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Recent Tasting Notes
Another one Terri Harplady included in the teabox for me in my special baggie of teas. thank you! :D Dragon pearls again so soon? Why yes. I’m not sure why these are called red pearls… maybe only because in China black tea is called red tea? I used four pearls for these steeps.
First steep // 3 min // 20 min after boiling (deciding which tea)
This one is SPECIAL. It doesn’t even seem like a black tea because there is just a honey honey honey flavor! The texture is even like honey! I’ve never had a tea like this before. I couldn’t guess it was a black tea, honestly. Maybe it is just because of the lower temperature? Definitely no astringency.
Second steep // 4 min // right after boiling
The amazing honey is still here, but now there is a deeper flavor — a bit like chocolate with honey notes, a bit more astringency that is just noticeable (but the first cup was just SWEET.) Still not quite like a distinct black tea. So so good. I’m very amazed that even black (or red) dragon pearls seem to be so unique!
Third steep // 3 min // right after boiling
This cup was much like the second but there was a hint of oakiness that detracted from the honey chocolate! So the light honey flavor from the first cup definitely wasn’t just from the lower temperature, as the other two cups would have had a stronger flavor right after boiling. This has to be the sweetest black tea I’ve tried.
I love these. I have eight more pearls – so two more steeping sessions to savor later!
Sipping on this one right now. I didn’t have any kind of instructions on how to brew, so I went with my standard for less oxidized oolongs. Pre-boil water, 5 second rinse, 45 second first steep. (Then a 1 minute steep, which I’m currently drinking.)
Hmmm. The smell of the wet leaves was very toasty and milky. It doesn’t carry over into taste so much, though. It’s sweet, nutty, vegetal, and slightly creamy. Kind of peachy-fruity. I’m getting more sweetness before I swallow and a lot more fruitiness in the aftertaste. The longer I wait between sips the more it leans toward a dry, white wine kind of fruitiness. That was unexpected. It’s not very “milky”, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing to me. I feel like I’m getting a hint of astringency—not very strong and certainly not unpleasant. Maybe I’ll use slightly cooler water next steep. Overall it makes a decent cup. Tastes better when it’s hotter! I might be getting some of this when it’s back in stock. (: I expect that I’ll be able to get at least 2-3 more infusions from the leaves. The third one will have to wait until I get back from a gallery opening! Grrr! I was so looking forward to it, but I’m out of time. Thanks QueenOfTarts for the lovely swap sample!
Sipdown, 148. I’ve had this tea before but I’m glad Sil sent me a sample because I haven’t had it in a long time. Plus I can get a reminder of kind of a base-level dancong before trying some of the reserve dancongs that came in the last Verdant reserve club shipment.
At one point I’m pretty sure thepuriTea’s description for this tea said that it was actually scented with osmanthus, or at least a previous incarnation of it was. Anyway, it was either mistaken or the tea has changed, because now it is definitely just a dancong oolong. Ah! I found it using the internet wayback machine! In November of 2010 their description included the line “Our Dan Cong has been naturally infused with natural osmanthus flowers.” But that has been removed.
The tea smells roasty, a bit woody, fruity, and a bit of crisp mineral-ness. Flavor-wise, the fruitiness really comes to the forefront. Very much a note of sweet stone fruits, but combined with a woody/barky background profile. There’s also a bit of bitterness/astringency to this one, and I’m thinking maybe I should have gone with a lower temp. I do think this is less floral than when I originally tried it, although it is hard to say from two years ago. This is one of those teas that is fine, but not really up my alley. That woodiness is just too much and really takes away from my enjoyment of the other flavors. Interested to see how the other dancongs I have will compare, but this one is (still) not for me.
Some of us have been talking about comparing all the ‘pearl’ teas to one another. This one is nice, bold enough, but with sweet fruity nuance. I steep 6 pearls in 12oz for 3 minutes, resteep for 5. The first steeping is sweet & malty, the second holds just a little bitterness but is still very drinkable. I think maybe last time I drank them I said I was gonna try a single steeping of 4 minutes, & I forgot to do that. Maybe next time…
Vendor description says: Try it with breakfast, brunch, grilled duck or dark chocolate. Something about grilled duck makes me chuckle, especially since we have two little white neighbor ducks across the street.
After two good strong steeps of these cute little yarn balls, I’m at a loss to pin the flavor down. The inner chocolate addict notices the cocoa first; maybe some of the baked apple vibe when I frown and really concentrate. A very good “think about” tea for a deliciously foggy Sunday morning. Thinking of you, Terriharplady, with a smile as I drink it. Thanks.
Sipdown! Can’t let Terri catch up! haha
This was one of the teas my lovely tea sister sent me, that i have apparently been drinking but not recording. Oopsy.
Those who know me, know that most oolongs i can live without. I really only dislike most green ones, but even the roasty dark ones sometimes have that distinctive taste that i’m not a fan of. This one borders being delicious and being a dark oolong that i’m less a fan of. There’s a touch of astringency but not enough to be a bad thing. There’s a sweetness to this as well, though i can feel a bit of floral hanging out in the back. Overall though, it’s been a decent cuppa to drink!
