Looking for mild black

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.


Sep 10th, '09, 12:46
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Looking for mild black

by captarne12 » Sep 10th, '09, 12:46

Right now I'm drinking mainly Irish Breakfast. Now I would like to find something a little milder. Any suggestions?

Arne

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Sep 10th, '09, 12:47
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Re: Looking for mild black

by Chip » Sep 10th, '09, 12:47

Just about anything is milder than Irish Breakfast which is usually or tradtionally a rather bold Assam, IMHO.

Many other Indian region teas, particularly higher elevation teas such as Darjeeling, Ceylon (the high grown ones), Nepal, Nilgiri, etc will be considerably "lighter."

Some other blacks, Keemun approaches Assam, but I usually feel it is a bit lighter, certainly not "malty" like most Assam.

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Sep 10th, '09, 13:08
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Re: Looking for mild black

by Victoria » Sep 10th, '09, 13:08

Adagio's new Black Dragon Pearls is getting raves reviews:
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10727

It is very smooth and rich, chocolaty. If you click on the rating tab at Adagio, you will see the pearls have jumped to #1.

I also like Yunnan Gold and Yunnan Noir, but then I guess I'm just a big fan of Yunnans. :)

Welcome to the forum!

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Sep 10th, '09, 13:34
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Re: Looking for mild black

by geeber1 » Sep 10th, '09, 13:34

Ceylons are pretty mild, some would say blah, but good for a basic cup of tea. I think the Indian teas are a bit milder than the Chinese teas, which seem to always have a bit of "kick" to them.

Sep 10th, '09, 14:43
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Re: Looking for mild black

by Intuit » Sep 10th, '09, 14:43

Try English Breakfast teas that have keemun added. They're often more refined and laidback than malty full throttle Irish Breakfast blends.

If that still doesn't suit, look for Ceylon or Nilgiri estate teas.

Sep 10th, '09, 15:58
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Re: Looking for mild black

by captarne12 » Sep 10th, '09, 15:58

Thank you for all the info
Arne

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Sep 12th, '09, 02:22
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Re: Looking for mild black

by skywarrior » Sep 12th, '09, 02:22

Wow, I would put Irish Breakfast right up there with strong. I get sick from Irish Breakfast teas -- which says a lot because I'm a black tea drinker. Golden Monkey is nice; so are black dragon pearls, provided you go easy on the number of pearls per cup. They can be strong.

Ceylon alone is unremarkable in my book, but people like it. I'm not fond of keemun, though I know a lot of people who are, but I think it might be a bit strong for you. I'm fond of Assam tea, but it looks like Adagio uses Ceylon and Assam in Irish Breakfast, so I would skip Assam.

The flavored teas use Ceylon as a base so any flavored teas would probably work for you, except perhaps the really spicy ones like chai.

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Sep 12th, '09, 10:58
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Re: Looking for mild black

by Riene » Sep 12th, '09, 10:58

I think Ceylons, Keemuns, and Darjeelings are much lighter than Assams, so perhaps those would work for you. :)

You might want to venture into the land of the Oolongonians as well.

Sep 17th, '09, 19:25
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Re: Looking for mild black

by cyberhoofer » Sep 17th, '09, 19:25

captarne12 wrote:Right now I'm drinking mainly Irish Breakfast. Now I would like to find something a little milder. Any suggestions?

Arne
I'd bet on Nilgiri..., a smooth transition, in case you'd further yourself into something else, broaden up your tastes and such...

I still enjoy Nilgiri. A pretty good choice, if you need to zero yourself in betwween the ups'n'downs within your tea experiences. A sort of Solid Sam of teas :D :) :o 8) :lol: :roll:

Sep 17th, '09, 20:39
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Re: Looking for mild black

by Intuit » Sep 17th, '09, 20:39

Stick to the estate teas if you look to Ceylon and Nilgiri teas, otherwise they are blender teas that tend to be rather too bland in character.

Too bad Assam teas are given such short shrift here. Even within a moderate sized tea plantation, there can be hundreds of distinct batches produced in a single year over several growing seasons, demarcated in flavor characteristics by leaf size, grade and subtype, some of which lend themselves to distinct processing selection - greens, whites, lighter or darker oxidation levels.

You can't possibly judge an Assam by single batch sample associated with an estate name, or by location because the Brahmaputra River Valley is so long and varied in topology, climate, soils and mineral content that affect terroir.

Image

The problem is this: eighty percent of Assam Valley tea production is purely dedicated to making CTC tea blends - highly mechanized, with bland, rather tasteless varietals selected over several decades for qualities other than purely for flavor.

Think of it as the dumbing down of Assam, a loss of highly valuable tea growers knowledge catalyzed by historic ethnic cleansing and more recent and overwhelming largescale commercial mindset.

This has also happened in other Indian subcontinent tea growing regions, and this is alluded to in Raja's commentary on the history and deterioration of Darjeeling tea culture.

However, there are gems. Just as any green tea drinker will tell you, appreciation comes with developing your palate.

That takes time, patience and experience.

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Sep 18th, '09, 00:23
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Re: Looking for mild black

by sneakers » Sep 18th, '09, 00:23

Intuit wrote:
This has also happened in other Indian subcontinent tea growing regions, and this is alluded to in Raja's commentary on the history and deterioration of Darjeeling tea culture.

Would that be a reference tp Rajah Banerjee, the owner of Makaibari?

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Sep 24th, '09, 11:50
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Re: Looking for mild black

by AlexZorach » Sep 24th, '09, 11:50

I've found that you often have to pay a little more to get a mild black tea that is still flavorful. Look for catalog descriptions with words like "mellow", "mild", or "smooth". I've found some Keemun teas that were very mellow. But it's hard to generalize about region...there are smooth Assams and Darjeelings--but often you have to pay more for these.

If you enjoy black teas but want something much more mellow, you might also want to consider one of the darker oolongs, especially a dark (most-oxidized) formosa oolong. Some types of formosa oolong are more similar to black tea, but can be significantly less bitter and more mellow.

Also, experiment with the brewing. Try using less leaves and/or a shorter infusion time. Often, it's hard to tell a good tea from an excellent tea if you brew them both strong. On the other hand, an excellent tea will often retain its richness and complexity when you brew it with much fewer leaves...

Good luck!

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Oct 10th, '09, 16:57
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Re: Looking for mild black

by teacast » Oct 10th, '09, 16:57

I was going to say what the others said, keemun is def. the way to go. Both that Adagio sells are light and taste fantastic!

Oct 10th, '09, 23:41
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Re: Looking for mild black

by Dreamer » Oct 10th, '09, 23:41

I got two new teas this week that I would definitely recommend for anyone looking for mild black teas.

First is Black Spiral from Tao of Tea. It is very smooth with a great mouth-feel. it as a lovely aroma and a very nice flavor. It is an easy drinkable tea.

I also ordered the Nilgiri Neela from Tao of Tea. It is listed as a black, but it definitely has a lot of green to it. It is a delightful tea, interesting flavor, light amber color and a teasing floral aroma.

Both of these became instant favorites for me and an added bonus it that I think both are very reasonably priced.

Happy steeping,
Dreamer

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Oct 11th, '09, 00:25
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Re: Looking for mild black

by geeber1 » Oct 11th, '09, 00:25

Thanks, Dreamer. I have had the Nilgiri Neela before, but not the Black Spiral. Next time I'm ordering tea, I may order from them for a change of pace!

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