Black Dragon Pearls

Tea type
Black Tea
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Caramel, Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Scotch, Cocoa, Malt, 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 3 g 10 oz / 288 ml

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177 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.

177 Tasting Notes

111 tasting notes

Thanks to Silvermage2000 sending me a generous sample of her Black Dragon Pearls I am finally getting to try this tea. For some strange reason I always forget to order a sample when I make my Adagio orders (maybe it’s my adhd) I don’t know. So I had to look up how many “pearls” to add to what amount of water and I decided on 10 ounces of boiling water to like 5 pearls. I tried smelling the dry leaf (pearl) and didn’t get much in the way of smell. When adding the boiling water the leaves quickly unfurl and now the liquor is starting to look very dark and I am starting to think that I added way too many pearls ugh I hate that!! The smell is alive now that it has been steeped and smells like most other black teas. The taste the first taste I get is smoky and I think I read another review that said cigarette tasting and while I smoked for several years of my young adult life I can honestly say I do get a familiar cigarette flavor I would define as tobacco flavor. I am not regretting adding so many pearls as I think this cup could give me a good caffeine kick in the ___ that I need to get to work. I think this tea is pretty good not bad at all Thanks Silvermage2000!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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336 tasting notes

You can think of pearls, balls or rabbit droppings – your choice. I think I prefer the first option. The smell is wonderful: chocolate, cinnamon and even cigars – I love it. I liked the taste as well: smooth and earthy. Good morning cup!


‘Rabbit droppings’ is, in fact, the description that came to mind whin I saw the black pearls for the first time.

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23 tasting notes

Finally drank this last night – got in my Steepster Select Adiago Fall tea set a few weeks ago! I have never seen a pearl tea before so I was really excited to try this out! I enjoyed the tea. It was light and subtle. But, I think something up went wrong in prep, either not enough pearls or water wasn’t hot enough. Still enjoyable and will certainly try again.


try 10 pearls per 16oz at 212 degrees F for 5 min.


@cofftea: Wow, really? I think I used 3 pearls for about 12oz at around boiling for 5 mins. Maybe I’ll try more tea next time. But I have been trying to use less because I feel I usually pile on too much.


Thanks for the advice, Cofftea. I will add more pearls next time and let you know how it turns out! Jason, made the same mistake, only used 4 for about 12 oz! Could be why it was so light!

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682 tasting notes

I was craving black tea, but I wasn’t craving any of my flavoured ones, so I figured a nice mellow black tea would be perfect for today.
I’ve brewed enough to have a small cup right now, and the rest has been put in my timolino to keep me company during class. It did get a bit bitter since I was brewing it as I was getting ready for class but at least it’s still drinkable :)
Super warm outside and definitely a time for iced tea buuuut.. naw. I’m good with my hot teas :)

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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592 tasting notes

Threw a few balls into my new teapot and brewed up a nice black tea for the morning. After steeping, I realized I wanted something a little sweeter, so I added some creamer. It really brought out the subtle cocoa notes from this tea. This tea is nothing too special for a straight black, but seems to be reliable.

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596 tasting notes

Mmmm. Yummy cocoa notes. Rich and satisfying. Makes a good cuppa. I used 5 pearls in about 8 oz water and it seems to be just right.

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335 tasting notes

So I think I discovered the secret to this tea: make it, then let it sit for a few hours. I’m not sure why (perhaps it’s just the cooler temperature bringing out more flavor complexity), but it seems like every time I make myself a pot of this and have one cup right away and one cup in the late afternoon, the second cup is the one I end up craving.

With this tea, the instructions are to let it steep for five minutes, but even after four the tea is always kind of a pale yellow liquor. I usually find myself swishing around the strainer, or pouring and repouring the water over the leaves to speed up the infusion process. Maybe I should just learn to be a little more patient. Still delicious either way.

…Oh, and on a side note, I think I’ve discovered why my past several teas keep tasting like metal. It’s the damn strainer I keep using in place of my teapot! Maybe because I haven’t truly washed the strainer with soap yet (I always rinse it off after I use it to make tea), but the past several times I have tried to use it to make tea, the tea tastes metallic, and the past several times I have used the pot, the tea tastes delicious. Nrrrrrgh….

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1766 tasting notes

I neglected to buy milk again this morning, and so I’m breaking out the Black Dragon Pearls I’ve had sitting in my desk drawer for some time now. On opening the packet, I’m pleased to discover that they smell of cocoa. I’m equally pleased to discover how pretty they are – light brown and almost-black marble-sized pearls – totally unique!

While brewing, this tea remains a delight. It’s kind of relaxing watching the pearls slowly unfurl. It brews slowly, too, perhaps because of how tightly the pearls are formed. I quite like that in a tea I’m going to drink without milk – I feel it gives me more control over how strong/astringent the tea becomes. I left this about three and a half minutes, until it’s a medium golden-brown. It smells, just like it does dry, quite strongly of cocoa. It’s a deep, dark, pleasant smell. Just what I want in my Monday morning tea.

The taste is more delicate than I was expecting, given that it has quite a strong, deep smell. For some reason, I felt a little trepidation about trying this tea, which is probably why it languished in my drawer for so long. It was completely unwarranted, though. I’m enjoying this tea a lot. It’s complex, unusual, and flavoursome. It’s sort of chocolatey and very smooth, with a slight toasted bitterness to the aftertaste. Despite my reservations, it really is very moreish.

I surprised myself by liking this. My last experience with a Yunnan wasn’t a great one, but I’m on my second cup of this now, and I think it’s sizing up to be one of those tea I want to keep on hand. I should forget to buy milk more often, I think – it really challenges my tea drinking habits, to interesting effect.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

These are lovely, I remember serving them to my husband who said he wouldn’t like it and he ended up telling me to buy a large bag lol. Nice review. :)

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62 tasting notes

I am so confused!
I brew this tea at home, and I can’t get the color or flavor I want, even though I’m using all my fancy tea items, like my pot, and my precise zojirushi, and my good cups. Thinking this tea is nothing but dust, I take it to work.
Work, where the water comes out of an Arrowhead machine, where the brewing apparatus that I have is a plastic and metal travel mug with brewing basket. So I drank this tea all yesterday, and didn’t clean out the brewing basket. I come back into work this morning, look at the leaves and rebrew them, thinking I’ll get a weak tea. But no! Still a pretty strong tea. The color and flavor is exactly what I want.
This tea, definitely for work, but not for home. It doesn’t want fancy. It wants bare bones.

190 °F / 87 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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42 tasting notes

Pre steeping it smells wonderful. Slight notes of Dark Chocolate giving a sweetness that is quite nice.

It is fun to watch the pearls break apart while steeping. My hardware is larger than one cup so I’ve typically used 4 pearls per steeping with slightly less than one and 3/4 cups water. It steeps a delightful brown/red color combination. Once steeped it still smells slightly of dark chocolate and does have a slight earthiness that is quite appealing.

Taste is a very good red tea. A smooth cup that finishes clean, I really like this tea. I burnt myself out on the red dragon blend, I hope that doesn’t happen with this one. This is lately my morning cup and I’ve just ordered a second shipment.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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