Black Pearl Sumatra

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Apple, Burnt Sugar
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Edit tea info Last updated by Dexter
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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14 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I need to buy some of this. Mostly because we had an issue in the afternoon that ate up 5hours of my life and resulted in my tea drinking being interrupted. All my thoughts on this one are out...” Read full tasting note
    Silaena 7937 tasting notes
  • “Huh. Apples? I totally didn’t get that. What I got was a delicious sweet black tea of yumminess. One that looks like it will re-steep really well. Thanks, Dexter3657! I...” Read full tasting note
    OMGsrsly 2196 tasting notes
  • “This is sold as an oolong at Tealux, but I’m unsure if it should be listed as a black tea instead. It’s rolled and looks like it’s oolong, but the taste tells a different story....” Read full tasting note
    TheTeaFairy 364 tasting notes
  • “I thought this was a black tea, so I treated it like I would any other black tea. I added a touch of creamer. It tasted a little sour to me, so I wasn’t too impressed. Then I logged on and...” Read full tasting note
    scribbles 286 tasting notes

From Tealux

This beautiful Sumatran black tea is grown in the mineral-rich, volcanic soils of Indonesia. This tropical paradise, produces a black tea that is naturally sweet with the taste of Washington Red apples. Great iced or hot.

About Tealux View company

Company description not available.

14 Tasting Notes

7937 tasting notes

I need to buy some of this. Mostly because we had an issue in the afternoon that ate up 5hours of my life and resulted in my tea drinking being interrupted. All my thoughts on this one are out the window but i did gulp it down and kept checking my mug to see if any was left…so that’s a good sign! thanks teafairy!


=0) been there!


I really like this one – it’s mostly black, but a little oolong – confusing to me, but a really good tea. :))


yes! i really liked it

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2196 tasting notes

Huh. Apples? I totally didn’t get that.

What I got was a delicious sweet black tea of yumminess. One that looks like it will re-steep really well.

Thanks, Dexter3657! I appreciate the sample. :) Just another thing to consider adding to my Tealux birthday order. Heh.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Haha, I know right, what apples,I remember trying to find that too, so funny! Plus if you do find that note, they have to be “Washington” apples??? Common! But you’ve said it really well, it’s «delicious sweet black tea yumminess»
(Oh, birthday orders are so exciting!!)


:) Birthday orders are so dangerous, too! I’m going to try to keep it at the free shipping threshold.


Yes they are very dangerous…like we need one more excuse to indulge and loose control «Well it’s my brirthay, i can order if I want to» type of attitude, lol.

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364 tasting notes

This is sold as an oolong at Tealux, but I’m unsure if it should be listed as a black tea instead. It’s rolled and looks like it’s oolong, but the taste tells a different story. I’ve had dark oolongs that were closer to black teas, but this one has crossed the border it seems! Feel free to enlighten me if you know more please :-)

So first sip got me so confused, I googled it to find out more. I hardly found any information, but it seems I’m not the only one who can’t make up her mind about it! Some shops have it listed as black tea, some as oolong. Nevertheless, it is the same tea, grown in volcanic Indonesian soils. And quite frankly, (though it got me curious enough to look it up) in the end, I don’t care if it’s completely oxidized or not, it just tastes happy to me!

The liquor is a deep amber sunset, very orange pekoe like. First impression (meaning this is what I think of while I close my eyes, inhale the aroma and drink it): cinnamon, brandy, raisins, big fruity notes and so sweet! It’s just superb and it produces a rich flavorful cup. Now, did I find the described Washington Red Apple in there? No I didn’t, that’s a little too far fetch for my taste buds! But it reminds me a lot of Taiwanese Assam, maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to it. It has no roasty or nutty characteristics, and not a tiny little bit of astringency, even in that forgotten 10 min. 2nd steep! If anything, the burst of flavor described above increased tenfold, very forgiving!

A new treasure tea that will be added to the permanent collection!

Wish I had bought a pound instead of just a sample, I would sprinkle all of you Steepster friends with these little nuggets so you could have a chance to taste it!

Talking about black, I am on cloud nine right now, just found out The Black Keys are playing outdoors in my area in July. Guess who’s going? Oh yeah, this Fairy is a happy one, doing «sauts de joie»!!

Good tea… summer…picturesque outdoors venue… epic music…all the right ingredients for a good life recipe :-)

Cheers everyone!


