2341 Tasting Notes
I served this to one of my students & her mother, lightly sweetened. Everybody loved it! I drank a small ‘jello shot’ cup of it, & although it initially tasted a little soapy to me, when I let it sit for a minute, the soapiness went away & it was a tasty treat.
Thanks to Lala for sharing a bit of this. :)
For this trial, I used the following parameters:
5Grams of tea + 8oz of water X 1min/2min/5min
Teavana: This one started out as light cocoa water, building with each steep & by the 3 steep had a nice sweet flavor with a slightly thick mouth.
Teavivre: Mildly malty, sweet, & smooth, but kind of plain.
Mandala: A more masculine cup, bolder, but with a somewhat bitter edge. Definitely the maltiest, but there is a wierd taste that I can’t describe to this tea, which I don’t always care for.
I ran the 1 Pearl in the Jello Shot glasses test again, this time giving them each 4 minutes. Without a doubt, the 4 minute steeps were even nicer, on all counts.
Then I moved on to the 4 Pearl test, using 8oz of water & a 4 minute steep with each on.
I didn’t include the Red Dragon Pearl in this test. I only have enough of that for 1 decent cup, so I’ll save it for now. All in all, the results of the 4 pearl test was that Teavana’s pearls gave the sweetest yield, & Mandala’s were the boldest.
BTW, I didn’t steep & drink them all at the same time for this round, but rather, I had a cup of one, then another, then the final one.
And onward through the fog… :)
Welcome to Part 1 of the Black Pearl Sipoff! I’ve been planning to do this for awhile, so today is the day. I made a special page for it, because I’ve already reviewed each of these teas on their own plenty of times, & because I wanted to be able to post my results on them together, and so that anyone who wants to join the fun can post their results here too, whether the teas are black pearls, green pearls, or whatever. So have fun!
So, for today’s edition, I’m using 4 teas:
- Black Dragon Pearl – Teavana
- Fenqing Dragon Pearl Black – Teavivre
- Red Dragon Pearl – thepuritea (no longer available)
- Black Pearl – Mandala (not currently available)
I was also gonna include mandala’s flowering black tea cones, just for fun, but I forgot & mailed the last of them off to Sil.
Appearance: Although they all looked basically the same, there were a few minor differences in size. It took roughly 5 pearls of each type to equal 5 Grams, with the exception of Teavana’s, which took 7 pearls. The are all black/charcoal gray, with some gold tips, with Mandala’s being the shiniest & most golden, & Teavivre’s having the most ‘matte’ finish.
Teavana – hints of chocolate.
Teavivre – gently malty
I think thepuritea’s also had a chocolate & fruit aroma when I first bought it, but to be fair, there are only a few pearls left in the package, so I didn’t really smell much.
Mandala – Spicy is the only word I can think of
The Bloom test – The photo I used for this page is from the bloom test. I lined up 4 small glass cups, which I like to call ‘jello shot cups’, put one pearl in each cup, & added 1.5oz of hot water. The teas are, from bottom to top: Teavana, Teavivre, the puritea, & Mandala.
Each tea was steeped for 3 minutes, & they all created a dark amber brew, except Teavivre’s is slightly darker, & Mandala’s is more red & the darkest. You might also notice from the pic (which I also posted on my facebook page, if you want to see a bigger version of it, along with a few other pics) that all of the leaves had a darker color, except Mandala’s, which opened bigger on the first steep than the others, & had a lighter brown color.
Teavana – chocolate & malt
Teavivre – Malt & something deeper
thepuritea – malty, & a nutty buttery quality & fruit.
Mandala – Malty & bolder, with a more masculine quality, & a slightly bitter edge.
I gave them a 2nd steeping at 5 minutes.
Teavana had the lightest color, then thepuritea, then teavivre, then mandala.
Thepuritea had the richest taste, mandala the boldest.
To be continued…
I’ve been drinking almost all black teas lately. This sometimes results in my taste buds being jaded, not allowing for the full appreciation of teas. I need to take time to include some green teas back into my life, for variety at least.
Having said all that, it was still nice to drink a potent cup of this :)
First cup of the day, I reached into one of the black tea shelves & just grabbed something, & this was it! A decent cup to start my day, although I’m aching for something bolder now.
In a little while I’ll begin For the Love of Pearls, the great pearl sip-off. But first I have an appointment at 11:00, so it will have to wait. Anyone else who is participating is welcome to start without me though.
I’ve really enjoyed this tea as an occasional dessert. I forgot to mention that I drank a cup yesterday afternoon, and since I was getting to the bottom of the bag anyway, I went ahead & polished it off today. I believe that puts me at 321, nowhere near as accomplished as my dear Sil, but each of us travel our own path…(dreamy space music here)