here, unflavored blacks (and most non chai blacks as well) just don’t agree w/ me. Could maybe the pH factor of blacks be different than other teas?

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Buster said

Jeremy, Did you find the answer you were looking for? I did think of a few blacks you may want to try: A quality Golden Monkey from the Fujian province of China or something from the Yunnan province (China again) may also suit your needs - here I am thinking a “Black Needle” or something similar. You still have to watch the steep time but, in my mind, these are a little more forgiving to time/temp variations and seem to be less astringent (and bitter) than the Assam’s (or Darjeeling’s) when over steeped - which may make your tummy happier. Let us know how your search is going.

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Lori said

Beware of Assams- they are great w/milk but those teas just are too bitter without milk and sugar in my opinion. Sometimes, I find Darjeelings a tad bitter or sensitive to steeping times.

If you are new to tea, Pu’erhs may take some getting used to.

Yes, try some Chinese yunnans (which I like even w/o sugar) and a Golden Monkey. In fact, Adagio’s Golden Monkey is quite nice and they sell samples.

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Yunnan Golden tips gets my vote.

Cofftea said

I’ve only had 3 Yunnans and they were not bitter, but they do have a distictive peppery taste that one may or may not like.

katers said

I disagree on this one. I wanted to review the tea after I drank it because I had such a strong reaction to it, but the kind I had was not on Steepster yet.

Not only do I find Yunnan Golden Tips to have a bitterness that I can’t describe, but they also taste like… liquid raw potato. I love potatos. I really, really do. But raw? And liquid? No thank you.

But that’s just me, I suppose. I am a major fan of black tea – strong black tea. I don’t think it’s very bitter, either. I don’t know. Maybe my bitter tastebuds are weak or maybe I just don’t realize it. Who knows!

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LauraR said

I am thinking that you may want to check out Ruby Black from American Tea Room or Norbu. It is pricey but mild and not bitter. It is pretty much a cross between oolong and black tea.

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