Dark Beauty

Tea type
Black Pu-erh Blend
Black Tea Leaves, Pu Erh Tea
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by MzPriss
Average preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 12 oz / 355 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Okay, time for a delicious cup of this, as I just found the last of the Black Beauty in my cupboard. First, the two-steep method. Delicious as usual. Second, I wanted to try the new method for the...” Read full tasting note
    morvaltur 1757 tasting notes
  • “Holy Crap. This tea is BLACK. Like my soul. :p Method: I followed *MzPriss's* instructions. But I did just do 1/2 a batch to start because I wasn't sure I could handle the dark side. So it...” Read full tasting note
    Sarsonator 272 tasting notes
  • “This is my 100th tasting note! I've been drinking plenty of tea, but I haven't made a formal note on them because I was saving #100 for something meaningful to me. The very first what I call...” Read full tasting note
    mzpriss 147 tasting notes

From Mandala Tea

No, you’re not missing a Mandala tea in your collection. This is a concoction blended from two of Mandala’s great teas, suggested by MzPriss.

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6 Tasting Notes

1757 tasting notes

Okay, time for a delicious cup of this, as I just found the last of the Black Beauty in my cupboard. First, the two-steep method. Delicious as usual. Second, I wanted to try the new method for the single-steep method. The flavors differ a bit…I think I preferred the two-steep method.

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272 tasting notes

Holy Crap. This tea is BLACK. Like my soul. :p

Method: I followed MzPriss’s instructions. But I did just do 1/2 a batch to start because I wasn’t sure I could handle the dark side. So it was about 1.5 tsp Special dark, a small pinch? of Black Beauty, 8 oz water, 208 degrees.

Aroma: This smells like a cave of mystery

Flavor: Well. It turns out that I am not quite ready for the dark side. This tastes a little burny. Not like the burninator or anything, but a wee bit smoky perhaps?

Luckily, I know I’m kind of a weenie when it comes to the ultra darks, so I brought along the bottle of maple syrup. 1 tsp later and this is like a dark heaven. This has an amazing mouthfeel, heavy and thick. It’s surprisingly not overly bitter.

I know this flavor. My Nana used to make these sugar cookies for Xmas every year, and they were super thin. Ribbon cookies? Anyway, she would always burn them because they were so thin that it was impossible to get the temp and timing just right in an old oven. That’s what this reminds me of! Nana’s cookies!

I never say “No” to anything that reminds me of my Nana. Except wooden paddles!

Edit: I did a 2nd steep of this. At this point, the teas are already mixed together in the strainer. I steeped for 5 minutes and wow, I like the 2nd steep even better. I still did the maple, but the 2nd steep is much milder. What was already just a light burn/smoke is now a whisper. I can taste a little cocoa and more bakery notes. Less like Nana burned cookies, and more cakey?

BTW: Nana’s burny cookies were famous and everyone was actually excited to get them. They were only every lightly burned around the edges, and the contrast of dark and sweet was always kind of pleasant. So it’s not a negative thing AT ALL!

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Whenever something has a smoky or burny flavor, I want to sign the Trogdor song. BURNINATING THE COUNTRYSIDE, BURNINATING ALL THE PEOPLE. Even though, this one was very mild in that area, I can’t help myself


And the trogdor comes in the niiiiiiiiiiight!!!!

Cameron B.

Lol, “this smells like a cave of mystery.” So win! And don’t forget about the beefy arm! :P


Coming out of the back of his neck… :p


Cave of Mystery! Dang… now I gotta come up with another pu’er blend just so I can give it that name :) Puerfect!


Only with your permission, of course, Sarsonator. If it happens, I’ll credit you with the name!


Now you really have to name something “Cave of Mystery” because if you don’t, I will be super sad. :)


Since you being sad is not an option, then it shall me made manifest! I just gotta get the right leaves together. With a name like that, I really think it has to be a ripe style pu’er, don’t you think? Heck, I’ve already got a poem going for it in my head. Oh boy, that tea will have to live up to its name!!


Yes, ripe for sure.

This is so exciting!


I like black, smoky and caves, can’t wait for the cave of mystery! I’m still waiting for the day I can place an order to try the special dark, looks like I’ll have to add black beauty to the wish list!


biz: Please do. I had purchased the Special Dark, but when MzP started talking about this, I knew I would want to try it. So I bought the black beauty the next time around. I really think she came up with a heck of a mix here.


I’m glad it reminded you of your Nana. It is pretty strong, but I love the dark side :) and your should is not black – you are one of my rays of sunshine


I’m making a big fat cup of Jabber and pondering dinner…


Oh, thanks. I like being sun shiney! :)

I had muesli for dinner because sometimes I eat breakfast for dinner.


I had scrambled eggs and toast and bacon last night for dinner


What a lovely review sars…and I too vote for a “cave of mystery” mandala tea!


