Black Beauty

Tea type
Black Tea
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Baked Bread, Chocolate, Stonefruits, Apricot, Cocoa, Earth, Caramel, Malt, Dark Bittersweet
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Edit tea info Last updated by ScottTeaMan
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 5 g 9 oz / 259 ml

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41 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Ironically, & purely by coincidence (although there are no coincidences), I drank this one the last time I woke up ridiculously early. Anyway, this one is, without a doubt, my favorite black tea...” Read full tasting note
    Terri HarpLady 2859 tasting notes
  • “Another tea from Terri - so many teas to try and so little time! I had this one earlier today and it was delicious! I have a sneaking suspicion that i'm going to be struggling with keeping my...” Read full tasting note
    Silaena 4726 tasting notes
  • “This is a lovely tea from Mandala that I've had for a little while but haven't had the chance to post a review on. I was also having problems grabbing the larger photo for this so if anyone can get...” Read full tasting note
    amyoh2 2307 tasting notes
  • “Thank you *ifjuly* for sending me such a generous sample of this. Anyone who follows me knows that I am a HUGE Mandala fan, they also know that I "call them as I see them" when it comes to logging...” Read full tasting note
    Dexter 697 tasting notes

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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41 Tasting Notes

141 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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165 tasting notes

So this tea went down in the following way:

TTF posted about it this AM, so I made one cup made with a one minute steep time. Then I made two more cups (2 and 4 min steeps), and put them in a travel mug.

Then I promptly left the travel mug at home when I left to go hiking with Brian. We hiked and picked wineberries. We filled all of our containers and the shrubberies were still completely full. It was glorious! Here’s a small portion of our haul:

We saw some turks cap lillies:
and some beautiful streams:

When we finally arrived home, I reheated the two cups of tea. Normally I don’t like to do this, but I also hate wasting tea. Anyways, it’s still delicious. What an interesting tea! It’s very obviously sweet, and no additives are required. Perfect for a little pick me up before our friends arrive for Sunday TV night. It’s also a perfect compliment to the lovely thunderstorm currently raging through the city.

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

Nice pictures! That stream is gorgeous! And now I know what a wineberry looks like heh. Enjoy your Sunday TV night :)


Yeah, they pretty much look like shiny raspberries, but they have their own flavor. Thanks! I hope we don’t lose power!


Wine berries make some good jelly. 2 gallons in the freezer already. Our season is about over though.


I want wineberries.


Oh wow! 2 gallons!!! We got closer to 1 gallon. Gotta bring more containers next year!!!

Do you guys have those in TX, MzP?


I don’t think so. I’ve never heard of them before. But they are so pretty and luscious looking.


I guess they’re a northeast thing. Originally from China, though.

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157 tasting notes


This is a rather standard black, albeit one that tastes rather delightful. It comes across as smooth and woodsy nuanced…takes sweetener well and holds up to multiple steeps without issue.

It’s comfortable and tasty and I’d happily drink it again…but I’m not sure if I’ll go out of my way to buy it.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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95 tasting notes

From the Teeny Tiny TTB.

Dry leaf: Inch to half inch-sized black leaves, slightly twisted and curled.
Dry leaf aroma: Chocolate, raisins.
Wet leaf aroma: Malt, chocolate.
Liquor: Golden, medium-bodied, clear, flavorful, malty, with hints of chocolate, honey, freshly baked bread.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 6 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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346 tasting notes

JustJames gifted me a bit of this tea during our swap around Christmas and I am finally getting to it now. It is a lovely tea thanks James !

The dry leaves are long and loosely twisted cables that smell like a lighter grade dark chocolate with hints of Logan and a touch of cinnamon, scents that translate well into the flavour.

I steeped this tea as recommended for short steeps and used 1 TSP/200ml/95°C and steeping time starting at 1 min increasing by 1 min per steep.

The colour of the liquor is a bright reddish tinged golden brown.

Like Terry mentioned today the flavour remains fairly consistent through the steeps . The top note is of longan followed by cinnamon, chocolate, a hint of malt and honey.
The taste is a good balance between cocoa and fruit, there is a slightly buttery creamy tone that blend them together. A faint hint of cinnamon and malt binds everything underneath. As it cools the cocoa scent and taste intensifies. The tea is slightly sweetened by a honey like tone and a faint peppery note mixes with cocoa and honey in the aftertaste. It has a buttery, smooth texture. In resteeps the fruity tone is more apparent, but is softened from the sharper tones of longan.

