Yunnan Noir

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Cocoa, Earth, Pepper, Smoke, Spices, Toasted, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Metallic, Molasses, Roast nuts, Yams, Grain, Wood
Sold in
Loose Leaf, Tea Bag
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by The Purrfect Cup
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 12 oz / 355 ml

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80 Tasting Notes View all

From Adagio Teas

Yunnan is a region in China known for growing large-leaf tea. High mountains covered by mist, clean water and rich soil form ideal growing conditions and contribute to the unique flavor of Yunnan black tea. The Yunnan Noir is a hand-rolled version of this famous variety, with tightly rolled leaves into a “black snail” shape. The aroma is sweet with hints of honey and fruit. To the palate it is red wine-like with notes of fruit and cocoa and reveals an intense depth of character with each beguiling sip.

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at and in many gourmet and health food stores.

80 Tasting Notes

9 tasting notes

I’m rather fond of this tea when I’m looking for a simple loose-leaf black tea. In my estimation, it’s perfect without sugar. The flavour can get extremely bitter if you over-steep it, so it is definitely a tea to keep an eye on, but it has a rich, mellow taste when you’ve steeped it right.

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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20 tasting notes

Absolutely splendid! This is a gentle black tea: smooth & sweet, and it doesn’t seem to tend towards bitterness. Aftertaste started off with coffee vibes, but quickly moved into malty territory. Second specimen from my recent Adagio purchase that surprised me with its non-bitterness.

The leaves smell very interesting after an infusion.. but I can’t quite place it. If anyone could conjure up a cognate, I’d be grateful.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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7 tasting notes

With a little bit of sugar and creamer, this is one of my favorite mellow black teas. Not the most outstanding flavor, but still very delectable!

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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5 tasting notes

This tea has been a favorite of mine since Adagio introduced it a year or so ago. I’m a big fan of Ceylon and Darjeeling teas, so I don’t drink a lot of Chinese blacks, but this is one that I can really get excited about. I brew it a little longer and with more leaf than most black teas and am rewarded with a very rich cup with pronounced chocolate notes and a really nice mouth-feel. It has a little less of the peppery quality than some Yunnan teas, but it’s there in the background. I’m enjoying a cup right now as my first tea of 2010!

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8 tasting notes

Just made this for the first time, and it’s really strong and good. Sort of a mix of wood, chocolate, and smoke.

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13 tasting notes

My first tea from the Yunnan region of China and I’m liking it. It took a bit of getting used to because of it’s strong flavor but it is very enjoyable. It has the dark color of coffee, the immediate taste of black tea but is smokey with a bit of a nutty and almost fruity flavor. A full bodied tea that I’d say is worth a try.

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11 tasting notes

Very interesting tea. It is very dark in color and almost reminds me of coffee. It definitely has a cocoa smell and flavor to it. What sticks out to me is the smoky flavor.

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14 tasting notes

I made the mistake of picking this one up as a generic black in an attempt to wean my co-workers off Lipton. The mistake was not in picking it up, but rather in identifying it as a generic black. Anyone who is introduced to Yunnan Noir and switches to a more generic darjeeling or assam will be sorely disappointed. This is not a flavored tea, but nonetheless, hints of honey and chocolate are distinctive in the aroma; nearly as strongly as in Harney & Sons’ Elyse’s Blend. I would imagine that left long enough it could get bitter, but it seems reasonably tolerant of time and temperature, reliably giving a full-bodied brew with no objectionable spikes in the flavor profile. I debated rating this one up in the 90s, holding off only because I haven’t yet settled into what the bounds of my rating spectrum properly are yet, and how I’ll account for my mood and comparison across individual teas, blends, herbals, etc. But within the category of undoctored blacks, this is definitely near the top.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Honey

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168 tasting notes

Gaaaaaah! This is not my cup of tea. It might be yours though. This Yunnan offering from Adagio is a darker leaf than the usual Yunnan, and rolled into wee balls. The smell of the dry leaf is musty and tealike. I missed the yam and apricot smell of my usual cup of Yunnan. First sip was Gaaaaaaah! I wasn’t expecting smoke and oak in my cup of Yunnan, but there it was. There is also more astringency than I like.

This is a manlier version of Yunnan Gold. Yunnan Noir should be named Adagio YuMAN, because it’s manly notes speak for themselves. I won’t be finishing this sample.

Flavors: Earth, Grain, Smoke, Wood

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Does Adagio say to prepare this one with boiling water?

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972 tasting notes

Hooray, another Yunnan to try! :D I picked this up in my recent Adagio order because I had a $5 coupon and the sample was $5, so I figured that makes it free! ;) Do not question it! The leaves are very cute. They’re all curled up into little loose balls, bi luo chun style. Mostly dark with some golden tips in there too. The dry scent is strong malt with honey and a hay accent – pretty much what I expect at this point. I brewed this twice, first at 4 minutes and then at 3 (not a resteep, with separate leaves each time).

I did 4 minutes first, because it’s the average time for this tea on Steepster. The leaves get pretty big when they unfurl! :D Smells mostly malty with some bread and honey notes mixed in. The taste seemed kind of one-note to me. It was a ton of malt with a little earthy smokiness in there. Meh. Trying again.

Then I did 3 minutes in hopes I would get some other flavors. The aroma was similar, with more honey and some hay as well. I still taste mostly malt, but now there is some honey in there and none of the earth and smoke taste. Still not a super complex flavor profile. I added a bit of sugar and I felt it helped to round out the taste for me. I found this tea pretty good but not great. Somewhere between H&S Tippy Yunnan and Yunnan Golden Tips.

On another note, I saw several reviews for this on Adagio in which people said it didn’t have the normal Yunnan taste. This confuses me a bit because in all the Yunnans I’ve tried so far, the predominant flavors have been strong malt, bread, and honey notes. And this tea definitely has some of those. So I guess I don’t get what the “typical” Yunnan taste is supposed to be. :P

Flavors: Earth, Honey, Malt, Smoke

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I make Yunnan blacks only gongfu. With short multiple steeps you can notice diff flavors. Just my 2c ;)

Cameron B.

I will definitely keep that in mind, although I don’t have any kind of gong fu equipment yet. Soon maybe.


On the gong fu front… a smallish dish/bowl about 4oz with something to strain. I used a glass cooking dish I had for a while with a ziplock plastic lid. Worked just as well, wasn’t pretty, but no body was looking.


I used to make in Pyrex cup with saucer on top and strainer;)
This easy gaiwan is the best, I use it daily

That set is cute and damn cheap for what it is.

I remember being warned tho about buying painted dishes from China. Something about lead in paint. I wonder how to be sure they are safe.

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