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Recent Tasting Notes
Apparently, I have never reviewed this tea before. It’s good I caught that fact since I only have a single-serving of it left now.
Right this moment I am squeezing (metaphorically!) a third steeping out of it. It has a divine vegetal-floral aroma and tastes like some milk-textured vegetable drink. I detect a lot of oolongy sweetness that I have learned to love. But yeah, it makes me feel like a goat eating a bouquet of flowers and broccoli-asparagus-celery medley. I never would have thought I would dig such a combination but I do.
It is my first Ti Kuan Yin Oolong (at least first that I am aware of) but it is difficult for me to predict if I am going to like this kind or if it is going to be one of my favorites simply because there are SO MANY TYPES of it. The one I got from thepuriTea seems to be on a very, very green, non-roasted side. I have some other TKYs waiting for me in the queue: the sample of Yezi’s Master Grade and Life in a Teacup’s Roasted one… Perhaps more than that (I’ve kinda lost track…). I am looking forward to trying them and figuring out the convergent points that make a TKY what it is.
It’s sad when you discover a tea you really like and then the company discontinues it, or in this case the company goes out of business!
I haven’t had this in a while because I’ve been hoarding it a bit. The sweetness of the golden yunnan mixes so well with the natural jasmine. I really don’t like jasmine teas that are overly perfume-y and drying. This hits the sweet spot for me. A nice, gentle way to wake up!
This is a sipdown. Goodbye, Assam.
It’s a good morning tea but not overtly exciting. Something you can drink while you try to figure out your plans for the day.
The only other Assam I’ve had is Butiki’s Caramel Vanilla Assam which was heaven. If I ever crave Assam, that’s what I am going to get… I am not sure if I would ever crave it straight, though.
This is another bilochun style black it has loosely curled black nuggets with prominent golden tips. It smells of smokey cocoa. Taste wise it is closer to Teavivre’s black dragon pearls than my other bilochun style black tea from Zen Teahttp://steepster.com/yyz/posts/225415. With Teavivres tea having a slightlier creamy texture and taste. I actually prefer this one though.
I steeped this tea 4 times ( 60, 80,110,300s). I found it a little less resilient than zen’s Phoenix Pearls.
The scent is smokey, with cocoa, honey and light nutty notes. It brews to a coppery maple colour.
It tastes of light smoke with a cocoa mole sauce note with later steeps referencing a hint f the flavour of Chile. The cocoa smoke lies over citrusy malt tones and a touch of honey. Later steeps release a light nutty tone as well. Overall a nice savoury, cocoa noted tea.
This is one amazing tea! The cutest little nuggets of Yunnan tea you’ll ever find. A beautiful golden brown tea soup. Sweet malty sips of deliciousness. Gorgeous dark full leaves after the steep. Amazing staying power – I enjoyed four steeps this morning.
I am reminded of just how much I’ll miss thepuritea and how “smart” I was to stock up during their final clearance sale!
It seems like the Wuyi oolongs do not excite me very much. This is definitely better than an average wuyi though. The initial note I get is roasted rice, but then some flowery sweetness kicks in. Okay for a nice afternoon but ultimately nothing to write home about.
Sweet, cute pearls! I love how they look :) The infusion I got is less ruby-red than what I’m used to with Chinese blacks, it looks more like a darjeeling. The smell makes me think of milk chocolate and molasses. It is very smooth and silky sipping experience. The flavor is extremely mild and there’s next to no bitterness. It is really odd because, while I am used to a greater complexity of the flavor in Chinese black teas, this tea has a lot of depth, or body, to it nevertheless.
ThepuriTea, why did you leave us when we are just getting into your teas???
This is the first time I drink this and I absolutely love it. I generally prefer green oolongs, but this is fantastic! Smells just pleasant and uneventful kind of grassy but the flavor… At first I taste sweetness of ripe fruit, then the buttery milkness kicks in in order to be replaced by flowery-perfumey notes that abruptly end with a mild vegetal aftertaste. I don’t remember when I’ve had a tea this complex, even though I have had a ton of marvellous teas in the past few weeks.
