WtFGoD said

Recommend me a Black tea -not for the faint of heart-

been drinking tea for a good while, but ive yet to find a tea i really like. probably just a little bit too picky, but i figure aim high better than low.

i know a lot of people here tend to be mixed tea ‘nuts’ ;) ,so im not sure how much help i can get. but im looking for some of the more seasoned black tea drinkers to give me some advice on direction, based on my preferences.

in a tea i usually look for -
Caffeine/energy (i know)
Dark/blunt flavor (not sure if im explaining correctly)
Heavyness/roundness (mouthfeel)

Things i try to avoid -
flavored teas
too overwhelming of a taste

teas ive liked-
so far ive had the most positive experience with assams, even the lower quality ones im somewhat fond of. i liked an upton ceylon flavor wise although it lacked ‘kick/energy’ boost. been mixed on fujian teas, the more mild ones kind of grow on me although not being a huge fan of them at first. ive recently tried a yunnan mix that got me curious about yunnan teas, i like the overall flavor but not so much the earthyness.

teas ive disliked-
anything flavored, keemuns, darjeeling, smokey teas, english breakfast.

i know regions tend to have a distinctive taste, and ive only tried a small amount of them. looking for advice on region/ specific teas / or even specific shops/brands – preferably with a reasonable price.

if you read this im sorry, :)

29 Replies
Kiaharii said

Aw, I love smokey teas. :( All of the ones I was going to suggest are smokey, too bad! Interested to hear what others suggest.

what teas do you know of that are smokey? other than lapsang souchong? or maybe there a lapsang that’s better than Peets?

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I have some assam left from a teavana sale… Never drank it, just swapped some out. You can have it if you want. Called assam gold rain

WtFGoD said

appreciate the offer, but i cant risk liking a teavana tea!


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Angrboda said

Shame you don’t care for Keemun, that would have been my first suggestion untill I saw you don’t like the floral/smoky aspects, and then I saw that you were already familiar with the Fujians as well, so that left me in a bit of a pickle.

You have had good experiences with Assam, it looks like, so stick with that. It shouldn’t be difficult to find a large selection of that here and there, both single estates and blends. I would also explore Ceylon teas more if I were you. There are some regional differences there as well. That said, as I prefer Chinese black myself (all the ones you don’t like even), I’m working out of memory here.

Yunnan is definitely an interesting region and one with a very distinctive flavour. I’m not super-keen on it myself, but many people are very fond of Yunnans. Go at it with a little caution for the first few times though, as you may find them similar to that floral/smokey flavour you don’t like. Personally I think they taste rather of hay and can occasionally have a pseudo-smoky quality.

Verdant Teas’ Laoshan Black might also be interesting for you to try.

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Zeks said

You definitely want to try yunnan black. I’d say teavivre’s “Bailing Gongfu” or JK Tea Shop’s “Classic 58 Fengqing”. Both are great blacks.

I’d also suggest “Golden Fleece” from Verdant Tea but you said you don’t like overpowering teas. And Fleece is quite an experience…

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hannabling said

The only tea I have in mind is Barry’s Irish Breakfast Tea. I think it has a darker, stronger flavor than English Breakfast.

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AJ said

I was going to suggest Assam first until you’d said you’d already tried it. Still a good choice.

Yunnan was my next choice, which you’ve also already tried! But I say try a few, because I’ve gotten everything from a strong peppery taste, to earth, to marshmallows.

I’d also say Sun-Moon Lake black tea, which is from Taiwan. The thing I like about it, is it’s like an interesting cross between Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam teas. Dusty chocolate the first steep with malty hints that come out stronger in the second.

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gmathis said

Can’t beat good old PG Tips loose leaf for a strong, boot-your-carcass-out-the-door morning tea.

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Based on your notes above, I really think you’d like Queen Catherine by Harney and Sons. She delivers a swift caffeine punch.
Kick in the Cup by Red Leaf is also good.

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WtFGoD said

Thanks for all the feedback

seems the consensus is try different variations from the assam/yunnan areas maybe with a mix/ceylon thrown in. i think ill do just that, i think my next order is going to be with Harney/Upton or maybe redleaf.

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I like a nice Assam for that real kick – very little beats it. Try different variations of it.

I’m no lover of Lapsang Souchong as I find the smokiness too intense but I do like Russian Caravan as I don’t find it as overpowering.

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