looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness


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looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby chef07172 » Jul 16th, '10, 21:59

I am looking for a tea other than a darjeeling with low tannins and bitterness. I love darjeelings and I have some golden monkey that is not bad but I would like more options. Assams are way too strong and bitter for me without adding milk.
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby entropyembrace » Jul 16th, '10, 23:05

Try some Chinese blacks like Keemuns, Yunnan Gold, Ying De ect...

most Assams and Ceylons I don´t like and I really like Darjeelings and the Chinese blacks...
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby TwoPynts » Jul 20th, '10, 13:27

+1 the Darjeelings -- just don't over brew. :)
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby cyberhoofer » Jul 20th, '10, 18:14

I'm addicted - but would, anyhow, recommend Taiwanese Bai Hao Oriental Beauty. And, I do know it's not 'black' tea, but neither are Darjeelings all in all.

Go brave & give it a try...

Then, there are some outstanding Tibetan blacks...
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby Proinsias » Jul 20th, '10, 18:18

Yunnan black tea would get my vote.

Although from there red means black and black means something akin to cooked pu'er. In saying that cooked pu'erh may also be just the ticket - pretty much zero for bitterness.
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby Tead Off » Jul 21st, '10, 12:34

cyberhoofer wrote:I'm addicted - but would, anyhow, recommend Taiwanese Bai Hao Oriental Beauty. And, I do know it's not 'black' tea, but neither are Darjeelings all in all.

Go brave & give it a try...

Then, there are some outstanding Tibetan blacks...


Why don't you consider Darjeelings black tea? I can see where one might feel differently about the 1st flush, but, 2nd and Autumnal are deeply oxidized, deep red in color and taste more 'black' than anything else.
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby cyberhoofer » Jul 22nd, '10, 16:22

Tead Off wrote:
cyberhoofer wrote:I'm addicted - but would, anyhow, recommend Taiwanese Bai Hao Oriental Beauty. And, I do know it's not 'black' tea, but neither are Darjeelings all in all.

Go brave & give it a try...

Then, there are some outstanding Tibetan blacks...


Why don't you consider Darjeelings black tea? I can see where one might feel differently about the 1st flush, but, 2nd and Autumnal are deeply oxidized, deep red in color and taste more 'black' than anything else.


So, so many 2nd Flushes nowadays are manufactured in variable oxidation levels - and many fall between black & oolong.

I've also had Darj oolongs, which actually were black tea - and vice versa.

Of course there are many in the black category, the headier Muscatels in particular, with higher caffeine levels.

However, I tend to be more and more fond of the 'lighter' 2nd Flushes, such as Castleton Moonlight & Risheehat Clonal Flowery - both of which are extremely flowery teas with practically no astringency at all. I wouldn't call either 'black tea'.

Another one from the same category was last year's 2nd Flush Arya Ruby Tippy 'Moonbeam'. Perhaps the best 2nd Flush in my mind I had from 2009.

None of the three above mentioned Darjs are deep red in the cup, but more of a medium amber in colour. All have lower tannin levels as well.
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby teashionista » Jul 27th, '10, 23:25

You might want to try a good Nilgiri - last year's Handmade Nilgiri from teasource was great!
I'll second (or third) Yunnan black tea suggestions. The flavor profile of those is quite different from Indian teas, with more malty, smooth notes.
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby Katy1977 » Jul 28th, '10, 16:55

"Assams are way too strong and bitter for me without adding milk."

..Just wondering if anyone else ever adds milk (and sweetener) to black tea? I do enjoy whatever black tea they serve in chinese restaurants here in NY without milk and only sugar (not even sure what kind of tea that is), but aside from that, is it considered more beneficial to drink black tea without milk? :)

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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby xdunlapx » Jul 30th, '10, 06:32

I heard that chinese restaurants use oolong tea, not black tea. Just a thought. :)
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby NOESIS » Jul 31st, '10, 19:37

Chinese red (black) teas, as others have suggested. My current fave is Bai Lin Gong Fu from the Canton Tea Co. Absolutely sublime. :)

http://www.cantonteaco.com/black-tea/ba ... k-tea.html
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby britt » Aug 4th, '10, 22:02

chef07172 wrote:I am looking for a tea other than a darjeeling with low tannins and bitterness. I love darjeelings and I have some golden monkey that is not bad but I would like more options. Assams are way too strong and bitter for me without adding milk.


Hou De has some excellent Taiwanese blacks and also carries the Yunnan Golden Tips from China. I've tried them all and liked every one of them.

Yuuki-Cha has some great Japanese black tea but it is best brewed in a Japanese kyusu with a metal screen becuase the leaf is so small. This was one of the most unusual, and best, black teas I have tried. Overall, a very smooth, sweet black tea which I brewed with good results using both 195 degree and 208 degree water. The smoothest taste was at the lower temp, but I preferred the higher temp which gave it a bit of "bite".

Beware of some vendors selling Oriental Beauty, which many consider to be very close to a black tea. This tea is supposed to be unique to Taiwan but vendors like Numi are selling imitations from mainland China on Amazon. One pound for $39; you can spend that much on 2 ounces of the real higher-grade OB. Stephane of Tea masters did a comparison of various OB's and said the imitations from China and India were very bitter. I have found the real deal to be very smooth. OB is another option.
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby cyberhoofer » Aug 4th, '10, 22:55

OB from 'Dragon Tea House' is a blast!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Premium-Bai-Hao-Ool ... ltDomain_0

something to live for! :)
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby britt » Aug 5th, '10, 08:24

cyberhoofer wrote:OB from 'Dragon Tea House' is a blast!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Premium-Bai-Hao-Ool ... ltDomain_0

something to live for! :)


Yesterday I opened some summer 2009 OB from Hou De that I purchased last year and I am very impressed by it. I'm on the 9th infusion and it still seems to have a few more to go. I think this may be one of the better oolongs that we can get over here. It looks like the OB from Dragon Tea House comes from the same area where Hou De sources theirs.
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Re: looking for a black with low tannins and bitterness

Postby debunix » Aug 5th, '10, 12:59

I just tried two black teas this week that would fit the OPs description, and wrote up my tasting notes here.

Ruby Black Tea, Winter Harvest 2009, Yuchich Township, Nantou County, Taiwan, from Norbu
'Buddha's Hand' Fo Shou Hon Cha by Imperial Teas of Lincoln

And the summary (see the link above for the photos and full notes)

"They looked nice, smelled good, and the first one I tried, the Black Ruby, was delicious, so I decided to try a formal tasting with the two of them. And they were both quite nice. After a first very timid set of dilute infusions, I let them go more normally, and got a nicer fruitier tea from both, although I think the fruitiness was sharper and more interesting from the Ruby Black. But when I spent a few minutes letting the teas cool as I was writing up my notes, they did start to get a bit bitter--an important lesson here, I think, is brew and drink before that can happen."
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