I feel so bad about not having included at least 2 servings of this in the Traveling Tea Box… It was on my list but ultimately it did not make the cut. It’s plain wonderful and I can only hope that Dan Congs from other places will be able to replace this one for me.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers
As I went to research information on this tea for review purposes, I discovered to my dismay that thepuriTea actually closed, as of December 31, 2013. However, I already had in my possession a sample of these intriguing tea pearls, and it was decided that the review should continue – thank you, Terri HarpLady for the sample. (When have defunct tea companies ever stopped me, before?)
Instructions for steeping this pearl tea involve six pearls, eight ounces of just-boiled water, and three minutes of steeping time. Just before dropping them in my mug and dousing them with water, I inhale the aroma of the dried tea…not too strong with just a touch of maltiness, somewhat like an Assam. Into the cup goes the tea and water, and my timer is set for three minutes.
Contemplating the myriad varieties of tea, which are formed into pearls, I have often wondered how many of those are just gimmicks (due to their form). I have tried jasmine green tea in pearl-form and loose-form, yet one was only better than the other based on the quality of the tea and not the manner in which it was packed. I could make a comparison to loose versus compressed pu’erh, but the reasons for one over the other, there, are far different than for most green and black teas.
My three minutes are done and so is my tea. Decanting it from the brewing vessel into a pre-heated mug, the smell now is more reminiscent of molasses with the undertone of malt. Perhaps due to the three-minute steep time, the scent is quite light. Then I take a sip of the tea. Initially, the flavor seems small, but it explodes across the palate with a sweetness that is unexpected. The molasses and malt flavors are combined with cocoa undertones in a deliciously complex combination of tastes. I drink my way through the cup, slowly, enjoying the nuances and ways, in which this tea shows off the various facets of its flavor.
Adventurously (and for the sake of my curiosity), I decide to resteep the leaves, while I am sipping the first cup. This time, they are left in my two-cup brewing vessel with just-boiled water for an indeterminate, long time (twenty-plus minutes). The result is much darker, due to the extra time, but surprisingly low in astringency. Cocoa notes have become more dominant, but the flavor is still reminiscent of that first, tasty cup.
I am very glad that I got to try this tea, before it became unavailable. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate thepuriTea’s Red Dragon Pearl Tea an 86/100.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Molasses
I got this sample from thepuriTea before they went out of business. I’m bummed they went out of business because I liked a lot of their offerings…
The dry leaf doesn’t smell much like lychee in the sample tin I got, but after brewing it, you can definitely taste the lychee there. It’s subtle, but a bit juicy and fresh. I agree with moraiwe that there’s something floral about this. It’s really very elegant and doesn’t taste fake in any way like a lot of flavored green teas. I’ll have to look around for another lychee green tea because I really liked this. It might be good as a cold brew as well.
Oh man, I really liked this one! It has a DEEP, deep flavor that makes you worry at first it’s going to get bitter, but it doesn’t (might’ve helped that I listened to the Steepster advice about steeping only 4 minutes); instead you get strong cocoa, wood, a little tobacco, and lots of delicious raisin. I love that instead of sweet potato you do get pumpkin. Brandy too, to go with the raisins, yes! I even detect the brown sugar from the copy; for once I seem to get everything described and in spades. This isn’t a tea I could drink all willy-nilly as it’s so intense and there’s a lot going on, but wow what an experience. Something about it, maybe the smoothness and depth of the malt, reminds me a little of Dragon Pearls. Resteeps well too. Seems to be a thing with me, loving Bi Luo-style curls (Bi Luo Chun is possibly my favorite general green tea style). I’m guessing out of my ass here but it seems like somehow twisting and curling the leaves contributes sweet richness. I love the way it looks too. Very bummed I can never restock this one now as thepuriTea is gone. :(
Another sample tea from the now defunct puriTea (boo).
