Tea: Black Dragon Pearls
Vendor: Adagio Teas
Price: $19/5 oz.
Source: Yunnan, China
Vendor Description: Hailing from the Yunnan province, this black tea version of the popular Dragon Pearl is naturally sweet and smooth with a touch of earthiness. Comprised of only the highest quality leaves and buds, expertly rolled into a large pearl-like shape. Subtle cocoa notes whisper gently as each pearl unfurls delivering a superior tea experience not to be missed. We suggest using 2-3 Dragon Pearls per cup for a sublime tea drinking experience.
Leaf: The leaf for this tea is rather interesting. It consists of black and yellow balls. They're about the size of gumballs, weighing about 1g each. They are rather compressed looking and much larger than jasmine pearls. They have the golden appearance that some Yunnan teas are known for (Yunnan Gold for example). There is a very faint aroma to the balls, it strangely reminds me of Nestea instant powdered iced tea.
1st Infusion Parameters: 3.13g., 5oz, 208F, 5 min
1st Infusion: The tea has a dark brown, red hue to it. The infused leaf makes it apparent that the balls are just compressed leaf. They are not from a single triplet like most jasmine pearls are, nor are they bound together like presentation teas. The tea has a very subdued aroma to it, not making much of an impression at all. Overall the tea feels subtle, yet very flavorful. It slowly opens up into a very bodied taste. It is very mellow and smooth. There is no bitterness or astringency to it, which is rather surprising for a black tea.
Conclusion: While I wasn't really expecting much from this tea, I was rather surprised. I had expected it to be more novelty in the pearls than a solid flavor, but the flavor proved out over some of the more expensive Yunnan Gold teas that I have had in the past. It is smooth and enjoyable for when you want something that's got some power to it, but doesn't ask for sugar or milk.