Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Smoke, Dark Chocolate, Raisins, Wet Wood, Wet wood, Wood, Brown Sugar, Molasses, Cocoa, Musty, Spices, Floral, Thick, Baked Bread, Autumn Leaf Pile, Burnt Sugar, Earth, Mineral, Toast, Wet Earth, Leather
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 6 g 28 oz / 818 ml

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313 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I used 4 “balls”. and eventho the product description says ‘slight chocolate’ I picked up a whole bunch of chocolate-malty-goodness in this! Incredible! I’m going to do another infusion after this...” Read full tasting note
  • “After having Loaded Baked Potato Soup, I served Italian Cream Cake. I didn’t make it! A friend sent it to me and it came from Sam’s club and was delicious! The frosting tastes a lot like the...” Read full tasting note
  • “another tea from this morning. the world has distracted me today. :) However, i am looking forward to sipdown saturday! and sample sunday! woot woot!” Read full tasting note
  • “I went on a casual date last night. The guy messaged me afterward, and this morning I sent the “hey-I’m-not-really-into-dating-right-now-but-thanks-for-meeting-me” reply. Which shouldn’t sound like...” Read full tasting note

From Teavivre

Origin: Fengqing, Yunnan, China

Ingredients: The leaves come from wild tea trees

Taste: Taste sweet and smooth, with a slight flavor of chocolate

Brew: 3-4 pieces for 8oz of water. Brew at 212 ºF (100 ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: Being a fully oxidised – or fermented – black tea, it does not have the same level of antioxidants that our White and Green teas have, however it is still a good source of these and so will also help reduce the risk of cancers and lessen the affects of aging. Black teas such as our Fengqing black also are considered to help prevent tooth decay and help lower your cholesterol levels.

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313 Tasting Notes

1719 tasting notes

A sample of this was included with my black Friday order. I am just getting around to opening it. I had this a long time ago and recall liking it but not being as wowed by it as others at the time. One thing I notice today is the recommended steep time for western brewing is 5 – 10 minutes. That sounds excessive but maybe it needs it?

I first catch a spicy note like cinnamon that melts into malt. Just past the malt it becomes nutty/woodsy then gets a brisk little bite. The aftertaste has just enough astringent briskness to catch my interest. I can’t think of another Chinese black that has this element. Better than I remember.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

I looked back at one of my previous notes and it appears Teavivre revised the western steeping recommendation. So it is much longer now.


Yeah, I don’t recall that long of a steeping time before, but perhaps it is so the leaves can open up more.

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553 tasting notes

I came back home from vacation to find a brand new box of tea samples from the wonderful Teavivre. It took me all day to figure out which tea to try first, but this won the right to be my 300th tea tasting note.

I brewed three pearls in my french press for two minutes with the first steep and three minutes for the second steep. The pearls themselves are about twice the size of the green jasmine pearls and smelled like dry hay. It was interesting to watch the black pearls unfurl with the hot water.

At first the tea didn’t taste like much. It isn’t as earthy as my yunnan black and that is what I was expecting from the tea for some reason. Only after I let the tea cool down for a while I began to notice a dark note. It wasn’t very strong but it was a dark note. Not earthy and not very sweet, but present.

On my second steep the dark note was a little bit stronger and that was when I was able to pinpoint the flavor. It tasted like a small sliver of bittersweet baking chocolate. I think I am going to have to brew this again with another pearl or two to really bring out the chocolate note.

I think the next time I try this I am going to put either my second or third steep in the fridge to try this iced. I think it would make a nice iced tea.

Thank you again Teavivre for this lovely tea sample. I would have never imagined that I would go from having a tea bag every once in a while to writing about loose leaf tea samples.


Congrats on 300! I liked this one a lot, but I used five pearls. Maybe that would take the flavor up a notch for you!


300!! Way to go! I’m nearly at 500 and am certain I’m going to miss it because I keep forgetting to check :D


Yay congrats!



