This is my 501st tasting note! That I noticed on accident yesterday. So that means I’ve tried almost 500 teas, since I usually don’t write tasting notes for a tea more than once. Also, to celebrate, I ordered a bunch of samples from zentealife.com’s sale. (Like I needed a reason.) I wanted to have a special tea for #501 so I went for these pearls. Zen’s phoenix pearls are one of my favorite, so I ordered a sample of these from Tealux hoping they would be similar.
The golden and black pearls here are bigger than Zen’s. These are about half an inch top to bottom and instructions say to steep three pearls at a time. I went with four since my sample had 13 and one of these steeps would have needed a fourth. I steeped for five minutes, but the pearls were completely unraveled and unrecognizable after three minutes. They unravel to leaves that are about half an inch long. The steep color looks like a beer and I absolutely love the flavor. It’s everything I love in a yunnan. Malty, dark chocolate, dry hay, and a bit of unreognizable fragrance, all combining into a super yum flavor. The second steep after six minutes was just as delicious. I kind of oversteeped the third cup at fifteen minutes, so that one was a little stingy… but I wanted to get the last of the flavor! To compare with Zen’s pearls, I don’t think these have quite as a deep dark flavor as Zen’s. This one is lighter, but the complexities are really nice. I wouldn’t mind keeping both of these teas in stock. If you order from either Tealux or Zen, anyone should try either one. I’d say they are the best each company has to offer, but maybe that is just my preference! So so good.