OK, I admit it! I was immediately drawn to this tea because it’s a pearl. I don’t know why I like my teas in pearl form. Perhaps it’s because I do enjoy watching the unfurling process in my smart tea maker (another reason why the smart tea maker is the FIND of the decade!) While John Lennon may have passed his time watching the wheels go round and round, I like to pass the time watching the agony of the tea leaves as they unfurl before me.
Teavana describes Black Dragon Pearl Tea as…
This fragrant and rare hand-rolled tippy black tea from the Yunnan province unfurls to release a smooth-bodied taste with sweet, chocolaty, and malty undertones. Good for multiple infusions. This is a perfect morning and afternoon tea.
The fragrance is not overwhelming, but the tea does offer a very pleasant, spicy aroma, with just a hint of sweetness. The brewed tea is a clear, coppery color. Many of the Yunnan teas that I’ve sampled over the years present a brisk, almost peppery flavor to it, but the flavor of this tea is a bit less astringent — I would describe the flavor as more “energetic” than peppery. Malty undertones are present, with some sweet notes. I really like the body of this tea, it fills the palate, and it feels satisfying.
When preparing this tea, I recommend caution when choosing how many pearls to brew per cup. With jasmine pearls, the magic number seems to be seven for a cup of tea, and since I brew my tea for a 16 ounce mug, I usually count out 14 pearls. But these pearls are the KING of pearls, not at all dainty in size, so I thought that 5 would be sufficient, however, the resulting brew was a bit stronger than I would have liked. For the next brewing, I opted for 4 pearls, and this was the perfect amount!
This tea is quite good on it’s own, with no additions, however I do prefer it with just a drizzle of agave nectar (it seems to make those subtle sweet notes a bit more prevalent), and a quick stir of my cinnamon stir stick. It’s also quite nice with a thin slice of Meyer Lemon!