I normally don’t like rose-scented teas. I don’t even know why I bought these dragon balls but I’ll be damned, the mood for rose struck today. Maybe it seemed like a natural progression from my wake-up cup of some underwhelming gui fei I’m trying to finish off.

Anyway, whew boy is this a sweet tea!

Gone gaiwan. 1 beautiful dragon ball, 150mL, 200F. Gave it a 30s soak and lost track of the number of steeps because I was so caffeinated. 10+ that’s for sure.

The dry ball smells so good, much like cherry and not that old lady perfumey rose scent. The aroma of the liquor matches the scent of the dry leaf and rose petals, never once making me regret choosing rose today. Once the ball opened up about halfway, the liquor became very thick with down and had a wonderful viscous texture. There was some astringency that could probably be somewhat mitigated by keeping steep times at 10-15s (I was doing several rounds of 20 before knocking the time down).

In terms of tastes, I wasn’t aiming for depth of notes today, rather just enjoying the session. Most notable was the cherry-rose, some spiciness and some minerality. Several steeps had a pronounced note of frankincense. Where this tea really got me was the intense! date sweetness that lasted long in the back of the mouth and seemed to also sit in my chest. I’m not normally a fan of super sweet teas but in this one, it just worked so well.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable, incredibly sweet tea, one that would be great to share a session with somebody. The rose petals are beautiful and vibrant in smell and taste, never perfumey but quite fruity. I do wonder if the fruitiness could be attributed to the base tea. I know YS sells it alone but I haven’t tried it. Regardless, the two ingredients work really well together. Another thing to note is these balls are pressed not nearly as compact as the Silver Needles or Moonlight White dragon balls, giving this tea less of a learning curve than those other two. I’m glad I picked up several of these dragon balls and won’t be in a rush to finish the last one just to get it out of my cupboard, saving it for when the mood strikes again.

200 °F / 93 °C 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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This place, like the rest of the internet, is dead and overrun with bots. And thus I step away.

Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Georgia, Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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