My Silk Road Tea order arrived this afternoon and of course I had to try the Dragon Balls first. I was prepared for something a bit larger than a jasmine pearl and a bit smaller than one of those round gum balls. What I got was full-throttle testicle sized balls!
Anyhow, I put a ball into a glass tea pot and put in some just not boiled water and removed it to the dining room table, in scientific mode, to see how the ball would unfurl.
I was joined by my grey cat who is known as Bongo or Princess Annie or “mon frère”, depending on which member of my household you happen to be. He stared, utterly enchanted, at the slow unwinding of the dragon ball. At first it seemed to be resisting the heat and looked like a huge wad of chewing tobacco stuck in the cheek of a New York Yankee. Then slowly and subtly, the ball began to disintegrate. The cat and I were both captivated. It may have been something like watching an elderly movie star remove her make-up to reveal the ruins underneath. It ended up in a long-leaved mound and looked a bit like one of Monet’s paintings of hay-stacks in my glass pot.
The ball took five minutes to become a large mound and I thought it was high time to drink it (I had been making some experimental pours throughout). The water was a deep amber and indeed I thought that perhaps it would sport the kidney taste redolent of a tad of urine. Dragon Ball tea is indeed a bit funky, but not like urine. It’s more like the taste of decorous garden greens taken from a nut-growing plantation.
Oolings are rapidly becoming a favorite brew for me. They are subtle and they make me think seriously hard to pin down my characterization of their taste. I don’t think that there are enough analogies, similes, and metaphors to cover, adequately, the world of tea. I’m thrilled that I will get three or more steeps from my first ever Dragon Ball!
SECOND Steep: When I poured in the water, the Monet hay-stack collapsed into a pile of long delicate leaves. The second steep reinforces my favorable opinion. The aroma is delicate, nutty and floral and this time I can taste some buttery malt—subtle but certainly there. The color is a deeper amber because I gave it an extra 30 seconds. This tea is delightful on its own, but the name and the slow unfurling of the big ball make it a real conversation piece as well.
P.S. Thank you very much to Erin who told me how to bold text.