Black Beauty

Tea type
Black Tea
Not available
Chocolate, Fruity, Smooth, Caramel, Cocoa, Roasted, Burnt Sugar, Malt, Milk, Apricot, Dark Bittersweet, Honey, Jam, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Grain, Herbaceous, Mineral, 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 / 257 ml

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67 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.

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67 Tasting Notes

3262 tasting notes

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 from Garret! It is absolutely delicious, & deliciously complex, with a rich sweet dark chocolate quality that so many of us love.


Agreed! Just dug this one out this morning too after a bit of a night out. It brought me back from the dead.


I am so happy that you enjoy this tea. I attempt to turn many people on to it here at the shop. We now have a few coffeehouses/tea shops that we source to and they are doing very well with it. It’s a winner. Different and wonderful. Thanks for writing your thoughts about it!!


The flavor profile on this tea sounds like a breakfast by itself!

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8233 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 first order with mandala to a smaller size. I suspect that even though I’m enjoying these black teas – i may just force myself to focus on the puerhs from Garret as I already want 2-3 cakes… lesigh

This is a bolder tea that is also sweet and reminds me of some of the keemuns i’ve had but not overly so. There’s very little astringency and mostly it’s just a yummy morning cup for me. I’m glad i have a bit left – even if a sipdown would be great too lol


Keeping Mandala orders to a small size is a big struggle. I fear I may make it worse for you when I get around to sending some teas to you…when I can get to the post office. The post office in 100 degree heat is a frightening place.


ugh i feel you there! my house is super hot this week with temperatures hitting uh converts about 104 this week with the humidex. UGH DO NOT LIKE


I am a complete wuss when it comes to heat. I only leave the air-conditioned parts of the house upon necessity.

Terri HarpLady

That’s my policy as well.
Glad you like this one! I’m already planning my next mandala order…


This tea totally reminded me of some of the characteristics of Keemun, but I like this alot more… we are having so many people enjoy this tea and that makes me so happy. Matter of fact, unless I can find a really high quality Keemun for the store, I’m going to direct customers looking for keemun like tea to this one. I think it ages waaaaay better than keemun, too.

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2816 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 the one from their site feel free to replace it. :)

I decided to go with one long steep at 4 minutes although you can also do shorter steeps with this one. The tea is a lovely reddish brown. This is very impressive if you like sweeter, mellower teas. The predominate flavors are caramel and chocolate. The tea is medium bodied and has a lovely sweet finish with no astringency present.

A great one to sip on plain as it doesn’t need any additions. I don’t know which is my favorite black tea from Mandala, they’re all yummy!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I see a definite order from Mandala in the near future-some good Pu-erhs and Blacks.


Amy! Thanks for another great review! You’re a doll :)

Scott! I’d love to help you with an order from us. You can always email me at [email protected] Alot of times, I have some things that aren’t even up on the website yet or ones that we have available only in the shop because of smaller quantities. IF you are into sheng pu’er, I’ve also got some nice mao cha’s that I brought back from my last trip to China. I’m here for ya and I look forward to serving you!! Enjoy!!!


Garret – I look forward to seeing what your new stuff is!
Scott – you should do it! Mandala is awesome!


Amy – Have you tried mao cha before? I will set aside a little of this gu shu cha (old tree tea) and some ye sheng cha (wild tree tea) mao cha that I found on this last trip. I bought tons and am having it pressed into cakes. We won’t see the cakes until August or September, but at least you’ll get to taste what went into them!!


I’ve had only one mao cha in the past, it was from Silk Road Teas and I liked it! =)


I have sipped much tea with the man who owns silk road tea when I was in China this past trip! Love that guy! Though he and I are 20 years apart in age (this time around) we have much in common, besides tea :) I am going to make sure you get to try some more mao cha!!! It’ll be fun to send you some things that I sipped in the farmer’s homes!!

