Black King

Picture of Black King
Brand:Harney and Sons
Style:Black Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Region:Hunan, China
Loose/teabag:Loose
Product page:Black King

This tea's info last updated: Apr. 23, 2018

Commercial Description

On our last day in China, we wanted to go once more to a tea garden. While there we found this lovely tea. Given our weakness for great Chinese black teas, we did not resist its charms. Yum!

Ratings & Reviews

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Reviewer pic100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
(1396 reviews) on

Wow, this is a truly exceptional tea.

The dry leaf looks and smells intricate and beautiful: the appearance is fine, wiry leaves with a dusty appearance, a mix of gold and rich brown, and the aroma is very intense, strongly malty, like rye malt, with hints of spice, and the suggestion of sweetness. There's a strong character in the aroma that I usually only sense in top-quality green teas, rarely in black teas. It's a fresh, light, nutty quality.

The brewed cup smells astonishingly different from the dry leaf, but is equally pleasant. It's subtle, creamy, almost hinting at vanilla, and with faint cocoa notes. The aroma is a little malty, but the malty doesn't dominate as in some teas. The cup is sweet and there's only a slight bitterness and hint of sourness. There's a strong savory or umami flavor, much more than typical for even a high-grade black tea,and this imparts body and depth to the tea which otherwise might seem a bit thin because it's so low in astringency.

If I close my eyes, it does not taste or smell like a black tea, the only hint is the malty and cocoa notes, but the rest of it reminds me more of a green tea.

Resteeps very well. The second cup is never quite as magical as the first, but it's still very good. I usually brew two or three cups though from the same set of leaves.

I've served this tea to a lot of people and it consistently impresses. Everyone who has tried it likes it. I also find it very hearty, it's like, smooth and gentle but warming and satisfying. I find after drinking a cup I want to wait some time before drinking another, so I often brew it in the morning and then brew a second cup a couple hours later, from the same leaves, or I brew it in a group of people where I can share the resteeps.

Super pricey, but I think worth it. If you're going to splurge, this one is worth every cent! It works out to costing around $1-1.50 a cup, depending on how much leaf you use, but if you resteep (which I recommend) you can figure it's a lot less than that.
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