drank Zomba Pearls by DAVIDsTEA
4087 tasting notes

Strange VariaTEA TTB – Tea #12

So there’s a whole unopened (well, previously unopened) 50g pouch of this in the TTB. I remember seeing this type of tea at What-cha before, but I’ve never tried it, or any Malawi tea that I can recall. So here we are!

I used 5 “pearls” for a 16-ounce pot. I’m really bad about overestimating the amount of tea to use when it’s compressed or rolled, so I probably could’ve used less. They didn’t actually unfurl much during the 3-minute steep, so they could probably take quite a few steeps.

Anyway, on to the tea. It’s very flavorful for a white tea, with a combination of green, black, and white tea flavors. The texture is smooth and slightly thick, and there’s a black-tea-like malty note and body. But it also reminds me of a nutty green tea, such as Long Jing. Smooth and buttery with a pronounced nutty flavor, reminiscent of cashews, and also a light vegetal note. Also picking up on the hay and oats flavors I usually find in white teas, and a lovely natural sweetness. There’s an interesting astringency that sort of tickles the back of my throat.

I’m a bit torn on whether to keep this one, as I’m not a resteeper and that seems wasteful for a tea that barely unfurls on the first steep. Plus this tea is extremely pricey…

Result: Tried?

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Cashew, Grain, Hay, Honey, Malt, Nuts, Oats, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Hi, I’m Cameron!

I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

- July Sipdowns: 38
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 104

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots depending on the season.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

I tend to reach for fruitier flavors rather than desserty ones these days, but I do have favorites from both categories. Willing to try anything once! There are a few ingredients/flavors that aren’t generally my jam, such as coconut, rose, lavender, and chocolate flavoring. But I also have teas that I love with some of those things, too! :)

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:


Austin, Texas



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