Nepal Jun Chiyabari 'Himalayan Imperial' Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Brown Sugar, Citrus, Cocoa, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Grain, Honey, Malt, Pepper, Resin, Roasted Barley, Sawdust, Vegetables, Wood, Bell Pepper, Butternut Squash, Chocolate, Grapefruit, Roasted, Strawberry, Sweet, White Chocolate, Almond, Brown Toast, Butter, Grapes, Lemon, Nutmeg, Orange
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 9 oz / 260 ml

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9 Tasting Notes View all

From What-Cha

A brilliant fully oxidised black tea from Jun Chiyabari, Nepal’s leading tea producer. The tea has a brilliant honey sweet taste with lingering milk chocolate and light roast notes.

After sampling many of this year’s Spring productions from Jun Chiyabari, this was the stand out tea which brilliantly demonstrates the potential for Nepal to produce their own unique teas distinct from Darjeeling.

Tasting Notes:
- Highly aromatic with a roasted chocolate aroma
- Smooth texture
- Honey sweet taste with milk chocolate and light roast notes

Harvest: Spring, May 2017
Invoice: J43C-2017
Invoice Size: 20kg

Origin: Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden, Hile, Dhankuta District, Nepal
Organic: Certified organic by IMO Switzerland
Altitude: 1,600-2,000m
Sourced: Direct from Jun Chiyabari
Percentage of price going back to Jun Chiyabari: 30%+

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 95°C/203°F
- Use 2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 3-4 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

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9 Tasting Notes

2635 tasting notes

All of my What-Cha teas have come as gifts from Superanna, my eldest daughter. She surfs my wishlist, picks a tea, and then chooses a surprise tea or two to go with it! I had White Rhino on my list, and she chose this one!

She told me she had ordered my gift and shipped it straight here, but I was expecting several packages and didn’t realize this wasn’t one of my own orders (box didn’t seem to say What-Cha and I had some other tea coming) so I opened it. Happy early Birthday to me!
I got a nice sample I haven’t tried yet, and a note on White Rhino is coming soon.

I am not sure that I have had a Nepali black tea before, but this is really wonderful. There are only a few black teas that the Ashman enjoys plain, and he liked this one very much. We had it for breakfast today but I had already had it once on my own.

Though the area is known for producing darjeeling, this could more easily be mistaken for a Keemun. I am totally out of Keemun and at present I don’t mind at all because this will stand in very nicely indeed.

This has the chocolate-y notes and a delightful nutty roastiness without smoke that endures throughout the steeps. It is mildly brisk, but the type of briskness that is totally without sourness and needs no softening with milk or smoothing with sugar. It dries the mouth, but doesn’t pucker it. This is so gulpable, and makes you reach for more again and again.

I made two steeps together this time and combined them -I think it was a 36 ounce pot. After breakfast I wanted something to wet my whistle after helping a neighbor with her yard work a bit and I made a third steep, wondering if it would still have enough flavor to be worth it. It certainly did have enough flavor, as much as some teas have on their first steep.

This one is probably not going to last long here…

Thank you, Superanna! It is excellent tea!


What a wonderful daughter! And this tea also sounds tasty!

Martin Bednář

I wanted to add it to the wishlist, but apperntly it is there already since note from Crowkettle. Sounds delish!


Yay for early birthday presents! Sounds like a very tasty tea :)

Daylon R Thomas

Yeah, that one is very, very good.

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1188 tasting notes

I had a few 2018 Nepali teas from What-Cha once upon a time. I’m pretty sure this was my least favourite, and the only one not to disappear almost instantly upon arrival . That’s not to say it’s a bad tea; it’s actually pretty awesome!

Aroma of liquid: browned butter, wood resin, brown sugar, chocolate, malt, and weirdly enough, veggies (Togo’s Bell Pepper Note is spot on).

The smell gave me the impression that this would be a bright but woody/dry tea, but it’s surprisingly creamy and liquid sweet to taste (liquid honey, brown sugar, or the creamy sweetness of processed malts). the astringency does build with each subsequent sip but it’s quite pleasant.

For beer lovers, this tea’s profile is a close approximation of a rich stout.

(2018 fall harvest)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Citrus, Cocoa, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Grain, Honey, Malt, Pepper, Resin, Roasted Barley, Sawdust, Vegetables, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Martin Bednář

Because of beer-related note I put it into wishlist. It looks good even without that though!


Right? That’s a big plus for me too. Hopefully when you get the chance to try this you get some of the same dark beer vibes!

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749 tasting notes

[Autumn 2018 harvest]

This is a nice fairly robust and medium to full bodied black tea with a very distinctive chocolate note in both aroma and taste.

The tea indeed smells mostly of chocolate, complemented by slightly earthy and vegetal aromas, as well as a tomato scent. The taste is strongly reminiscent of cocoa beans and very sweet. There are also weaker notes of sawdust, red pepper, roasted barley and in the finish grapefruit skin too. Aftertaste is still sweet with flavours like roasted squash, strawberry, wood, and honey emerging. It is very long lasting and fragrant overall, probably the highlight of the tea for me. I quite like the mouthfeel too, which is slimy, fleeting and mouth-watering.

Flavors: Bell Pepper, Butternut Squash, Chocolate, Citrus, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Grapefruit, Honey, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Sawdust, Strawberry, Sweet, White Chocolate, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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2 tasting notes

Delicious honey kick in the aftertaste! Nice full bodied black tea really, when brewed properly.

Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Roasted

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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13239 tasting notes

oh this worked out much better this time. Upped the leaf and brewed it for a little longer. now it’s a much heavier brew…little bit of astringency, but it’s still smooth and there are hints of cocoa. noms. Now to go play some board games!


