I neglected to buy milk again this morning, and so I’m breaking out the Black Dragon Pearls I’ve had sitting in my desk drawer for some time now. On opening the packet, I’m pleased to discover that they smell of cocoa. I’m equally pleased to discover how pretty they are – light brown and almost-black marble-sized pearls – totally unique!
While brewing, this tea remains a delight. It’s kind of relaxing watching the pearls slowly unfurl. It brews slowly, too, perhaps because of how tightly the pearls are formed. I quite like that in a tea I’m going to drink without milk – I feel it gives me more control over how strong/astringent the tea becomes. I left this about three and a half minutes, until it’s a medium golden-brown. It smells, just like it does dry, quite strongly of cocoa. It’s a deep, dark, pleasant smell. Just what I want in my Monday morning tea.
The taste is more delicate than I was expecting, given that it has quite a strong, deep smell. For some reason, I felt a little trepidation about trying this tea, which is probably why it languished in my drawer for so long. It was completely unwarranted, though. I’m enjoying this tea a lot. It’s complex, unusual, and flavoursome. It’s sort of chocolatey and very smooth, with a slight toasted bitterness to the aftertaste. Despite my reservations, it really is very moreish.
I surprised myself by liking this. My last experience with a Yunnan wasn’t a great one, but I’m on my second cup of this now, and I think it’s sizing up to be one of those tea I want to keep on hand. I should forget to buy milk more often, I think – it really challenges my tea drinking habits, to interesting effect.