Black Dragon Pearls

Tea type
Black Tea
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Caramel, Cedar, Chocolate, Cream, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Orange, Pine, Plums, Raisins, Roasted nuts, Smoke, Toast, Vanilla, Dark Bittersweet, Scotch, Cocoa, 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 4 g 9 oz / 260 ml

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78 Want it Want it

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178 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 little...” Read full tasting note
  • “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
  • “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 it’s...” Read full tasting note
  • “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

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.

178 Tasting Notes

87 tasting notes

so this was pretty cool when i opened my Davids tea cup and there the pearls were gone! LOL But this taste just like black tea? IS that the point is it just dragon pearls cues its in a ball??? This was very good and i would buy again though!! Sometimes plain black tea is nice :)

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190 tasting notes

really strong scent of cocoa. earthy flavor with cocoa afternotes. A really good smooth cup of tea for the price. :)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Gotta love the balls. ;D


hehehe :)

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61 tasting notes

I got my new teas! And this one for some reason has been nagging me to drink it. I used two balls for a decently sized cup, but decided against using my tea ball so I could watch them unfurl. So cool, but then I realized that this is probably why I over steep everything.
This is the darkest liquor I’ve encounter. When I went to scoop out the leaves, after about an inch I lost sight of my spoon. The leaves are long and very a chocolaty brown. When dried the definite smelt like cocoa.

Funny story, I opened my package at the start of my Entomology class out of pure excitement, and let my friends and professor smell the tins. Everyone immediately jumped to chocolate at this one and was highly confused at the artichoke. I do believe I made a few converts, even if their in it just so I bump their grade up. Thus is the power of being the TA with the grade book.

The tea smells bittersweet and a touch cocoa like, but very clearly black. The taste is strong and bold, but smooth. The feel is more coffee-like to me with that (good)acidic/tangy bite. The complexity is fun to mill over, and I feel predominately its earthy with that strange not-quite-sweetness edging in.

Now that its cooled down, I definitely tasting chocolate notes. That aside, it tastes like most black teas and isn’t quite distinctive for me to re-buy, but I will throughly enjoy my sample size.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

This is one of the teas I ordered with my savory teas, and I can’t wait to try it. Damn you Canadian customs, don’t you know I need my tea?!

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161 tasting notes

As a resident of TN, I have unlimited access to average tea/slightly above average tea at every restaurant I eat at. Even our Sonic and Subways have ok Southern Sweet tea if you don’t mind risking a diabetic sugar coma. I don’t think these Black Dragon Pearls are anything to write home about.

My office just received our complimentary flu shots this morning, so I brewed up a cup and had it on standby. Keep in mind that I’m a HUGE needle whimp, so I was looking forward to a hot cup of soothing goodness. It just didn’t come through for me like my Wuyi oolong probably would have.
Taste = C
Entertainment factor = A
Will comfort and get your back = D


I don’t see this as being a huge comfort after being stuck with sharp pointy things, either, unfortunately.

Maybe if they let you watch the tea steep WHILST sticking the needle in you? Though if they were to do that I’d rather watch John Krasinski doing…I don’t know, ANYTHING.


Did you use too many/not enough pearls? I use 5 per 8oz water. Most black teas, other than chais oddly, upset my stomach but this one doesn’t.


takgoti – It was no comfort at all! Watching the pearls unfurl would have been alright. As it was, I just talked about my Great Dane and had a minor breakout of hives. Now, if we had a little TV playing reruns of The Office (also my computer’s wallpaper), I bet I wouldn’t have felt a thing. Eh, who am I kiddin’?

Cofftea – I used 3 pearls for my cup w/ infuser from Agagio’s site. I even made a second cup…it was a good amount of leaves from just 3 balls. Maybe 4 balls would have been better, I don’t know. I haven’t had a tea upset my stomach before…probably because of the amount of coffee I used to drink. I’m off coffee now. At least you can enjoy yummy chais. :)


I haven’t tried this tea so this is just speculation, but I’d say the novelty of the tea is in the shape not the flavour.