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998 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 teas.
I’m having problems with this one. It confuses me. I’m having problems calling it, because I don’t know how I feel about it.
I’m having a love/hate relationship. When it’s HOT, it has as odd fruity, white wine, astringent smell to it. Can’t even begin to describe how it tastes – some might say light and bright – I’m calling it a high note/tone. As it cools, it deepens and the cocoa notes, and the starchy feel that I like so well starts to come through. Once this is lukewarm, it’s a really nice black tea, with all the notes that I love about good Chinese blacks….
I hate this when it’s hot, I love it when it’s cooler. I’ve drank it a couple days at work now. Today I tried it with more leaf, cooler water, less steep time. I didn’t think the “wine” taste was as prominent today, but still there…
This just really confuses me. I don’t know how to rate it – how I feel about it depends on what temperature it is.

Terri HarpLady

There you go! Just another reason I quit rating teas! :)

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390 tasting notes

very nice, very smooth…. i have to play with steeping to maximize its potential. still quite lovely though.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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177 tasting notes

Maybe it’s because I’m an INFP on the Meyer’s-Briggs scale, but my choice of what tea to drink usually comes down to opening the cupboard, twirling the lazy Susan and waiting for something to jump out at me.

When I find myself reaching for the same tea over and over, I figure it should be a staple in my collection. Well, the Black Beauty qualifies. Unlike other people, I find this to be quite dry and clean in the mouth balanced by a nice burnt sugar taste and an almost chai-like spiciness. It’s definitely becoming one of my comfort teas—perfect for these bone-chilling New England days.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

…and I like to methodically go through my teas in accordance with a predetermined structure. There’s always a plan B, C, D, E and F, of course, just in case. (INTJ)

Doug F

Hmmm. Do I sense sarcasm?


No, not at all, that’s actually how I do it, haha!

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97 tasting notes

I saved this one for last because I was really looking forward to it. It just sounded so good and it smelled so yummy in the bag. And it was really really good but it was kind of weird too.

I don’t know what I was expecting when it came to this tea but I definitely didn’t expect what I got. Dry the tea smells like any other black tea. Maybe a bit roastier. But brewed this tea smells…it’s kind of difficult to describe…but kind of herbaceous. Like basil. Basil in a garden because there is also kind of an earthy smell as well. It smells like my Grandma’s garden….it’s a happy place for me. The taste keeps that basil flavor but adds a chocolaty kick at the end of the sip. It reminds me of my favorite cake ever which happens to be a chocolate basil cake. It sounds weird but it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

I’m still brewing this one so updates will be updating. That makes very little sense but it will happen.

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

Hmmmmm you’re making it hard for me to decide what to get!


Ha. I think Long Life was my favorite…if that’s any help at all. I have yet to find a tea from Mandala that wasn’t excellent though.

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1113 tasting notes

I got a sample of this tea with my first Mandala order. Thanks Garret!

This is not a kind of tea I actively seek out, but a kind I always tend to enjoy. Very smooth and sweet. Lots of nice roasty and cocoa-like flavors without being super heavy. I’m glad I got to try it :)

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612 tasting notes

This is sweet and mellow as straight black teas go, with that trademark Chinese smoothness and caramelized sweet potato thing going on. Something like chocolate and the smallest tinge of smoke too. Very pleasant and easy-going. I can see the resemblance to keemun and how people might prefer this as it’s a little sweeter and smoother than the keemuns I’ve tried so far but still has hints of those smoky intense chocolate notes. It’s a nice tea that doesn’t kick you awake rudely but does the job in a friendly, kinder sort of manner.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I got a sample of this with my order- I need to try it! :D

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328 tasting notes

Tea swap sample provided by @Amy Oh

This seemed like a nice, mellow, Qimen-like tea. Unfortunately my husband I drank through our 6 steeps too quickly for me to write enough notes. We’re not big Qimen fans, so I’ll refrain from rating this tea. (Not to say it’s bad, because it’s an enjoyable black tea. But I have a bias)

It also reminds me of Tao Tea Leaf’s Mei Zhan. Which keeps the same mellow Qimen theme going on.

100ml gaiwan, 5g, 6 steeps (rinse, 15s, 30s, 45s, 1m, 1m30, 2m)

195 °F / 90 °C

Interesting, this did not remind me too much of a typical Qimen…


It’s the sort of flavour that really sticks out on my tongue. But this one is so mellow that it doesn’t overwhelm my senses.

I have the same problem with anything rose or lavender scented. Having a bit of it is ok, but if the flavour really builds up it just irritates me.

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