Black Gold

Tea type
Black Tea
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Bitter, Chocolate, Grain, Molasses, Sugar, Sweet, Burnt Sugar, Cacao, Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Malt, Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by tperez
Average preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 7 g 10 oz / 303 ml

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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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30 Tasting Notes

3261 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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8227 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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2215 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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612 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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1021 tasting notes

While the notes of this tea are already accurate, I’d like to weigh in as I have drank this 3x at work in the morning.

The term bitter and chocolate does apply, but not in the sense of a bittersweet dark chocolate. This is more like the astringency of an Assam tea but a chocolate taste you would get from some leftover chocolate powder used in a mixture that happened to be on your fingertips. Not that strong, quite dry, but noticeable. I prefer my golden needle dianhong to this due to the bitterness that makes it hard to enjoy fruits right away in the morning.

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333 tasting notes

A sample that was kindly included with my Mandala order. This has all the makings of a a great malty black tea. Very smooth, full-bodied, with an inviting fragrance, and right along the lines of other great Yunnan black teas I’ve tried (many also with “gold/golden” in the English names). I accidentally added a bit more leaf than I intended to, but to no detriment at all.


I just had this today too! :)


And oddly I was sure I wrote a review but can’t find it..


I was on my way to a meeting and stopped by one of the local coffee shops that uses our Black Gold for their iced tea. What a treat. Plenty of depth, absolutely no sweetener needed. A wonderful tea that the man I was meeting with really enjoyed! Thanks for your review! Grateful, Garret


caile: I hope you enjoyed it! :)

Garret: Iced tea sounds like a great idea! Thank you for bringing us delightful teas!


I did enjoy it very much, Mikumofu. :))
Oh yes, I bet it would make good iced tea…. hmmm,I think these are the leftover leaves cold steeping in my fridge! Five days ago though, oh no.


Ok, I just went to the fridge to check. I thought I would need to dump this brew out but I tasted it first and wow, it is delicious and perfect! No unpleasant tannin at all, just sweet honey! I can see why that shop Garret mentioned uses it for their iced tea!


You were brave to taste it! I think I’ll give the cold steeping (for a shorter time) a try too, it’s looking to be a warm holiday weekend here!


haha, I was thinking the same as I took the first sip. ;)

I’m actually not sure now if it was this tea or the gaba black that I was steeping, as I had both that day, but oh well, it turned out good whichever one it was.

Nice you are going to try the cold steeping – perfect timing for warm weekend weather – hope you enjoy it!

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97 tasting notes

Black Gold is one of those teas from Mandala that I bought but never opened. Terrible. But it probably slipped through the cracks when I was on a pu’er kick.

I tried to brew this one in short steeps around a minute or so but this one was made for the morning. A good old kick in the pants before work. A long brew produced one of the best black tea experiences I have had in a long time. It’s malty. It’s chocolaty. Sort of sweet but sort of bitter at the same time. There is a molasses like sweetness to this tea. This will be my every morning tea.

Flavors: Bitter, Chocolate, Grain, Molasses

5 min, 0 sec

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21 tasting notes

Slightly sweet black tea that’s great alone or with milk and sugar for those tea sippers. Great base for homemade chai.

Flavors: Sugar, Sweet

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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