What are you going to play?


probably Robinson Crusoe, Fallout or Clans of Caledonia haha

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21 tasting notes

2.5g for 300ml for 3 minutes with water just off the boil.

A very interesting black tea that is completely distinct from darjeelings. The first aroma from the dry leaf upon opening the bag is of milk chocolate. After leaving it in a preheated empty pot for a few minutes, the aroma shifts more towards roast and wood.

This is a dry tea with an underlying delicate sweetness. Not sweet like a taiwanese black, a lot more subtle. It’s a softer black but not very soft, compared to say a georgian black or even an Australian arakai. It feels dry in the mouth at first, followed by smooth notes of chocolate and light roast, followed by a dryish slightly sweet aftertaste with lingering roast notes.

Will give this another go on a different day, both western style and also gongfu. My first assessment is that it’s a good and different hongchabut not quite up there with some of the others I’ve tried recently (Shan cha, Phoenix Georgian Black and Australian Arakai).

Flavors: Chocolate, Roasted, Roasted Barley

205 °F / 96 °C 2 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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1367 tasting notes

A way far back backlog because…I finished the sample in four days. I never had the chance to gong fu it. I brewed it 3 minutes almost every time in my French press with one exception of a near grandpa style steeping. Let’s see if I can do this tea justice from memory.

Alistair described this tea as setting itself apart from Darjeelings as a lot of Nepal teas have very similar profiles. The tendency to compare the two regions makes sense because they both come from the Himalayas, and I find myself putting them in the same category in my head. Now, I am glad to say that I’ve slowly started to prefer the Nepalese blacks, and I definitely prefer their oolongs over the few that I have had from India. Even though the market is expanding their and vendors like Alistair hopes to expose more people to Nepalese teas, I still like the teas for themselves.

What sets this one apart is it’s slight grapiness combined with the rich medium milk to dark chocolate taste that keeps on popping up. It’s very grapey and with a fair amount of malt, but I would not describe it as muscatel. The first initial sips are somewhat dry, but the following notes are rich and almost lavish ending in a slight roast drying it off. The roast was vaguely nutty, but definitely woody for me, and the grapey sweetness was almost comparable to a Chinese or Taiwaneese Honey Black tea, but the most prominent tastes of this tea were malt, chocolate, grape, light roast, and well tea. The general profile was consistent with pretty much all steeps western, though the sweet note was a little more pronounced in the second to last brews of the four or five I would get each time. The chocolate profile was more prominent in steeps 2, and 3, though two occasions of the four I had this tea had strong chocolate notes in steep 1. I unfortunately brewed ad hoc and by color, smell, and an internal clock that I can’t remember the parameters for, but generall, I added 30 seconds to a minute for stronger brews with less water and more leaves, or I incremented the minutes to 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 with less leaves and more water.

Although the grape notes and chocolate notes were layered on top of each other making this tea stand out from other elusive cocoa and chocolate note teas, the profile for the general person trying this would be a rich black tea. While tea snobs will love the chance to try the terroir for its unique contrasts of dryness and very wet sweet notes, intermediate drinkers, wine drinkers, or anyone who can handle dryer paletted things would appreciate this tea more. Average tea drinkers would appreciate it again as a rich black tea that is not as strong as an Assam, and it is good enough to stand up to cream and sugar. However; I’d go light on the additions to preserve more of the natural qualities of the tea, or use frothy cream or just a few dabs of it along with a moderate amount of sugar to handle the chocolaty notes.

I do not know how much anyone reading can gather from this, but I do recommend this to most people. It is very hardline medium to slightly soft on the grand scale of black teas and for those who like their teas like that with dash of complexity thrown in, this is your tea. And if it weren’t for the Wild Shan Cha, the financial situation of student teaching, and what I already have, I would have purchased fifty grams of this and recommend others to do the same. Was this review helpful?


This wasn’t on the list I made to prepare for a (hopefully near) future order but it has definitely piqued my interest!

Daylon R Thomas

It is definitely worth sampling. I know it spiked my hopes and preferences up for Nepal.

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1026 tasting notes

This was a tea I had been looking forward to reviewing since I bought it. I am a big fan of some of the black and oolong teas produced by Jun Chiyabari, and though I was not familiar with this tea until today, I had heard nothing but good things about it. Well, I am happy to report that I found this to be a very fine black tea.

I prepared this tea two ways. For the first part of the session, I steeped 3 grams of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I then conducted a second infusion at 7 minutes. For the remainder of the session, I relied on my usual single infusion (3-4 grams of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes).

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of chocolate, citrus, wood, and malt. After infusion, I began to detect hints of butter, brown toast, black grape, roasted grain, and cream. In the mouth, I detected rich notes of wood, chocolate, roasted grain, orange peel, lemon zest, butter, brown toast, cream, malt, and roasted almond supported by delicate undertones of brown sugar, nutmeg, and black grape. The finish was woody and malty with notes of citrus, chocolate, and roasted grain providing support.

This was a nice black tea. I was especially impressed by the fact that it did not come off as a clone of any sort of Darjeeling. The chocolate notes were particularly impressive in this one. I would definitely recommend it to fans of traditional black teas who are looking for something unique.

Flavors: Almond, Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Butter, Chocolate, Cream, Grain, Grapes, Lemon, Malt, Nutmeg, Orange, Wood

5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I downed my sample of it before I could gong fu it.


Daylon, I did the very same thing.


Oh dude, this review is writing checks I pray the tea can cash. This sounds like exactly my jam. If I blow my next paycheck on a crate of this I’m holding you personally responsible.


This one was already on my list to try, and this review further reinforces that :)

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