Black Gold

Tea type
Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by tperez
Average preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 oz / 358 ml

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23 Tasting Notes View all

From Mandala Tea

Black tea lovers, rejoice! This spring-picked, expertly processed black tea is sure to please! A great morning tea with a strong body and light sweetness. Amazing flavor regardless of the strength of your brew. The perfect base for any chai recipe. Many customers enjoy this with milk and sugar. Up to you!

Black tea is produced by fully oxidizing a tea leaf once it has been picked. It is a heartier tea and should be steeped with higher temperature water. You will likely enjoy doing only a few longer steepings, but black tea can be prepared Gong Fu style.

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23 Tasting Notes

3114 tasting notes

I stayed up way too late, & then I woke up way too early! At 5am I kept hearing this gnawing & scratching sound. I also heard it last week one morning. I kept trying to go back to sleep, but finally just resigned myself to getting up. I located where I was hearing the sound, & at first I thought maybe a mouse was inside my wall, but it sounded too big, & I realized that maybe it’s something scratching around on my roof, because my room is an attic room, & it was in a roof corner kind of place.

So I banged on the wall, & it stopped for a second, then started up. I banged again, same thing. I banged a bunch & it made a weird noise. That’s when I realized it was probably a raccoon. My daughter has had 2 racoons dig out sections of roofing on their house to make a place to sleep, & the area on my roof that it was at is basically sheltered from 2 sides forming a corner, with an oak tree above it.

Lucky the coon moved on, and I’m really hoping it won’t try again. I love raccoons, & I love that there are lots of them in my neighborhood (along with foxes, hawks, etc), but I don’t want it to destroy my roof!

To hear the wierd sound the coon made, which turns out to be a ‘purr’:

So this tea has been a welcome addition to my way too early morning: bold, rich, a little sweet, & as it cools it gets a little grapey.


The raccoon must have wanted to get at your tea stash! Hope you’ve been sleeping like a baby since the incident :)

Terri HarpLady

cuz we all know how much raccoons love tea, right? :)


Tea: Giving raccoons the even-keeled energy that they need to carouse and plunder all night long since 3000 BC.

Terri HarpLady

You’re a genius!
Seriously, I think I figured out why the raccoon was on my roof. It looks like there is a small hole leading into the soffit there, & I’m guessing there’s a bird nest there.

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5933 tasting notes


I had this in the morning when steepster was acting up. I prefer this one to the black beauty that mandala offers. The taste here is much smoother and tasty…and sadly that’s all i can remember. Thanks for sending this my way terri! i may pick up some more eventually heh :)

Terri HarpLady

Glad you like it!

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1943 tasting notes

This was a free sample included in my Christmas order from Mandala Tea. Thank you, Garret!

It is tea party day! We didn’t have a tea party last week since it was the day after Christmas, and I wanted today to keep the holiday festivity vibe going! My middle daughter made a pan of brownies with freshly ground whole wheat, which makes really yummy fudge brownies, and we served it with homemade vanilla ice cream.

I also served Bonne Maman Fig Preserves. Ysaurella said she liked it best with goat cheese but I have none at this time so I served it with my warm homemade cheese spread that has a bit of onion in it.

I told youngest I would make this pot personally because I couldn’t believe we were going to get enough strength in a black tea in just one minute, but at one minute the color was nice and dark and the aroma was strong, so I did pull the basket.

I think this was the favorite tea of my guest today. She said it left behind a creamy feeling and had the most enduring aftertaste of our teas today. There is something rather unique about the aroma and flavor of this one that I couldn’t quite pin down and I hope someone more experienced will be able to describe accurately. This is fruity without being sharp, not a Darjeeling type of fruitiness but rather a baked fruit that has been mellowed and sweetened by the heat of baking.

It paired nicely with our food. We drank it without additions and it was sweet and smooth.
I look forward to trying further steeps of this!


Good paring…I was going to ask Garret about a puerh that might be like the 2009 Menghai Red Aura…wine like in flavor and smooth, but more ripe and jammy with sunshine in it but not a lot of cedar, redwood or pepper (I was thinking about a Paso Robles Zinfandel). So, if he’s nosing around here…ahum…let me (us) know!

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613 tasting notes

This was a very generously sized sample Garret managed to throw in somehow at my request in the midst of holiday madness. Mandala’s customer service is top notch!

This has all those malty smooth qualities good starchy Chinese black teas possess, but also aspects of legacy-style breakfast teas in that it’s strong with the merest hint of breakfast blend astringency and a woodiness that emerges at the end of the sip and builds gradually. A nice everyday-type morning tea, the sort of thing you could replace a mandatory cup of coffee first thing-type habit with. Its subtler charms come out the more you drink it. It has a sweet cleanness in the aftertaste that’s unexpected and a nice counterpoint to the upfront smooth starchiness. I enjoy these “go-between” type teas that have parts of both worlds in the basic black tea market.

