Black Gold

Tea type
Black Tea
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Astringent, Bitter, Earth, Honey, Malt, Sweet Potatoes, Chocolate, Grain, Molasses, Sugar, Sweet, Burnt Sugar, Cacao, Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by tperez
Average preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 6 g 9 oz / 276 ml

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31 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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,...” Read full tasting note
  • “sipdown! 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...” Read full tasting note
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “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...” Read full tasting note

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.

About Mandala Tea View company

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31 Tasting Notes

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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503 tasting notes

I really enjoy this tea in the morning! The dry leaf consists of black tendrils spotted with gold. These twisted leaves carry a lovely fragrance of malt, dried cherries, and some chocolate powder. I grabbed a good sized amount and stuffed the warmed ruyao teapot. The warmed leaves open up and give off a strong sense of dark bitter sweet chocolate, some syrupy notes, and a dark woody undertone. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The brew begins light caramel colored and slowly becomes darker. The steeped leaves give a strong and robust scent of mahogany, dark cacao, and burnt sugar. The taste is fantastic. This drink begins with a smooth sweet sugar cane that covers a tangy and wood flavor. The brew gives off a brief sense of astringency and tannin with each sip. As the session progresses, the flavors become deeper and consists of heavier wood flavors mixed with malt. The reason I love this in the mornings is that it gives a wonderful qi pick-me-up feeling. I experience a soothing warming feeling with an eye opening sensation. I also note some neck prickling and hair rising affects. I really enjoy this tea; however, I’m not a big fan of the later steeping. I usually carry this brew up to about four maybe five steep sessions, and then I leave for the day. This is a great value tea to throw into the teapot!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Cacao, Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Malt, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

Pretty leaves.

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786 tasting notes

Hm. Could have sworn I tried this one previously but I don’t see it. This was a generous sample included by Garret in my recent order. Delicious, smooth, darkly sweet and fruity with a significant amount of malt. This one was sipped over the course of the entire day and it was equally tasty once it cooled off.

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

so happy that you enjoyed it. There is something about this particular vintage that is so pleasing even while it is so young. Normally, I like this tea best at about 1.5 yrs to 3 yrs of age! The wetter weather prior to harvest and the extra drying time required made this young tea quite special very early. I believe I’ll make some right now since you got me thinking about it!


This was absolutely yummy. I have just enough left to try it in a gaiwan. :)

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1000 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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1732 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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436 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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1113 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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408 tasting notes

Another from the sweet Dexter3657
Black gold is exactly my type of black tea : mellow mellow and mellow but malty .
It’s a real blold tea without any astringency. I detected clearly fruit notes, mostly raisin ot me and a big sweetness.
Loved it.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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749 tasting notes

Another awesome surprise from Dexter3657!

This one I may prefer over the Gaba. They are both great black teas, but this one is not quite as thick tasting. Perhaps that’s just due to the shorter steep time. This one has all the aspects of black tea I love. The subtle sweetness and smooth taste.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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41 tasting notes

Thanks to Terri HarpLady for the generous sample of this! I got to try it in both Western and Gong Fu styles, with some left over.

Brewed Western style (3.3g/8oz./208F/10 sec. rinse/1 min. pause, then 1/2/3/4/5 minutes), I smelled cocoa powder and tasted wonderful spice notes accompanied by a stimulating citrus essence that felt lively on the tongue in the first two steeps. The later steeps brought similar, although muted, tastes along with just a hint of Meyer lemon in the flavor.

Next I tried Gong Fu style (5g/100 ml/208F/15 sec. rinse/1 min. pause, then 15/15/20/25/30/45/60/80/105 seconds). A honey and lemon aroma coupled with a strong note of Meyer lemon dominated the first steep, which came across as being quite tasty. The middle steeps saw a shifting interplay of spices, citrus liveliness on the tongue and sweetness which were very enjoyable. The last couple of steeps saw an increase in the spice, but not to an objectionable level.

Of the two methods, I thought the Gong Fu preparation allowed this tea to show more layers of flavor, but if I were in a hurry I would not hesitate to steep it Western.

I’m just beginning my exploration of Chinese black teas so I’m not sure where this would rank in terms of other well known ones. Overall, however, it’s a very nice tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Terri HarpLady

Yay, glad you liked it!


What a nice review of this tea! Thank you for that. Funny, I see in your bio that you were a follower of the Grateful Dead as I’ve been listening to alot of live dead these last few days. I saw them alot between 86 and 93. Yes… some good seeds were planted and some good seeds were watered during that time. It’s how I got into Eastern philosophy, bodywork, meditation and TEA!! Hope it did you lots of good, too, my friend :)


It did me lots of good, but in a different way. I was in a period of stress in my life and the shows were an oasis of peace. In addition, the sense of community was overwhelming. For instance, I traveled to the show at the Richfield where Vince Welnick was playing his first gig with them. Had all sorts of travel mishaps and arrived 20 minutes after the start of the show without having had lunch or dinner. After the show my blood sugar had tanked and I was shuffling around the parking lot, having lost my traveling companions some hours earlier, when a random guy came up to see what was wrong. He got me a Gatorade and an apple, then brought me back to a dorm at Akron to crash. I woke up in the morning on the living room floor with about 20 other refugees from the show. We became friends and he sent me a T-shirt he had made (Dr. Seuss: “I am the Lorax and I speak for the trees”). Years later I’m walking down Duval in Key West wearing the shirt when a guy stops me. “My friend made that shirt” he says. Turns out he was one of the dorm mates from the floor I had crashed on years earlier, and in that moment my experience came full circle. I have a number of stories like that and they all center on the communities that would spring up around the shows. I took that spirit with me and applied it to the community around me back home. Not everyone was receptive, but the practice of opening myself to the people and the world around me was life changing. I feel a sense of that here on Steepster, where people are willing to give and share openly without judgment. It’s a rare thing on the Internet.


Oh yeah, about tea … There are a handful of companies which seem to offer the very best of what they can source such that I have no hesitation trying something from them which is new to me. Mandala is one of those, along with Verdant and Butiki (and probably others I have not discovered yet). I tend to want to get to know a tea before logging it, which could take anywhere from days to a month or more, so my logs tend to be sparse. I’ve got a dozen Mandala teas in my cupboard (not counting samples from swaps) and some of those will always remain on hand, such as the Phatty Cakes and Special Dark. You have a knack for this … keep up the good work!

Terri HarpLady

Applause to everything you said! I especially love the bit about the t-shirt. Life is awesome, & we’re all connected!


I love stories like that one, my friend. It still happens to me. Even here on Steepster :) Thanks so much for sharing that one with us. And wow, thanks for the kind words about our humble company!! That means a lot to me.

With Dead scene, I definitely got opened up to the possibility of community, for sure. And while community isn’t always perfect, not trying for community is a far less appealing option, for sure!


the dead scene, I meant.

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