This was a pretty enjoyable tea with chocolate tones that were easy to obtain, especially as the tea cools. Thanks again James!

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26 tasting notes

For a chinese black tea, I do prefer the Keemun. This tea is from Yunnan which gives it a distinct taste because of the soil, its like a south American coffee beans vs African coffee beans. I would say this tea is better in terms of quality and probably safer but its not the same taste as of a keemun.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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349 tasting notes

There is no information available on the origine of this tea…at least I didn’t find any.

Is it a Taiwanese black? I’m a big fan of Oriental Beauty oolongs, and this somehow reminds me a lot of that. Maybe that’s the reason it’s called Black Beauty? The strong honeysuckle sweetness makes me wonder if it’s a leaf hopper bitten tea, just like Oriental Beauty. Garret, if you read this, please enlighten me, I’m the curious type :-)

Regardless of where it’s from, it’s mighty delicious. It’s got dark chocolate notes, and it’s a little boozy and bready. There’s that common note I find in Oriental Beauty that I always have a hard time putting my finger on, like citrusy and spicy at the same time. Once, Terri Harplady commented on one of my OB review that the note I was referring to tasted like coriander to her. I don’t think I would have been able to identify that myself, but because she has mentioned it, I’d say I agree with her, it’s close enough.

This is a tea worth having in the cupboard, thank you so much Dexter3657 for this opportunity, it’s right up my alley. I might be sipping down the last of your sample, but I’m so glad I made it part of my last Mandala order!


I love Oriental Beauty teas…and it’s because of you ! I tried my first after one of your review (about the OB one friend of you offered you)


Chère Ysaurella, I am honoured to have inspired you to try some OB, it,s also one of my favourite tea and yes, it was a friend who introduced me to it, and I am so grateful :-)


This is one of my favorite teas. Usually on weekday mornings I steep a HUGE much of Special Dark with a couple of BIG pinches of Black Beauty in it. I know. But its sooooo good!


mug not *much. (bless my heart)


seems really a great tea


Hi!! This is a tea that I found during my 2012 April trip to China. I fell in love with it instantly while at the wholesale tea market in Kunming – Yunnan, China. The minute I got the first shipment once arriving back, I marked the keemun black I had way down and got rid of it. This one blows keemun out of the water (in my opinion) and the customers who I turned onto it, really thought the same.

It is not bug bitten, but oxidized in a similar way to the oriental beauty with shaking and fermenting, etc. and brews up so very nicely at a pretty wide range of temps. Some folks are brewing it up at 195, others 205, 208. They’ve been brewing it up western style and gongfu alike, each way producing great results.

As long as this producer is making this tea, I will have it available. The spring crop will arrive in the next few weeks!!


I do both and I like it both western and gongfu. Its just that on weekday mornings I don’t have the time to really appreciate the gongfu. This must ALWAYS be gettable.


This is what I LOVE about Steepster. Love how we all have different opinions of the same tea. I adore Mandala tea, but this isn’t my favorite. I wrote something like – it reminded me of the sensation of astringent white wine in your nose – TeaFairy said “boozy”. LOL I didn’t like that sensation, she did. It’s so interesting. I should love this, but there is just something about it that confuses me and it’s really finicky. It makes me happy that you guys love it. :))


MzPrizz, i love a creative mind, now I will have to try your special blend, mmmmm special dark, so good!

Garret, thanks for the info, this is great! (Now I can’t help thinking of poor Keemun being blown out of the water, lol)

Dexter, it’s funny to see our different but similar comparisons ;-)

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512 tasting notes

This was a sample generously included in my order. And one that I’ll have to add to my next order.

This is smooth. Medium gold red color. Hay and dry grass, wheat stalks, medium malt, mainly smooth.

“Like a baby’s behind” smooth. And if you recognize that quote, you have excellent taste in bad movies. :)

Terri HarpLady

I’m pretty sure this is my favorite black tea that Garret carries, it’s so lovely!

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103 tasting notes

Happy tea vendor :) Got your order today and I’m a gonna package that up myself tomorrow morning and get it on its way to you. Thank you, my friend!


I’m glad to know it’s coming cause I only have enough BB left for ONE cup

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