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
“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
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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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.