Oh wow that should be an amazing concert!! Crossing my fingers that they come out this way!


Ill have to put this on my shopping list.


Alysha, I checked their schedule, don’t see any tour dates for BC, but the schedule stops in july, so there’s still hope they’re heading west in August :-) I adore them!


Sil, I’m pretty confident you will like this one since it’s the most «un-oolong» oolong I’ve ever had, LOL!


Thanks for checking that. I’ll keep an eye out. They are one of my favourite bands too :)

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286 tasting notes

I thought this was a black tea, so I treated it like I would any other black tea. I added a touch of creamer. It tasted a little sour to me, so I wasn’t too impressed.

Then I logged on and discovered that it was an oolong. What?! Well, that just might change things. I put no additives in oolongs, so I left the creamer out for my second steep. Big difference. The sourness went away, and what I was left with was a deep, smooth flavour with a hint of mineral in the aftertaste. Much tastier than the first cup.

Thank you to Dexter3657 for sending me a sample of these delicious (if confusing) pearls!


LOL This still confuses me. Package and web site say oolong – everyone else in the world lists Black Pearl as a black tea. Dunno, but I like it. I’ve ordered more. Glad you found parameters that suit you.


The name of the tea threw me :) I guess what counts is that it’s pretty good.

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1 tasting notes

This is my very first tasting note on Steepster, simply because it is only now that I feel equipped to write such a thing. Furthermore, this note won’t be about taste so much as brewing procedure. In the majority of the tasting notes I have read here at Steepster, there has always been at least one piece of brewing information missing, and it has usually been the amount of water the tea was brewed in. Also, the little data sheet Steepster includes at the bottom of each note does not allow space for the amount of water, nor the times for multiple infusions. I have discovered that it is a rare tea that does not respond well to multiple infusions. Heck, even Teavana’s cacao mint black (I suspect Ceylon) tea responds to at least two infusions.

So I will use this opportunity to provide a full summary of the steeping procedure I have found successful with Tealux’s Black Pearl Sumatra, along with a very rudimentary tasting note.

Water Temp.: 97º C (I’m a Canadian)
Amount of Leaf and Water: 2.8 g. per 4 oz.
Brewing Times: 1st infusion-1 min.; 2nd-1 min.; 3rd-1 min.; 4th-2 min.

I based this choice of amounts on what I have found successful with one of my Tie Guan Yins, because the dry Black Pearl Sumatra leaves looked and smelled enough like a rolled oolong for that to make sense to me. The result was very pleasing. I think the confusion about whether this should be called a black tea or an oolong results from the fact that its flavour really defies categorization. It is rather sweet-potato-and-bean-like in the sense of Verdant Tea’s ‘Master Han’s Wild Picked Yunnan Black’ (or even Golden Fleece to a lesser degree), while also whispering some very enjoyable, dulcet (floral?) undertones of a green oolong.

However, based on the brewing procedure that worked for me, I think Tealux’s categorization of this tea as an oolong is perhaps the most appropriate. Technically, I guess we would need to know how much the leaves were allowed to oxidize before we could identify the scientifically correct category.


Welcome to Steepster. I’m one of those people that this tea confuses. I think it steeps like and oolong but tastes like a black. I have decided that it really doesn’t matter what it is, I just like it. :))


Hi Dexter;
Thanks for the welcome and the comment. I agree that what matters most is whether you like the tea, rather than its categorization. Nevertheless, next time you brew some of this tea, see if you can notice the oolong-ish undertones in the flavour.


I’m not disagreeing that this tea has some oolong undertones, but I find it interesting that you are finding “dulcet (floral?) undertones of a green oolong”. There are some dark oolongs that I think have some of those green tones. Hasn’t noticed them in this one. Will pay more attention for them next time I drink it.


My characterization of the “dulcet (floral?) undertones of a green oolong” may simply be a reflection of my novice status in the world of tea flavours, and my lisping effort to find words over on the left side of my brain for something that is so much of a right-brain experience. Please let me know how you would describe the oolong character of this tea and I’ll see if your words match my experience.


