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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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

10 tasting notes

A delicious, strong tea with malty undertones and a rich cocoa scent. I used 4 pearls since my standard cup is a 16oz. cup that I fill up with approx 14oz. of water.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 4 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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313 tasting notes

My head is killing me, but MY GOSH this is good.

A whirlwind day today, in the office in the morn, then dashed off to London to interview the cast and writers of the film Bill, from the people who brought you quality things like Horrible Histories and Yonderland. Such lovely people and I hope they do very very well indeed. I want to be their friends. :3

Then stopped off at the Japan Centre to stock up on Crunky biscuits and dorayaki. NOMS. Good day, but the shifting air pressure out there is killing me!

As for the tea, yes. Yes yes yes, yes. I love a good dragon pearl, and this one’s got lovely soft cocoa notes and it’s smooth as heck. There’s a bit of honey and malt in there too. It’s the kind of tea I like to drink when I drink plain black tea, really. Perfect.

Also, my husband bought me a Soup Dragon figurine to go with the Small Clanger I’m knitting. :’) I love Soup Dragon so much.


Whoa! you’re married?! wow! it really has been a while since I’ve been on here. I seem to remember you calling him your boyfriend!


How exciting! I’m sure the photo is lovely :) :) (blind girl here LOL). I love weddings…we got married last September!

carol who

The photo is great. It really tells me a lot about your and your sense of humor. ;P What are you holding in the photo?

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107 tasting notes

The dry leaves do smell of cocoa. I got this in a mystery box from Oolong Owl, there were six balls that weighed 4g, so I put them all in my little cast iron pot with about 9oz of just about boiling water and let them steep for four minutes. Wet leaves still smell of cocoa. The brew is very dark, like coffee. The taste is hard to define, but it’s nice. I expected a bitter brew, but it wasn’t bitter at all. The flavor has the faintest bit of cocoa to it, and malt. I am terrible at finding flavors in tea, so all I can say is that this is a nice, smooth cup of black tea that I like and I would consider purchasing in the future. This could definitely go into my morning rotation.

EDIT: Just for the heck of it, I decided to give the leaves another go, and steeped again for about five minutes. The second brew was just as dark and fragrant as the first, but the flavor was what I imagine bongwater tastes like. So I’m not going to do that again.

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2 tasting notes

I loved this tea! I found it well rounded and hard to stop drinking.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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14 tasting notes

At first I wasn’t impressed with this tea. It gave me heartburn and I found the taste to be kind of bitter and not very exciting. I rebrewed it yesterday “grandpa style” in a pot and it was much better than before. I used about 6 balls with ~1000mL of water over an hour. The tea is very dark and heavy, but had more of an earthy flavor and less bitterness. It also tasted more like the unsweetened cocoa flavor often associated with this type of tea. I am still on the fence about whether I would buy it again but I think it could be an excellent morning tea. I am going to give it another try and see if I can perfect steeping times and quantity of water to avoid bitterness.

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293 tasting notes

I bought this on a whim, reading about it being malty. This tea just rocks! Slight cocoa, sweetness, coffee like notes. I even got my mom to drink this, and she won’t drink 99% of the teas I try to get her to try! I would use this tea to introduce a coffee drinker into the tea world.

I rebrew it once, taste just as good. Just an all around delicious tea.

I use three pearls per 8 oz of water.

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3229 tasting notes

Nice, another unknown sipdown! Thanks to Awkward Soul for this sample :D Also, 936.

I actually remember drinking these, though it was a while back – and they were malty, chocolatey, and delicious. More on the malty than chocolate side, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. I wasn’t able to compare them to Teavivre’s or anything, but black dragon pearls seem to be a sort of black tea that works well for me, so I’d pick some up again, from either vendor.

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559 tasting notes

Short review because I don’t actually have the tea in front of me. I finished my sample off yesterday.

This is one of those comforting, naturally chocolatey teas. The little balls remind me of Cocoa Puffs. They’re the same size, shape, and almost the same color. For Adagio, it’s surprisingly complex. They smell sweet and hay-like. The tea brews up dark brown and smells wonderful. I get notes of honey, hay, cocoa, wheat, and bread in the flavor. Mmm.

The only reason I’m giving this tea less than a 90 is because I’ve had Teavivre’s version and it was noticeably better. I know they’re from the same region, but there’s just a slight difference in quality.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Hay, Honey, Wheat

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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251 tasting notes

I’ve been on a tight budget lately, so I haven’t been buying tea, but as I noticed I was almost out of back teas I found that I had a ton of loyalty points built at Adagio. I’d had their Yunnan Noir before, which was pretty nice, but I decided to go for the more expensive Dragon Pearls and Yunnan Gold. The gold was great, really above my expectations, but these Dragon Pearls are just really bad

I’ve brewed them a few different way now, but even when I brew it strong there’s hardly any flavor. Just hot brown water with a touch of bitterness, and a slight fruity aroma which tastes to me like something it might have picked up from a flavored tea. I’m not sure what to do with the rest of this tea, it’s really not worth drinking.


A nominee for the hall of shame! Request a refund!


Yeah I really hate do do that, and they charge a 35% restock fee, but I guess it’s what I’ll have to do


“…even when I brew it strong there’s hardly any flavor. Just hot brown water with a touch of bitterness …”

There was nothing wrong with your money. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with their premium-priced Dragon Pearls.

Wow, that’s a very stiff customer-unfriendly restocking fee!

Perhaps if you make Adagio aware of your experience they will promptly remedy this situation to your satisfaction. Most reputable suppliers know that customer satisfaction is the key to their long-term success especially when there’s so much competition from many other tea suppliers.


A ball tea should be hanging onto a lot of flavor. Sounds like this one might have been poorly stored. Like maybe glass jars?


Yes I would guess that it was stored badly. I’m going to try emailing them to see what they’ll do


All of us, your Steepster friends, will be watching (:-) to see if Adagio remedies this situation to your complete satisfaction.

Most reputable tea suppliers want their customers to completely happy with their products and service.

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627 tasting notes

I enjoyed this tea a lot – but I am mostly a sucker for the flavored ones. Will absolutely finish my sample, and might repurchase.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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