76
drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
2028 tasting notes

TTB-A sample. There was just about enough for one more cup left of this one, so I snagged it. Actually a tiny bit more than I would normally use in my cup (but only barely) so I decreased the steep time to account for it.

I love black pearls so of course I was intrigued. These aren’t so much pearls as little wadded up leaves; the look of it almost reminds me of the shape of the Laoshan Black first picking. Steeped, it does have a bit of a chocolatey aroma but its tempered by some high fruity notes and a hint of… coffee? Well that’s weird, but it did pop into my head while sniffing it.

The flavor is pretty classic black pearl, which is to say pretty tasty. I’m not getting any sweetness in the first steep, and the chocolate is definitely muted. Definitely on the earthy side of Yunnan blacks, with a bit of woodiness as well. It was smooth and malty when I first started drinking this cup, but it’s getting a touch harsh as it cools, and as such my rating keeps dropping as I sit here writing this tasting note. I mean, it’s still tasty, but my desire to have another cup of it is waning. Maybe it’s because I just had my One True Pearls (Teavivre) the other day, so they are fresh in my mind.

Second steep, at four minutes, wasn’t really worth it for me. Thin and lacking in the flavors I like (cocoa, grains, malt), with more of the flavors I don’t (a weird darjeeling-like fruitiness). Ah well, so it goes. This tea wasn’t sealed in an airtight pouch, so there is always the chance of flavor loss over time, but the first steep was quite strong so I kind of doubt that. Glad I got the chance to try these but they won’t be replacing my faves any time soon.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

I found that these work best with JUST boiled water. And I wish I had used better ziplocks to package these. I will double up on these ziplocks in the future for teaboxes/swaps until I buy the thicker bags that Alphakitty told me about. The link if anyone else wants to buy them: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NQMCWQ/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Dinosara

Yeah, I went with the steeping instructions for the most part. They were still pretty good.

Also I find that those poly bags still leak a lot of scent… I just had two other teas from the tea box that were in them and were totally contaminated. I prefer these bags, which seem to keep out all scent: http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-3-5×5-Ziplock-Stand-Up-Pouches-Bags-SUP-AA-Clear-Silver-/310658901253?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4854b6a505

Unfortunately I am out of them right now, so I’ll be doubling or tripling the poly bags on teas I put in the box this time!

Shmiracles

since we are discussing bags… i like these!!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SP2UVC
but they are also the only bags i’ve ever bought and tried. :)

also, i’m jealous of your TTB!! TTB-b already got lost i think. whomp whomp. it happens.

Dinosara

Yeah I really like yours too, Shmiracles, they’re nice and heavy, and I can’t smell anything through the bags. And what a deal!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Comments

Tea Sipper

I found that these work best with JUST boiled water. And I wish I had used better ziplocks to package these. I will double up on these ziplocks in the future for teaboxes/swaps until I buy the thicker bags that Alphakitty told me about. The link if anyone else wants to buy them: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NQMCWQ/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Dinosara

Yeah, I went with the steeping instructions for the most part. They were still pretty good.

Also I find that those poly bags still leak a lot of scent… I just had two other teas from the tea box that were in them and were totally contaminated. I prefer these bags, which seem to keep out all scent: http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-3-5×5-Ziplock-Stand-Up-Pouches-Bags-SUP-AA-Clear-Silver-/310658901253?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4854b6a505

Unfortunately I am out of them right now, so I’ll be doubling or tripling the poly bags on teas I put in the box this time!

Shmiracles

since we are discussing bags… i like these!!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SP2UVC
but they are also the only bags i’ve ever bought and tried. :)

also, i’m jealous of your TTB!! TTB-b already got lost i think. whomp whomp. it happens.

Dinosara

Yeah I really like yours too, Shmiracles, they’re nice and heavy, and I can’t smell anything through the bags. And what a deal!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer