Black Beauty

Tea type
Black Tea
Not available
Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Milk, Apricot, Dark Bittersweet, Honey, Jam, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Grain, Herbaceous, Mineral, Roasted, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tannin, Baked Bread, Earth
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 9 oz / 259 ml

Available from 1 seller.

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62 Tasting Notes View all

From Mandala Tea

Black Beauty is a very fitting name for this wonderful tea! If you are a fan of Keemun style black teas, you will want to try this one. Most of our customers and myself, now prefer this over the Keemun black. It is wonderfully sweet, almost chocolatey and little to no astringency present!

The tea liquor is clear and longer steepings will give it a slightly red hue.

About Mandala Tea View company

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62 Tasting Notes

142 tasting notes

I won’t try to describe the taste – that has been very well accomplished by others, so I second them all. What I can add is that in today’s black tea face off, it easily beats Black Gold for me, as the bold but sweet flavor/no astringency combination is knocking my socks off. This will have to square off against yesterday’s Golden Needle, and I suspect it will win there too. (I am not a huge black tea fan, so, with the exception of some flavored varieties, yeah, I’m really just looking to keep one or two black teas around.) UPDATE: Very strange. Most black teas make me feel stressed and panicky, but no such effect with this one.

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37 tasting notes

This is a lovely black tea. It’s different than my favorite Mandala black, Black Gold, but unique to itself. Very malty and fragrant, with hints of subtle sweetness.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Caramel, Earth, Malt

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 11 OZ / 325 ML

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291 tasting notes

Another sample from Nicole! I had this earlier today, and it was a good mid-day pick-me-up. It’s a very rich, dark, flavourful tea (I also steeped the whole 3.3g sample at once in my 10oz mug, so that might have contributed to the intensity). To me it tasted malty, earthy, spicy, a little fruity… quite complex and interesting. This one might be an eventual order. :)

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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302 tasting notes

I’ve been saving this brew for a cold morning and today is that day. I am huge fan of this company. I have never been disappointed. I opened the package to reveal long slender tendrils of black and gold. The leaf gave off an enticing malt and chocolate aroma. I placed a good amount in my warmed gaiwan and gave it a shake. The aroma that arose from my brewing vessel was delicious! I took in strong scents such as coco, dark wood, slight cherry, and almost a vanilla. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The liquor began as a tarnished gold and then it deepens to a bronzed crimson. The flavor was amazing! This brew gives a thick mouth-feel and is syrupy. The intial flavor is creamy chocolate that mixes well with a slight spice and caramel. The brew carries a burnt sugar aftertaste with a thick huigan. This tea gave me a decent qi that made the morning just a bit more beautiful. I can’t get over how amazing this tea tastes. The flavor lasts long after drinking, and it continues to give a thick coating on the mouth. I love this brew, and I know that I’ll be needing to keep it well stocked.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Milk

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Doug F

Great review. I feel the same way about this tea; it has become a staple. I wish I knew more about this tea’s origin—where in China it comes from, what leaves are used, etc.


I’m sure Garret would be able to supply that information. He has always been helpful with me.


Hi! Thanks for the post! I love this tea, as well. I found it during my 2012 buying trip in the Yunnan Province. I was fortunate to have traveled through this area (and incidentally had the very best Chinese meal ever there). When I taste this tea, I am transported right back there. Thanks for reminding me to update the listing with the growing area. We are about to launch our new website and we are updating all that info there. Shooting for a launch at the end of this month. I also have several new raw pu’er pressings happening right now, one of which is from the exact same growing area as the Black Beauty. It’s going to be delightful. Joy to each of you, Garret

Doug F

Thanks Garret. I love comparing black teas and pu-erhs that essentially use the same raw material.


I can’t wait for the new website. I’ll definitely be scooping up some Sheng as well :)


BB is one of my very favorite teas. I have it almost every day mixed with my beloved Special Dark which I hoarded during one of Garret’s sales. I had some BB with lunch today :)


I’ve heard wonderful things about Special Dark, but I have yet to actually experience it. It certainty is on my priority teas :)


Sadly, unless you know some nice person (like oh say me) who can send you some you are kind of out of luck. SD sold out and it was a sad, sad day in Steeperland.


Hahah, I remember the day it sold out… I was amazed at the reaction I saw from the Steepster Communty. I’ve never seen so many :( faces, haha.


