Downy Tips Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Pepper, Spices, Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Leather, Malt, Oak wood, Toast, Wheat, Wood, Yeast, Yeasty, Apricot, Chocolate, Smooth, Thick
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Nicole
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec 7 g 38 oz / 1132 ml

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16 Tasting Notes View all

  • “So things are finally starting to settle down after the move… Almost all of the boxes have been unpacked and pretty much everything has been put away, even if most of it is just a temporary home...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thanks to Nicole for the sample! I put the whole 4.5g sample in my 100ml gaiwan. Water mostly in the 90-95deg range. Steeps starting at 10sec, adding a few each time, then some longer steeps (using...” Read full tasting note
  • “an ok tea when I smell the leaves dry, I smell pepper and spices. when I smell the leaves wet, the smell is intensified. when I smell the brewed tea, I smell pepper and spices. when I taste the...” Read full tasting note
    75
  • “GCTTB These look so nice. Long spindles of leaf, mostly a nice golden yellow, and dwindling to black. The brewed scent is all smooth chocolate with fruit and a bit of a malty edge. Taste wise, the...” Read full tasting note
    77

From Mandala Tea

This beautiful (spring 2014) black tea comes to us from the Wu Liang mountains in SW China, an area that Garret visited on his 2012 buying trip. Far-away from cities or busy roads, he was delighted there not just at the high altitude and the beautiful mountains shrouded in clouds and mist, but at how so many great teas are raised there.

Our Downy Tips black tea is one of the great teas hailing from there. The leaves were picked at just the right moment and the processing of the leaves into a black tea is perfect, giving this tea a big thumbs-up from us and the folks who have tried it in our shop, at our homes and theirs.

One look, one smell, one taste of this superb tea and you’ll be impressed with the complexity and balance of fruity and floral, chocolatey and woodsy. This one is a keeper – so smooth, so warming, so energizing in the gentle way that only great tea can be.

Like other black teas from this part of China, this tea will age gracefully, developing depth and complexity for 3 to 5 years!

About Mandala Tea View company

Company description not available.

16 Tasting Notes

217 tasting notes

So things are finally starting to settle down after the move… Almost all of the boxes have been unpacked and pretty much everything has been put away, even if most of it is just a temporary home until I can find more permanent spaces… that’s always what I dislike most about moving, finding the right spot for everything in the new place…. But, as a benefit, I’ve discovered a lot of hoarded tea during this move squirrelled away in spaces that I had forgotten I had… This is a sample I picked up from someone during a swap when I was a little more active on this site than I’ve been recently… It’s also a sip down which makes me super happy because I’m pretty sure at this point I have over 500 different teas in various quantities laying around my house… I’ve had to hide tea all over the house in various cupboards so my husband doesn’t realize just HOW much tea I really do have… I would never hear the end of it!!! So, I’m working towards at least trying to finish off all my sample sized tea in the next couple of weeks… wish me luck… its a daunting prospect!!! Anyways, enough rambling… onto the tea review… This is a beautiful morning pick me up. It’s malty, earthy with a baked bread scent and taste. If I wasn’t on a mission to reduce my cupboard I would definitely buy some of this. This is the kind of tea that makes me happy to be sitting at my desk at work before everyone else gets in just enjoying the peace and quiet!

Xxxxx

Nice review. Sounds like my kind of tea. Since I moved cross country, I work from home now but really enjoyed being first in the office back in SF, sitting with my breakfast tray, tea pot, china cup and saucer enjoying the first cup of the day and the peace and quiet.

Moving is a trial, but there is the joy of discovery and the pleasure of crafting a new home. Enjoy that as well as your unearthed samples.

mrmopar

Only 500, you will run out of it shortly. Time to restock!

beelicious

LOL that’s the only problem with being on this site… everyone’s tasting notes are so tempting and I have very little willpower!!

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345 tasting notes

Thanks to Nicole for the sample! I put the whole 4.5g sample in my 100ml gaiwan. Water mostly in the 90-95deg range. Steeps starting at 10sec, adding a few each time, then some longer steeps (using the “ignore it for a while, and then go ‘oh yeah, tea!’ method”).

The dry leaves are gorgeous, black with lots of gold. The wet leaves have a really rich, earthy and spicy smell. The liquor is a bit less sweet than I was expecting, malty and earth/woody and a little bit fruity. Quite a few steeps in, I’m starting to get a bit of a drying sensation in the back of my throat, but otherwise it’s fairly smooth. It’s good but not something I feel the need to buy more of. :)

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75
649 tasting notes

an ok tea

when I smell the leaves dry, I smell pepper and spices.

when I smell the leaves wet, the smell is intensified.

when I smell the brewed tea, I smell pepper and spices.

when I taste the brewed tea, I taste pepper and spices.

i rate this a 75 because I am not really into black teas.

many thanks to Scribbles for this ok tea sample :)

Flavors: Pepper, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 10 g 250 OZ / 7393 ML

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77
45 tasting notes

GCTTB

These look so nice. Long spindles of leaf, mostly a nice golden yellow, and dwindling to black. The brewed scent is all smooth chocolate with fruit and a bit of a malty edge. Taste wise, the malt is actually strongest for me. That strong chocolate scent doesn’t quite follow through in the flavour. It’s definitely there, just not as much as that great smell would have you believe. Quality, enjoyable, but didn’t stand out to me.

