I was interested to see how these turned out because I have not been a huge fan of jasmine blacks previously. Then I try Shangs Tangerine Blossom Black and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now for this one.
I brewed three balls in my glass gaiwan to see how the leaves opened up. The first steep was a long five and a half minutes to get the balls to open. When I tried it, there was a amber candy sweetness to the black tea with the jasmine being oh so heady. Malt rounded off the taste overall in each steep.
The subsequent brews were much shorter, beginning at 50 sec and adding 15 sec increments to each later steep. The jasmine went back and forth, but the black tea itself really evolved going from sweet, to woodsy, to malty. There were some definite cocoa notes that faded in and out as well.
So I enjoyed this tea, but sometimes the black tea contrasted too much with the jasmine. I think that the black tea was high quality and that the scenting was high quality, but sometimes the two tastes didn’t always meld together. Sometimes I got girly jasmi-MALT-Oh-sweetness in the taste. If that makes any sense whatsoever. In comparison, the Tangerine Blossom’s citrus/orange peel helped balance the heady florals with the rich black tea. Essentially, I am biased to an orange or tangerine blossom over a jasmine for the florals of the black tea.
This is definitely a tea to try if you have never had a jasmine black, and I could see this tea on the full spectrum of hit, great, okay, meh, miss, and ew. You just have to know what jasmine tastes like and maybe what a Dragon Black Tea ball tastes like. If not, these pearls give you a good idea of how they taste and how other Yunnan blacks taste.
But like I said, I did enjoy this tea. I could easily see myself drinking the black base on its own. I also would not mind trying a jasmine black more often. I think the remaining two balls will do well in my tumbler too.