Name: Black Dragon Pearls
Time: 5 mins
Aroma: Cocoa, white pepper.
Taste: This tea tastes pretty much like it smells, with cocoa and white pepper notes. It’s a bit peaty, like a puerh. That said, it reminds me most strongly of another black tea–Adagio’s Yunnan Gold tea, which makes sense because Black Dragon Pearls is also from Yunnan.
Texture: Smooth, round.
Leaves: As you can see, the tea comes in rolled “pearls.” These are larger than those in most other rolled teas, which are comprised of a bud and leaf set or one or two connected leaves. The pearls are more loosely rolled, so they unfurl quickly enough so that the tea oils can be released from most of the surface area of each leaf. (which is a good thing because the second steep isn’t great)
Evaluation: This is a delicious tea. It has the kick and body that it would make a good transition tea for those who are trying to replace a coffee habit with a tea habit (an excellent plan). Another reason that it would be good for that purpose is that cocoa is a recognizable taste even for those with an undeveloped tea palate. Because of the cocoa notes, I tried the tea with a bit of milk and sugar in addition to straight up. Milk and sugar do bring out the cocoa. However, milk and sugar are certainly not necessary as there is no bitterness to “compensate” for and they mask some of the richness and most of the texture of the tea.
(Photo credit: adagio.com)