Holy cow, this is unflavored? Even with my cold I am still getting SO MUCH caramelly goodness from this tea! Could it be that I’ve never had a milk oolong before? How did that happen???
Thank you so much BrewTEAlly Sweet for this sample! This is definitely something I want to explore in more detail!
I’ve been enjoying a pot of this while teaching my first student of the day, a young lady who just won the “Ms. Metro St. Louis” title, which included here playing a very short 90 seconds piece on Harp.
I, of course, totally detest the beauty pageant scene, LOL, but if that’s what she wants to do, then I’ll do everything I can to help her play well. She’s actually a lovely young lady, taking 18 hours of college, working 3 part time jobs, & doing all kinds of other extra curriculars. In June she’ll go to the miss Missouri pagaent, so today we picked out her piece for that, or a few pieces to consider, but I’m pretty sure we agreed on the one we both like the best. :)
This tea is lovely. It’s a sweet & malty black bi Lou style, rolled up into little snails. I’d describe it more, but Tony is picking me up to take me out to a surprise lunch, then I have to go teach at UMSL, so no time to tarry here!
It smells and tastes very strongly of dark chocolate and not at all like you’d expect from the region. Very malty and rich in flavor, with an aroma to kick you awake in the morning. This tea also resteeps really well. Its price range is pretty much out of everyday drinking for me though. Likely an excellent cup for a downer day instead.
Very very pleased. An excellent, non-overpowering jasmine that pairs well with the yunnan. Sipping this tea is simultaneously uplifting and satisfying, with a nice mouth feel and a subtle chocolate note at the end. It’s as aromatic as it is tasty. This is probably going to be an every day tea for me.
I spent the afternoon prepping the Here’s Hoping TTB for travel.
It’s full & ready to go!!
Tea Sipper is in for a real surprise! Heheheheh
I also prepped the BBB Box, which going out to Sil tomorrow!
So drinking this tea was my reward, & it was also my pleasure!
bwahaha SIPDOWN! I had a small cup of this tonight to say farewell since i’m including this in omgsrsly’s package! All i can say is.. not cheating! haha. I do find that this one is one that i’d drink again. I wouldn’t go out of my way to order it, but if i needed something to get to free shipping or some such, this would be one to consider :)
Another Darjeeling for the day, though it’s not really helping with my sipdowns :) This is another tasty cup, brought to me by my lovely tea sister Terriharplady! One of the many joint purchases we’ve made together :)
This is closer to a black tea that i expect from darjeelings. It’s got a little boldness, a side of sweetness and a dash of delicious! :)
My morning cup, courtesy of Terri Harplady and the BBBB. Another solid cup from the puriTea. It’s maltier than most yunnans and definitely reminds me a bit of an Assam. Very yummy! Thanks Terri!
P.s. does anyone else always want to yell out “YUNNAN” in the voice of “NOONAN”? I can’t drink one without that thought.
I had this tea as a free sample that came with my order. It’s pretty great, with a nice body and sweetness to it and I’ve steeped it twice so far (and may squeeze a third or fourth one out still). With this tea I find a little goes a long way, though this may be attributed by the fact I’m not a huge fan of extremely strong teas.
I crawled out of bed this morning, make a cup of this using 6 pearls at 5 minute steep, drew a bubble bath, & … morning nirvana, folks. The tea was perfect for the moment, sweet & malty. That’s really all I can say!
This was a free sample that came with a few other bought teas. While this tea doesn’t really blow me off my feet, this tea avoids the perfumey taste that comes with certain jasmine teas while still holding a strong aroma and flavor. The aftertaste isn’t as lingering as the description may imply and if it wasn’t for the high price I’d enjoy it mostly as an everyday tea.
This tea came from the lovely Terri Harplady in our BBBB traveling box. It is a pretty decent Assam, but nothing about it makes it amazing. Definitely a solid cup and holds up against my cream and honey. I love the puriTea’s little sample packages, but I haven’t really loved any of their teas yet. I have a couple others from Terri left to try, so maybe one of those will win me over. And if they don’t, oh well, it’s not like I need to buy any more tea for the next 100 years anyway.
Sip down! Won’t get too many of these unless I can find time in the next couple of days at the cottage to drink more tea but I did bring a few with me so that I could at least try. Having a cup of this while I wait impatiently for the boys to get up. Lots to do today in Ottawa before we finish the drive up to the cottage! I’ve really enjoyed the teas Terri share d with me from the puritea….enough to think about a small reorder in the future, especially since the little sample packs are so cute! Tanks for sharing Terri. Rating this one later as iPad rating is the suck lol
Loving a small cup of this today on my sore throat. Still enough to have another last cup once I’m feeling better, but this morning, this is delicious.
Sweetish, woody, malty and a bit smoky with fruit tones.
These are pretty delish little pearls. Thanks, Sil, for finding more and sharing!! :)