I’m happy to send you some if you want to try it


That’d be fantastic :) I’ll message you

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1841 tasting notes

Thank you for including a sample of this one, Nicole! The large wirey leaves have hints of brown to them. The brew is a pale brown. The flavor is pretty unique, but not strong enough for me (I don’t think I’ve slept very well in the last few days and I’m TRYING to avoid caffeine at night). There is a bright fruit flavor that is unique to this one… almost citrusy even, but mostly stonefruits. But it could be the tangy quality found in those ancient wild tree teas. Also, a bready fragrance to the dry leaf and hints of that in the flavor. Otherwise it tastes half like keemun and half like one of those Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong teas. (All three have a slight smoky quality to them.) I wish I could describe this one more, but I don’t think I’m quite awake while tasting. I definitely didn’t get chocolate notes – maybe because 1 1/2 teaspoons isn’t enough to get the chocolate notes but I used the entire sample I had. The second steep tasted almost exactly the same even though steeped completely differently.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // 8 minutes after boiling // 1- 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 3-4 min


I wasn’t very generous with my Mandala samples… those fall into my hoarding/every day teas category of stash. I want people to try them to see if they like them enough to buy their own, but I didn’t want to run myself out of any of them. :) Talk to me after the next sale that I can’t resist and I may be willing to part with more for experimentation. :)


Oh but you were very generous! I completely understand with hoarding your favorites. :D I am extremely grateful to try one serving samples!

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644 tasting notes

I really wanted to like this tea, but the more I drink black/red teas the more I like my cocoa-y…

Unfortunately, this is just a black tea with no real notes to pick out. Smooth, for sure, but doesn’t stand out. I do like how it is pure and not dry nor bitter.

Also: After this person near me has asked 4x to come drink tea with me and then cancelling they told me they are not interested anymore… I really dislike how I put a lot of time and set aside teas for them, but they just don’t take it serious after stringing me around.

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39 tasting notes

Oh ,wow, this one is wonderful. Reminds me of an Oriental Beauty I bought recently, but with slight bitterness — not bad bitterness, though. Apricots, honey, jam… Will definitely purchase again.

Flavors: Apricot, Dark Bittersweet, Honey, Jam

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152 tasting notes

This was a sample in my last Mandala order! I can’t believe it took me this long to try it.

Rinse: 5sec
First steep: 1min 30sec
Second steep: 1min 45sec
Third steep: 2min

Wow, this tea is intensely sweet! I usually add a smidge of sugar to my cup but the first steep was almost too sweet to drink. It has a very soft, smooth texture. It’s silky without a hint of astringency. The tea is gently floral, medium bodied, and has the taste of both honey and dark chocolate. There is also the suggestion of fruit but it isn’t fully developed yet. It really emerges in the second steep as a thick, jammy sort of flavor that’s like stone fruit and apricot. Cocoa and roast are the notes that follow. This tea is also earthy in a way that’s herbaceous—not like wood, or leaves, or mushrooms. It leaves a mineral note on my tongue after sipping. There are similarities between this tea and a high quality Keemun, but it lacks the characteristic smoky notes and is more honey/caramel than sweet potato. In my final steep cocoa, roast, and apricot are the dominant notes. There is a delicious syrupy caramel-honey finish that makes my tongue tingle like I’m sipping something carbonated. That completely caught me off guard. I’ve only experienced it maybe once, or twice with different teas. It has an indescribable “bubbliness” to it. Mineral and stone fruits remain in the aftertaste, though my tongue is still tingling. This tea was absolutely delightful! I’ll have to pick some up in my next order.

Flavors: Apricot, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Grain, Herbaceous, Honey, Jam, Mineral, Roasted, Smooth, Stonefruits

Terri HarpLady

I’m missing this tea from my collection, having polished off the last of it a few weeks ago. I think I feel a Mandala order coming soon, because this is a black tea to truly love!


i REALLY want another mandala order aslong with a few others but i’m REALLY trying to wait…not to mention i have my most recent mandala order waiting to be opened for when i gt get a few more teas cleared…though i’m sharing a bunch of mandala with courtney this week so that will mean an order sooner mwahahahaha

Terri HarpLady


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849 tasting notes

I am not sure whether to call this tea sweet and malty or malty and sweet. One note is slightly more powerful than the other, not sure which. It is not one of those malty teas where all you taste is overpowering malt. I like this tea. It is good.

I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 1 min.

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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94 tasting notes

The older I get, the less I enjoy sugar. It’s even gotten to the point these days where I barely like chocolate. Any kind of sugar just leaves this sour, chemical taste in my mouth. Does anyone else experience this?

Black Beauty is like how I remember chocolate tasting. Wonderful and dark, without any off flavors. I tasted this tea in my mouth for almost an hour afterwards – and the whole time, it felt like eating chocolate.

Flavors: Chocolate

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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