You’re right Jillian, although you should never waste tea by steeping a tea you can’t stand to drink just to look at it.

Cynthia Carter

I agree with you about the quality of Southern ice tea – even the fast food joints down here (Panhandle FL) wouldn’t dare serve the yucky instant tea that seems to be the rule up North. Luzianne is still my favorite.

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176 tasting notes

The last thing I ever thought I’d be thinking as a 19-year old female college freshman was, ‘There is a shortage of balls in my life’. But, sadly, I am running low on this tea. Because it’s one of my favorites, I’ll be re-ordering this soon.

This tasted extra chocolaty today since I still had the aftertaste of the Malted ChocoMate in my mouth. Yummy!

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36 tasting notes

I think I’m definitely having a black tea fetish today! :) These pearls are not earth shattering at all but defintely earthy tasting. I can taste the cocoa notes for sure but the dirty earthiness flavors kind of overpowers it for me. Glad I only have a sample of this. Not a very high rating from me on this one. I knew I didnt have an affinity for BALLS!! ;) haha. My gf is happy about this.

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

It’s interesting that you could taste “dirty earthiness”. I love this tea (as much as I could love any non chai black lol) and “dirty earthiness” would make me gag. How many balls and how much water did you use? I’ve only had this once… makes me want to revisit it.:)


I used about 8 balls per 16 oz


HAAAAAAAAAA! That one deserves a zing! for sure. Welcome to our little clan of Black Dragon double entendre-ing.


haha thank you…I’m not getting any closer to liking these balls either!

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115 tasting notes

A good black tea. Nothing too amazing but good nonetheless. Lots of earthy tones and a nice soothing nose. Who doesn’t like popping a couple of these finely rolled balls into your pot and watching them unfurl into all their steeping glory? Has enough strength to hold up to the morning grogginess without a harsh bite. Cocoa notes are too subtle for my untrained palate to pick up on. Grab a cup, i’m sure you’ll like it.


I “liked” this post…even though I don’t “like” hearing about your palate…


Interesting. You’ve spurred me into trying this one riiiiight…now.

Also, I’m sorry, but hee hee hee, you said “balls.” [I know. I’m five.]


@takgoti, i’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts. At it’s only available as loose leaf, not tea bags, right?


the idea of watching said balls of glory & the anticipation of cocoa sounds like a good choice for tonight. maybe you could manage making me a cup just this one night? …while i make you dinner like i do EVERY night?…

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333 tasting notes

I like these a bit better than the only other black dragon pearls I’ve tried (from thepuriTea). They seem heavier on the malt and lighter on the cocoa than thepuriTea’s version, which is a decided plus in my book (though I know it’s a minus for most people). Or it could just be that my tolerance level for chocolate notes is slightly higher than usual today – after all, aren’t 99% of dragon pearls supposed to come from the same place or something? Still not my favorite – I prefer Assams and Ceylons when I’m in the mood for something bold and black – but I did enjoy my cup. Thanks for this sample, Nicole_Martin!

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299 tasting notes

Lighter than I expected!

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

I have more pearls from Teavivre if you want to try to compare?


Oooh. Wanna do a switch? Or have you had this one?


I don’t think I have? I don’t think I stole any when I sent it to you, did I? But I’d be interested if you have enough!


Cool I will add em!


Thanks. Let me know what else you’d like to try! I’ll let you know if I can’t do it, but there’s lots of room still in my envelope.

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102 tasting notes

I think all of the companies that carry black tea in “dragon pearl” form are getting it from the same place. This tastes, smells and looks the same as thepuriTea’s Red Dragon Pearl and the one from Teavana. It’s a strong black tea with notes of chocolate and a slightly roasted flavor, but not smoky. It’s rich and flavorful, fully leaded (in terms of caffeine), a bit malty, almost like an Assam. I like the ease of measuring (five “balls” per 8 oz of water @ 205 @ 4 min. = nice strong cuppa). Even better with a little sweetener, and makes a nice tea latte, if you’re into that.

I had a bad headache today, and a double-helping of this tea has helped tremendously.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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