I’m not really super excited by most white teas and this is no exception. I’m sure it’s fine but I can’t seem to find the “sweet spot” that brings forth the promised flavors. I get a bit of nuttiness and something that reminds me of clover but it needs something, it’s far too mild & benign for my tastes. I think I will try cold brewing the rest of this.
I bought two of these sample with their going out of business sale. I knew I’d love it — it’s Yunnan. But I just needed samples because I have many other Yunnan samples. :D The leaves come in a tiny tin enough for a few servings! Kind of tough to scoop the leaves out though. The leaves are mostly gold – but enough darker color to promise some chocolate flavor!
Steep #1 // just boiled // 4 min
I went with 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons. Kind of tough to tell since I had to add a little at a time in order not to spill the leaves everywhere. The taste is lovely of course… I don’t think Yunnan can be terrible. The first thing I notice is actually the texture of the tea – it actually does seem like honey, which makes sense because it tastes like honey. With just enough chocolate flavor… I guess you could say to keep it interesting… but Verdant’s Golden Fleece has NO chocolate flavor, and that blend is something amazing. But I love all this honey and a bit of chocolate. I guess at this point I’m great at being able to tell how much honey/chocolate flavor there will be just by seeing the amount of gold/black in the leaves.
Steep #2 // a few minutes after boiling // 7 min
Another lovely cup! This cup might have more chocolate than honey for some reason. I love this tea. Honey & a hint of dark chocolate. A tea like this must be a cupboard staple at all times. Sadly, it won’t be thePuritea’s blend.
I haven’t been leaving a whole lot of notes recently… But it seems I rarely drink anything new nowadays – and definitely not for the lack of it! Perhaps I am attempting sipdowns with some of my favorites and not-so-favorites. Not that they have ever gone to a sipdown level yet.
I adore green oolongs. I am not so sure about the dark ones yet – I mean, I do like them, but when I need a super-comfort tea, I turn to green oolongs usually. This one is delicious and awesome.
I also noticed that I am not too fond of flavored oolongs. I love them plain – although the choice of the word ‘plain’ is pretty misplaced ;) But you guys know what I mean.
I think I might start treating the tasting notes partially as a tea log / tea musings space. I hope noone will mind.
Had this yesterday while wrapping up Season 4 of Buffy. Very tasty! I think I just like dragon pearls though—I haven’t had any yet I didn’t enjoy. This brewed up a nice malty, deep chocolate cup that was very satisfying, edged with smoky and cold weather harvest flavors (think apples, prunes, maple) making one think of fall, winter, seasons of dormancy when things below ground. I think I may steal Terri’s idea of using pearls as a purse-friendly portable option. Yum. Also, resteeps very well; I got 4 solid infusions and might’ve been able to keep going but figured that was enough caffeine for a while. Didn’t make me jittery either but gave me that “calm focused energy” thing tea is known for.
Such a bummer thepuritea is gone now; I’ve enjoyed the samples I grabbed in their going out of business sale. Knew that’d be a bittersweet experience—if I liked the teas it’d be with the knowledge they’re impossible to restock and if I didn’t, well, then I’ve had tea I didn’t like. I guess it’s better this way, the former, but ah well.
This sample is probably from Sil. Thanks, Sil! :)
I have two other teas waiting for second-and-third steeps, but I decided to have something different. I’m contrary like that. :)
The result is… no. It’s way too roasty-toasty for me.
Sorry, thepuriTea. It’s me, not you.
I have a funny story about these!
My husband told me the other day that he didn’t have any Red Dragon Pearls left in his work stash, and that he could use some. So, yesterday I put a little container of them in his lunch bag, marked “Red Dragon Pearl Tea” clearly on a label on the lid of the container.
He said that he opened the container in the middle of eating his lunch whilst working and not really paying attention, and thought they were chocolates (!) and popped five in his mouth!
Let’s just say he quickly realized they were not actually chocolate.
He spit them out — I asked if he then brewed them but he threw them away! What a waste of Red Dragon Pearls :(
This continues to be one of my faves — not a week goes by where I don’t have it at least once. Chocolate notes, yeah, but NOT CHOCOLATE!