Black Dragon Pearls

Tea type
Black Tea
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Caramel, Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Scotch, Cocoa, Malt, Baked Bread, Hay, Honey, Wheat
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jimbo
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 g 10 oz / 288 ml

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176 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Thanks to Lena for sharing this with me! First off, the dry leaves (balls) smell like someone sprinkled cocoa on them… not my cat but rather the baking powder. Really surprising. I had a...” Read full tasting note
    aug3zimm 911 tasting notes
  • “Now something unsweet to get me back on track. I first encountered Black Dragon Pearls at Teavana years ago. I fell in love with them. So yummy, so malty, so chocolatey, so good. I was addicted....” Read full tasting note
    terri-harplady 3253 tasting notes
  • “Backlogging from last night. I tried adding milk to this tea but it pretty much killed the rich, earthy, cocoa-y flavour of the tea, just leaving behind the tanin-y/smokey flavour (I think...” Read full tasting note
    JillDragon 1868 tasting notes
  • “I still consider myself to be new to the tea game. Now that Steepster has me reading all of your wonderfulness, I find myself googling things [or binging things – I’m an equal-opportunity search...” Read full tasting note
    takgoti 260 tasting notes

From Adagio Teas

Hailing from the Yunnan province, this black tea version of the popular Dragon Pearl is naturally sweet and smooth with a touch of earthiness. Comprised of only the highest quality leaves and buds, expertly rolled into a large pearl-like shape. Subtle cocoa notes whisper gently as each pearl unfurls delivering a superior tea experience not to be missed.

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at and in many gourmet and health food stores.

176 Tasting Notes

52 tasting notes

First off, I love that everyone is cracking jokes about the balls. Glad I’m not the only one whose mind went right to the gutter on that joke….

Right now, this is actually my favorite Adagio tea. I love the strength of this flavor. There is a mild hint of cocoa…which is delightful.

I tend to make this tea more at work. I use the Adagio filters & create my own teabag. I leave the filter teabag in the cup while drinking. I find the flavor doesn’t get bitter. And I luck out when making a second cup. The flavor stays as strong as the first cup.

This is definitely a morning tea to wake the dead. I now pass on my morning cup of coffee for a cup of Black Dragon Pearls.

Since reading the reviews, I’m going to have to make a pot in my clear glass teapot & watch the pearls come undone. I’m surprised I haven’t done that yet.

And I don’t care how they make the pearls stay in the ball shape. I’m just thankful for the delicious flavor!

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17 tasting notes

This stuff rocks. I treat myself to it when I want something robust but I’m not quite in the mood for coffee and its epic dehydrating powers.

It’s most interesting at 4.5 minutes, 2 pearls per 8oz. The cocoa notes are really there — no finely-tuned connoisseur bullshit. A bit astringent, very full-bodied, and ultra satisfying. There’s maltiness there, but it isn’t dominant. When brewed for 5+ minutes, the maltiness overwhelms the complexity and it tends toward a typical Irish Breakfast-y taste.

The second infusion is good and strong, but nothing special — again, more like an Irish Breakfast tea. I usually just toss it after the first infusion or rebrew for a housemate.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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19 tasting notes

I absolutely love this stuff — it’s my all-time favorite tea to drink. Anytime. Anywhere. You can’t deny the cocoa malty goodness, combined with the honey-sweet earthiness here. I also wrote a review for the Teavana BDP, where you’ll find a more in-depth review. Although I think they get this tea from the same farmer, what’s nice about Adagio’s is you can get 3 oz. of this tea for $15, rather than 2 oz. for $15 at Teavana.

There are a few things a I want to note about difference between Teavana’s and Adagio’s BDP. Let me preface: I’ve only ordered this stuff twice (the first time being from Teavana, this time being from Adagio). Anywho, here’s some points of difference:

- Adagio’s is significantly lighter than Teavana’s. Adagio’s resembles a deep, golden brown, whereas Teavana’s was almost black like coffee
- With Adagio’s, I don’t really taste the sweetness that I did out of Teavana’s batch.
- I can only manage to get 2-3 strong cups before it starts getting noticeably weaker, whereas with Teavana’s I wouldn’t taste huge weakness until the 4th cup or more. Those are the main differences. Now, I do understand each year the harvests can be different. I did get the 2011 batch from Adagio, so if both Adagio and Teavana get this stuff from the same place then I’m sure Teavana’s has these characteristics, too. When I’m done with my Adagio batch I’ll have to get a sample from Teavana and report back here.

In any case, you’re really making a mistake by not grabbing a bag of this tea!! I use three pearls for 8 oz. of water.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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258 tasting notes

Brewed using 2 pearls in a basket infuser with a 6oz teacup. The vendor’s description was dead on as it was a surprisingly sweet and smooth brew, with a lingering sweetness upon the lips after each sip. While I would not call it as being earthy, I would agree with the subtle cocoa notes but quite honestly they are light enough that I doubt I would have noticed them without looking for them without it being in the official tasting description. I was also impressed that I was able to get a second good cup of tea on a the compressed pearl limiting the exposure of the leaves to the water during the first brew. An excellent black tea that I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who enjoys black tea and one that if I drank more black teas would order in a size larger than a sample size.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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15 tasting notes

This tea is one of the best Yunnan black teas I’ve had all year (2009). It is amazingly sweet, smooth, and chocolatey, with a maple syrup note- exactly what I’m looking for a good YG! I’ve been recommending it to all of my friends, and I’ve found it’s a great “converter tea”… if you have a friend who is not normally a tea drinker, give them this one, and 9 out of 10 will convert instantly on the spot.

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43 tasting notes

I was skeptical about Black Dragon Pearls, it appeared that they were just made for flash and not for taste. But I had to try them anyways. The tea pleasantly surprised me. It has a nice robust flavor, but it is not bitter. The cocoa notes are strong and pleasant. I am really beginning to enjoy teas from the Yunnan region.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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21 tasting notes

Boom Baby!

Oh yeah. A great Chinese black.

4 or 5 pearls /cup.

Get you some.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80 tasting notes

Mmm I’m one of the few who really like this one. I get a really full rich brew from this and get the the coco notes towards the ends of the cup when it’s cooling down. It’s very comforting on a windy fall day.

I love to watch the little balls unfurl themselves coming out of their cocoons. It’s the perfect use for my IngenuiTEA pot from adagio.

I used 4 balls at 5 minutes and 30 seconds. It’s best the first two steepings I’m still fiddling a bit with the brewing time on the third.

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162 tasting notes

Earthy and dark. Full bodied and almost chocolaty. I was surprised to like this since I don’t always go for teas this dark. Neat to watch the pearls unfurl.


The 2nd and 3rd infusions just aren’t as fun since they’re unfurled. Just as good though.

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8 tasting notes

A delicious, strong tea with malty undertones and a rich cocoa scent. I used 4 pearls since my standard cup is a 16oz. cup that I fill up with approx 14oz. of water.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 4 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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