Yunnan Dragon Pearl Black Tea from What-Cha Tea

YunnanDragonPearlsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  What-Cha Tea

Tea Description:

A unique black tea rolled into huge marble sized balls. With a sweet aroma and taste, and an incredibly thick texture.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

These pearls are beautiful!  They’re larger than a jasmine green tea (or white tea) pearl, about double or maybe even triple the size of one of those smaller pearls.  So, you don’t need quite as many to produce a cup of tea (I used five for my 12 ounce cup of tea).  The aroma of the dry pearl is somewhat earthy with notes of leather and sweet notes of honey and cacao.

Rather than brewing these pearls in a teapot, I chose my glass teacup so that I could watch the unfurling process.  They unfurl rather quickly, and after the first minute of steeping they were open and revealed many different leaves.  For this first infusion, I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes.  After those three minutes and observing how the leaves unfurl and seeing how much leaf is in the glass strainer, I think that for the next cup, I might only use four pearls!  Each pearl has a whole lot of tea in it!

YunnanDragonPearls1The color of the liquid is a dark copper and it smells very much the way the dry pearls smelled:  earthy, hints of leather and a strong overtone of cacao.  Nice.

So good!  I love a good Yunnan tea, and this Dragon Pearl is one of the nicest I’ve had.  It’s so rich and full-flavored.  After steeping the five pearls, I have a robust cup of tea – this is the strength I like first thing in the morning!  It’s got the gusto to shake the sleepy right out of me, you know what I mean?  On those days when you need an extra kick to wake you up and get you going, just drop another pearl into the cup.

Beautiful top notes of cacao – delicious!  There is an undertone of caramel that keeps everything sweet, and the cacao is more of a dark, bittersweet chocolate that balances out the sweeter notes.  The earthy tones and notes of leather offer a solid backdrop of flavor while the malty tones, cacao, honey and caramel play in the foreground.

It’s sweeter right up front, but then as the palate explores the sip, I find notes that offer some contrast to the sweetness.  I’m also noticing notes of stone fruit, reminiscent of plum and peach and faint hints of flower dance in and out of the sip.  This has a lot of complexity for such a robust cup!

This is a remarkably good black pearl.  I’ve tried several different black pearl teas now, and I’ve enjoyed the various ones that I’ve tried.  This one from What-Cha is really good, one of the best!  And I highly recommend re-infusing the leaves!  The second steep is almost as good as – and in some ways, even better than – the first steep!  The second steep is a little lighter … it’s not quite as hefty as the first cup, but this allows for more exploration of the complexity.  It is sweeter and I’m picking up on more of the notes of fruit and flower.  Amazing!

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