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987 tasting notes

Another simultaneous triple taste test from the GCTTB4!

This tea reminds me quite a bit of WP’s Golden Orchid – there’s definitely that sweet fudgy note, like dark chocolate. No vanilla, though, but I did like the dark smokiness of it – I get what others are saying here about leather (which I tend to like!). The flavour was a bit thin, but I think that might have underleafed it – the leaves are so thick and fluffy.

boychik

Hey you are drinking what I’m drinking lol . Had it yesterday morning. Leaves are gorgeous but taste wise is not my favorite. Kinda flat and not complex

Christina / BooksandTea

I liked the chocolate/vanilla note to it. I’m wondering what other teas from this region I might like. The description says Wu Liang mountains. I don’t know much about Chinese geography – is this in the Fujian region? WP’s North Winds blend (the base for Golden Orchid) apparently includes Fujian black tea.

Garret

HI!! This tea is just starting to get good, in my opinion. I liked it fresh just fine, but like many black teas from the Wuliang area (I was there in 2012) and Yunnan province, in general, I find they are at their best at 1.5 to 3 yrs. That’s my take on them. Thanks for writing up your thoughts. I should say that many of our customers are enjoying the heck outta this one when they brew long and strong. Those who add milk and/or sweetener have really been favoring this and as iced tea it is tea-riffic! Grateful, Garret

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71
71 tasting notes

The good folks at Mandala were kind enough to put together a black tea sampler in lieu of their “tea party in a box.” This one is very strong, and I may have over-leafed a bit. I brewed it in my gaiwan since the big leaves make it easy to do that. The box arrived yesterday, and this is the first I’ve tried. It’s good, but I’m not a fan of the wood and leather notes that others mentioned. The taste of wood reminds me a little of the way oak tastes in wine, and I don’t like it. Pronounced leather is not spectacularly appealing to me either.

It’s not bad, but I probably wouldn’t order a larger package of it either. I would only recommend it to people who know for a fact that they like leather and oak in their tea. For me, both notes add a bit of bitterness that I find unpleasant. I didn’t find this one smooth as others did.

A strong taste lingers as well — a little like yeasty baked bread or toast mixed with the taste of wood.

It does resteep unusually well for black tea, though. And I can tell it’s high quality tea; it’s just a flavor profile I don’t love. I think the flavor rounds out a bit in later steeps — the second and third were much better than the first for me. And the tea is a very appealing bright red color.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Leather, Malt, Oak wood, Toast, Wheat, Wood, Yeast, Yeasty

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90
2201 tasting notes

I had a bit more of this tea left than I used last time, but not enough for two cups, so in it went. Mostly because the tea is so fluffy and spindly that teaspoons aren’t really a great measure of the leaf amount anyway, so I knew splitting it would be a mistake.

This is really quite tasty. I looked back at the notes for this one and I have to say I don’t get any wood or leather in this at all. It is just nice sweet grains and molasses. Yum. Maybe because I am treating it with a lighter hand? I often find these fine Chinese black teas need to be brewed more like oolongs than people are used to brewing black teas.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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83
9661 tasting notes

I’ve had this before but don’t see my review. I opted for a long western brew of this today as i want to save my gonfu patience for later today with some puerhs since those are my closest sipdowns and i have a number of new puerhs to try as well as share with friends.

This is not my favourite from mandala but it’s a delicious one.Smooth, sweet, caramel and molasses. Not too heavy but not a light tea either. Great for a work from home tea day!

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20
734 tasting notes

Tried this one earlier this morning. Wasn’t totally expecting to like it since the majority of flavors it lists on here don’t appeal to me all that much for the most part. So I wasn’t overly disappointed by not liking it.
The taste reminded me mainly of wood and an almost leathery taste. It was so so strong. I wasn’t expecting it to be that strong. I know I didn’t over-steep it, so no idea what on earth went wrong. Or if that’s just how it is.
But definitely not my cuppa. Anyway, thank you so much for the sample, Nicole!

Flavors: Leather, Wood

Nicole

Aw, I’m sorry this wasn’t your thing. Right now this one is on my list of deserted island teas. :)

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85
972 tasting notes

Another sample from miss anonymous! I was happy to see this one, as I’ve tried a couple of Mandala’s black teas before and found them yummy. This one looks like a lovely fluffy pure bud Yunnan. The buds are floofy and fuzzy and about half golden, half grey. I can’t comment on the scent because everything from this package seems to smell vaguely of cinnamon, teehee.

Steeped, it smells amazingly milk chocolaty with some stonefruit (oooooh chocolate-covered dried apricots?!). Taste-wise, it’s very light. I can definitely taste that creamy milk chocolate flavor, but there’s also a light savory taste that I generally find in Yunnan teas. It’s an interesting combination! The stonefruit, specifically apricot, is also quite present, especially near the end of the sip. Yummy!

Flavors: Apricot, Chocolate, Malt, Smooth, Thick

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Dexter

Hmmmmm that sounds awesome – may have to place a Mandala order soon.
Happy New Year Cameron!!!

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