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.