I just took a quick snoop through your cupboard, nice choices. I like Tealux for straight teas – inexpensive nice quality. I really like Verdant as well – good customer service, nice rewards program – love Loashan Black. Have you taken a look at Mandala? AMAZING pu’erh, fantastic black pearls, phenomenal milk oolong. You have some great teas in your cupboards, and it just seems like Mandala would fit right in. :))


No, you said it perfectly. I understand exactly what you are talking about. I’m the one who doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe what I taste in teas. What I was trying to say is that this one to me tasted like a black tea with dark oolong undertones – I’ve had a few black teas that I thought has some dark oolong characteristics to it. I’ve also had dark oolongs that had some green oolong notes to it. Depends on amount of oxidization. I just didn’t notice any green oolong notes to this one. Will need to pay attention.


Thanks for the recommendation of Mandala Tea; I’ve been looking for a source of good pu-erhs. By the way, how did you manage to add a Canadian shipping/billing address to your account with them? In my effort to do so, I found that “United States” is the only choice of country their site will allow. I sent them an e-mail to inquire, but I’d like to know what you did about it.

In return for your recommendation of Mandala Tea, I would recommend that you try some teas from Capital Tea (, which is entirely web-based, but run out of Toronto by a guy named Joel. I have a couple of his Darjeelings and Assams, along with a Ceylon tea. I have discovered in general (i.e. not just in relation to Capital Tea) that I like Ceylon teas only when they are spiced or otherwise flavoured. However, the Darjeelings and Assams from Capital Tea that I have tried are excellent; in fact the Darjeelings are simply exquisite!

In his product descriptions, Joel occasionally writes “highly recommended,” and I have found that he can be trusted on this. I would especially suggest “Thurbo SFTGFOP1 1st Flush Darjeeling,” “Giddapahar SFTGFOP 2nd Flush Darjeeling,” and “Doomni Estate Assam FGTGFOP.” One drawback with ordering from Capital Tea is that most of the teas come in a minimum 100 g. quantity. However, the prices are very reasonable, the teas come beautifully wrapped and are obviously lovingly cared for, and they are extremely good. The Darjeelings can be brewed at 85º C and will deliver at least 5 lovely, subtly nuanced infusions. I have discovered that here is a good reason why Darjeelings are called the Champagne of black tea.


Mandala will ship worldwide, their site just isn’t set up for it. This is what Garret (owner – super nice guy) wrote on another posting note just the other day.
HI! We can totally ship to the UK! Already do. It’s just not an option on the site. Our international customers can email me at garret AT and let me know what they want. Then we figure out the shipping options, send a paypal invoice and get the teas on their wonderful journey!”
Just email him with what you want and they will send you out a Paypal invoice. I’ve ordered from them a few times and never had a problem. Garret comments on lots of tasting notes, active here in the community. Great guy, amazing teas. If you are looking for pu’erh – they press their own cakes. Anything that is one of their own is AMAZING – Noble Mark is my favorite shu – Silver Buds Raw 2011 is my favorite sheng.

I will take a look at Capital Tea – I like finding good Canadian Companies to order from. I’m at work right now but will take a look tonight. LOL Can never have enough teas…


Hi Dexter;
Just wanted you to know that Garret got back to me very quickly, shipping costs got figured out, and I now have some Mandala pu-erhs coming my way. Thanks again for the recommendation; Garret is indeed a great guy to deal with.

I also thought that, since you enjoy teas from Tealux, you might like to try their Brandy Oolong. Kinda like the Black Pearl Sumatra, the Brandy Oolong blurs the flavour boundary between oolong and black tea.


Awesome, I knew Garret would come through for you. I hope you enjoy their teas as much as I do.
I had taken a quick look at the Capital Tea site yesterday and was a bit overwhelmed at the choices. Then today I saw someone else recommend it and a really positive tasting note on the tea that I was most interested in. Anyway – the short version is I ordered 100g of the one tea and samples of 8 others. Thanks for mentioning them. :))

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998 tasting notes

I still love this tea. I still think it should be sold as a black rather than an oolong.
Regardless of what it is or how it’s sold, this is on my restock list.