ETA: Forgot to say earlier too that this is a very pretty leaf, long and unbroken, lovely both dry and steeped. I just seem to extra appreciate that quality in brisk morning teas because it feels so relatively unusual and overlooked, unnecessary in the haze of caffeinating oneself. It always makes me smile though when I encounter it.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

Garret is awesome….
As for this tea, it still confuses me. Drinking it again today. More leaf, cooler water, shorter steep does not equal greater understanding….


this one, or Black Beauty? this one feels like it wouldn’t benefit from cooler temps, but that’s just a guess (and i’m no expert). i could see this one not being your cup of tea because although it has a fairly thick body it’s not roasty-satisfying the way i get the impression you like your black teas. i also get the feeling more leaf for this one wouldn’t add flavor so much as perhaps astringency or bitterness, but again, just a guess.

i wish i was more helpful about the black beauty! that sparkling wine-y note, it’s so strange it goes away as it cools and then it’s fine for you. stumps me. i still think other steepsters would probably have good ideas…i’m pretty clueless in terms of tea whispering!


Sorry, you’re right – I’m an idiot. Yes, I’m talking about Black Beauty not this one. Cold weather must be killing brain cells – at least that’s the excuse I’m using.
You are right, should write tasting note and see if others have thoughts.


no no! i had to doublecheck myself because mandala has a lot of black teas with similar names. (:

i hope you get some good advice! i’ll be watching for comments with interest.

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142 tasting notes

The hunt for my house black tea continues. First up today is Black Gold, against yesterday’s winner, Golden Needle. Gah – they’re all so good! In comparison, this one seems a bit lighter in flavor and more astringent. I do think I miss that malty sweetness, and maybe it’s that I’m drinking too many black teas these days, but the astringency is starting to bother me a bit. I suppose if a black tea makes me crave white tea, it can’t be my winner.

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37 tasting notes

So after a few months of drinking this tea daily, I’m finally giving it a review.

This is the tea that helped me kick my coffee addiction. I’ve tried other black teas from many other sources, but this is the one I keep going back to.

I love this tea. The first steeping is complex but not overbearing. There’s a malty sweetness with hints of oatmeal, honey, and molasses. Like a previous reviewer stated, there’s no brassyness. It’s very smooth.

I steep this twice in the morning before doing anything. I sit and enjoy this tea. I then spend the rest if the day drinking, Or thinking about drink Mandala’s Milk Oolong!

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839 tasting notes

Stuck at work this afternoon – ok if I spent more time working and less time watching Steepster my day would have been shorter. Oh well – if I have to be here, might as well make the best of it. With that thought in mind I pulled another Mandala tea off the shelf to drink at work.
This is a really nice tippy black. It’s a solid everyday tea. I would be perfectly happy drinking this most days at work. Bold and breakfasty enough to drink in the morning – not so bold that it’s too much for the afternoon. Can handle all the strange and nasty things I do to tea while at work. Is this a special occasion/best of the best black? No it’s not – but one can’t have those teas everyday (or at least I can’t). This is a make me happy everyday tea.

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568 tasting notes

This will be a fast review because I have to go to work. This is a very tasty black tea, slightly malty, slightly sweet.

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

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

I really love this tea and am happy you like it. It also makes an incredible black tea with milk/cream/half and half and sugar. Truly delightful. We have a few coffeehouses we sell this to and they use it for the base tea for their in-house chai. Delightful.

thanks for posting this!


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427 tasting notes

This tea is a lovely mix of sweet notes and cocoa, with light floral notes, a hint of orange and a bright nature hidden under the warm sweet tones.

The dry leaf is a roughly wound blade with silver tinged golden buds and grey black to brown dusty leaves.

The tea brews to a young oak colour with scents of cocoa,molasses, malt, honey, spice, and a hint of yam. I brewed the tea 4 times, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Dexter for this lovely tea!


Sweet at first with honeyed tones, followed by a bit of oatmeal mixed with bittersweet chocolate. Malt lies very lightly underneath. There is a hint of plum and a very light floral ( almost rose) mixed together. A hint of something crisp and bright like the upper tones of malt is present. The tea is mostly cocoa, mixed with honey and a light grain note underneath as it cools . It is warming at the front of the mouth, with a nice medium density and a moderate dose of caffeine.

2 min. Bright malt, with a floral tone out front, followed by molasses, dark malt, cocoa and oatmeal and a touch of sweet potato. Cocoa, dark, malt and a citrus grain note, with honey become dominant as the tea cools.

3 min, sweet potato,cocoa, a hint of molasses, a touch of orange,grain notes, malt. Brighter flavour than previous steeps, sweet cocoa tone is not as rich. Malt tastes heavier and deeper as it cools.

4 min fading bright vitamin c notes and a vegetal, plum note on top, hint of sweetness. Hints of honey malt and a reference to cocoa as it cools.

Maybe not as resilient as some Yunnan’s I have had as the flavour seemed to really fade after the third steep, but the flavour is really rich and comforting.

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1060 tasting notes

My breakfast tea this morning is courtesy of Terri HarpLady! Thanks!!

This is a nice bold tasty breakfast tea. Very glad I got to try it but there are probably blacks I like more than this one :)

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