Thanks, Pookie pie! I’m glad my unintentional pu’erh name is gaining a following. :p


It is a challenge sometimes to say the flavor, often a story or memory comes instead. Nice read…

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147 tasting notes

This is my 100th tasting note! I’ve been drinking plenty of tea, but I haven’t made a formal note on them because I was saving #100 for something meaningful to me. The very first what I call “real” (not grocery store tea bags) teas that I fell passionately in love with were Mandala teas. Garret was my first tea-pusher. I realize “tea-pusher” sounds a bit questionable and unromantic for the ever so charming and graceful Garret. But I mean it in the most affectionate way possible. Good tea is like the very best kind of addictive drug and dealing with Garret is an addicting experience: beautiful tea made possible by a soulful, ethical company. I will be a lifelong Mandala customer.

I’ve mentioned drinking my Dark Beauty cocktail many times and have had a few requests to add it to the database, so violà! (that was for you TeaFairy).

You won’t find “Dark Beauty” when you go visit Garret at the Mandala site because it’s a concoction of two of my very favorite teas – two great tastes that taste great together if you will. Dark Beauty is a blend of Special Dark Loose Ripe Pu’er and the sweet, mildly chocolate Black Beauty.

Both of the teas are spectacular on their own. I have Special Dark either alone or in this mixture pretty much every morning of my life. Special Dark is very different from most ripe pu’er – there is no leather that I detect, just a deep smooth bass note of heavy chocolate goodness. Black Beauty isn’t a bug bitten tea, but it has those very sweet lychee-honey notes that good bug bitten tea has.

Here’s how I make it: I take a 16 ounce cup or teapot, I put a scant tablespoon of Special Dark in whichever infuser basket I’m using. At this point, once you’ve boiled your water, you can give the SD a quick rinse if you wish. I usually don’t bother because it doesn’t seem necessary to me for this tea – sorry tea careful tea-crafters, sorry about that. I steep the SD in 16 ounces of 212 water for 3 minutes. Then I add a big pinch of the Black Beauty, give it a stir and steep for another 3 minutes.

UPDATED to add the new, lazy, awesome method. I’ve been losing patience with what I call The Dark Beauty Two-Step, so it’s time to make it simple. Now, I’m putting both teas in at the same time (and skewing the ratio slightly more to the Black Beauty side), pouring in the water and steeping it all at the same time for 4 minutes. Works a treat and less fuss If you’re a DB fan, try it this way and let me know what you think.

Yes, that is a LONG time to steep. No, it never gets bitter or astringent. It yields the deepest, darkest cup of sweet comforting awesome you can imagine. Earthy and chocolate with an undertone of caramel lurking back there, especially noticeable as it cools a little and a lilt of the floral-lychee bit from the Black Beauty at the top.

When I’m feeling particularly indulgent, I go Terri-style with this and add a little maple syrup and on occasion, a little bit of milk or almond milk. I have insomnia and lots of stress. This is the tea equivalent to me of the heavy, snuggly quilt my great-grandmother made that I cocooned myself in as a child. This is my pure comfort tea. When I drink this, I hear pretty much everything these guys ever sang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nedEEL37Lvw


I’ve never had anything from Mandala, but this tea sounds like it would be quite the experience. Congrats on your 100th note!


Happy 100 :)


:) thanks y’all. Christina – Mandala is all the awesome. I especially love their pu’ers


woohoo! grats on 100 notes!


That blend sounds amazing!


Making this tonight. I specifically bought Black Beauty so I could try this!!!!!


Stupid steepster… That said You’re super!!!

And it had a heart. Steepster hates hearts!!!


Awwwww thanks for the


Congrats on 100!!!


Dark Beauty recipe is going to go on our site soon, if that’s alright with you, Mz Priss! Naturally, I’ll credit you as the contributor. We are changing up the site over the next few months and I think this will go on the blog that I just started there and also in a recipes section. Great stuff, the Dark Beauty!!


I’m making mine now!!!! Wooo hoo!!!! 30 secs left!


And the verdict, Ms Sarsonator?


Reminds me of my Nana. But probably not why someone might think. LOL. I just posted my review. Yay!


@Garret – of course it’s alright with me – I’m glad you like it. It’s my happy place, as Sars would say: Of Happiness.


Yep. That’s exactly what I would say! I think you really did a great job with this one, HoneyBelle!


Thanks hon. I’m enjoying my Jabber, thinking about what to put on a tortilla for dinner


Beans and hummus?
Veggies and hummus?
Veggies and SPICY hummus?


I have both of those things. Good idea, and maybe a cup of Black Beauty w/o SD since my Jabber is allll gone


I need to try the Black Beauty on it’s own. Maybe I will do that for tomorrow’s AM tea. I got excited and went right for your blend. :)


I love BB. It tastes bug bitten like an OB, but it’s not. It’s yummy


Oh, what a lovely review! You make everyone want to try this beauty cocktail…and guess what? I just got my black beauty in the mail, so tonight is the night!

Haha! And thanks for “violà” much appreciated :-)


Congrats on your 100th tasting note! Creating your own “Special” Mandala cocktail is an awesome way to celebrate #100! MzPriss, your truly an original!


Thanks looseTman – I hope you enjoy it if you try it :)


I love the new Lazy DB!!! Great idea ;-)


Lazy DB FTW!!! I am on my 2nd steep at 6 min. Still good!

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