I really like this one and remember writing pretty much the same thing. I saw other retailers selling this type of Sumatra as black tea. I’m assuming Tealux supply is not fully oxidized, although it sure feels like it is…


I agree – my first tasting note pretty much says confused… The package is clearly labeled oolong, it’s listed on the web site under oolong, but the description says “This beautiful Sumatran black tea is grown in the mineral-rich” The whole thing is just confusing. Doesn’t really matter I like it and will order more. :))

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138 tasting notes

i find with oolongs, the magic is in the cooling. when you let your cup cool, the tea opens up and you’ll experience more notes, and greater depth of those notes.

the aftertaste/after sip in this is sliiightly peach/nectarine but not quite. definitely not as peachy as in other greener, less oxidized oolongs. but it is a subtle fruity-floral, not quite orchid but you can say it is crisp. crisp like a Washington apple? Hmm i’m not sure. if i got definitive apple out of this i’d be thoroughly impressed (not to mention, happy!) but perhaps that is to be found in subsequent steeps.

this is only the first steep, and i have to say, Black Pearl Sumatra sits nicely in between a delicate black tea and an oolong. actually the ‘black tea quality’ about this is sturdy, like a dark-roasted grain, though i wouldn’t say the flavor is toasty. it’s kind of similar in overall flavor to Tealux’s Cream Irish Breakfast, sans butter or cream.

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268 tasting notes

Virginia hooked me up with this oolong as well! Thanks so much :)

This is a very dark oolong- almost black- with tightly rolled leaves. The aroma while brewing is strongly apple and the color of the brew looks much more like a strong black tea than an oolong. A strong burnt sugar note pops up first, followed by a distinctly apple taste. The combination is almost exactly like slightly overcooked apple chips, at least the way I make them (1/8 in slices dusted with a cinnamon sugar mix and baked). It was a very interesting oolong for me, but not one that I would purchase.

Flavors: Apple, Burnt Sugar

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408 tasting notes

Who are you Black Pearl Sumatra ? I mean who are you, really ?
You’re supposed to be an Oolong and you look like an Oolong (rolled leafs) but you taste like a light bodied black tea. Are you a double agent ? Classified as an OOlong but working for Black teas ?
You’re quite good and I am happy Dexter put you on my way. Thank you Dexter
You get some fruity notes as well, and yes apples seem to match very well to your taste even if you get some apricot as well.
You’re very delicate and lovely, you are the perfect tea to have whenever I don’t want something too heavy in the morning or in the evening.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

Haha! What a perfect note this was! Classified oolong….working for the Black Tea Organization.
You are right, this one is a double agent :-)

Terri HarpLady

This review made me smile :)


I am very grateful to agent Dexter (ex alias 3657)for sharing this very secret Oolong with me :)

carol who

Those double agents! Perhaps we should let the Tea Justice League know about this. However, it sounds like they are a benevolent.


agree Carol,the tea justice League should know about this :)


I’ve stopped trying to figure out what side this one really works for, it’s just a fun little friend to have aroung regardless of it’s alliances. :))

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726 tasting notes

Oh my goodness…this tea…it tastes like that Assam tea I had the other day. Ahhhh Virginia you’re gonna make me spend so much money on these websites! XD


I love this one too!!! Were you drinking the Assam #8? That’s my favorite Tealux Assam. Tealux has tons of really good straight teas…


Yeah I drank that a few days ago. I loved it. Man…Gotta order from so many places xD Can;t wait to get back to work so I can put in some big orders! Health do not fail me now! XD
Are there any good teas from there that you’d recommend, Dexter?


Obviously it depends what your personal tastes are, but if we both like two of the same ones, we might have similar tastes…
Jin Jun Mei is expensive but AMAZING!!!
This one is showing out of stock – if they get it back in I will be grabbing some – really nice “golden” black
I like this one as an everyday, nothing special, inexpensive, can’t hurt it with poor steep times, but is still a SOLID black tea.
In the spirit of Black Pearl Sumatra – a dark oolong that is so dark it comes across as a black. This aged oolong is FANTASTIC.

That’s a few of my favorite “dark” Tealux teas. In general I like their straight teas more than their flavored ones – not sure if you are into flavors or not. If so, this one is so weird and interesting, I highly recommend you give it a try…

I hope that your health holds so that you can get back to work. :))


Virginia actually game me a sample of the first one you mentioned…I have yet to try it. Ahh! Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll have to try those next time I order! Yah! I’m excited! Thank you so much! :D


Not sure if I should be enabling or not but Tealux is having a Falther’s Day Sale right now. 20% off teas (not teaware) until 08Jun14. Code MYDAD
They do have sales pretty regular, if you are going to order, I would wait for a sale… ;))


I feel like all I’ve seen is them doing 20% off sales…do they ever do anything more than that?
Either way I’ll probably have a wait a couple months…because half the teas I like from there now are expensive xD So might be a big order xD


They do 20% off pretty regularly – like about once a month. I’m not sure if they’ve ever done more than that, but if they did it was probably Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but I’m not sure.

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