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985 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

And this is actually the second steep! Since I had my other Dragon Pearl black tea yesterday, I decided to see how this one compares this morning. Really, they are nearly interchangeable. It is just a guess, but I have a feeling that most of the black variety of dragon pearl tea comes from a similar source. I could be completely wrong, though, as I actually know so little about the tea production and primary distribution business. I barely know all I need to know in the tea drinking business. ;) I know just enough about drinking it to thoroughly enjoy myself, really.

As usual for this type of tea….notes of chocolate and malt, and very smooth. The leaves are huge once they unfurl in my steeping basket. The second steep is as good as the first, and I expect to get one more good one before I decide to move onto another tea. I have not really tried a fourth, but one day I will. Great quality tea, and the price for 100grams is very good. I can immediately think of 4 sources for this type of tea and this one is the most reasonable for that amount. Prices get a little more competitive around the 1 pound mark.

Usual mug method…6 pearls.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Scott B

Looking forward to trying this soon.

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525 tasting notes

So I heard lots of good things about this tea. Sadly, I don’t find it all that tasty. Did I brew this wrong? It was kind of sour. I do some of those chocolate flavors people are talking about but it’s also kind of bitter. I think I’ll use a lower temp next time. I find the boiling water never really works out for me unless it’s an herbal. I suppose I’m sensitive to the stuff the boiling water brings out of teas. And there’s a lot of caffeine in this. Holy cow.

I’ll try this again before I rate it.

As I was brewing this, husband walked by and said, “I was looking for some tea this morning and I noticed that you have way too much!” He doesn’t touch my stash usually. He has no real idea how much tea I have. There’s more hidden under my desk. muahaha

Donna A

I used 5 pearls with 8 oz water for 3 minutes at almost boiling and really liked it. I read that it can be a little tricky to get right. The other alternative is to brew it gong fu style-some teas that I don’t like Western are great gong fu style.


I only used 4 pearls with 8 oz. It tasted too strong for me. Though I think I over brewed it since it forgot about it for a few minutes. Usually when this happens, I add more hot water to dilute it and it works out. If not, a lower temp and lower steep time usually fixes things for me. Hotter water leeches out more bitterness and I guess I’m pretty sensitive to that. We shall see next time! I think I"ll bring the rest of my sample pouch to work tomorrow and try it out there!

Charles Thomas Draper

4 pearls and boiling water and a 5 minute steep and I am loving it

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1113 tasting notes

Haaaa, I guess I should have read everyone else’s reviews before I attempted to brew this! I used all 8 balls that were in my sample pack, brewed at 204 like the package said…luckily I only steeped for a couple of minutes ;)

I will definitely get several resteeps today, heh.

This is very nice! Reminds me of Mandala Special Dark without the puerh taste. Very rich and dark and malty! This is definitely one I will restock some day :D


Haha intense!


Yay! because I love this tea and just ordered the Special Dark, so I am pretty sure I will love love that one, too!


love these pearls!


Ah! Those leaves must have filled your infuser!


I had FIVE steeps and one to throw in the fridge, lol :)

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676 tasting notes

Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this delicious Sample!

This morning I was relieved to find that the wind had scooped out the low fog-like smoke from the ground and I could breathe easier. I really wanted some tea in a big way! I felt so sick last night, nauseated from inhaling the dense soupy smoke out by my daughters house that ended up dropping down on my place 10 miles from her less than a half hour later.

I steeped these gorgeous Bronze Onyx Tea Pearls Western Style in a glass pot so that I could watch them unfurl. I wanted several cups of tea to cleanse my body from the soot I had inhaled last night from the Larimer County Fire.

This was THE perfect tea choice for this morning!

I had no idea that these little pearls would produce the most delightfully cocoa nib flavored tea of any tea I’ve ever had.
Other tea’s I’ve enjoyed had cocoa or chocolate flavor coupled with malt, yam, cinnamon. But this, was pure cocoa. Try as I would, I didn’t find malt, yam, potato or any distractor lurking in the shadows waiting to sneak out of hiding with an “aha, gotcha”.

I have a treasured little French Bakery as big as a shoebox in Oldtown Fort Collins. The sign outside the shop says ‘Only One Person at a Time Enter Please’ posted there because the shop is so small. Inside there is a glass case lined with pastries that are works of art. Buttery beauties and sugered sweeties. Best of all are the Macarons. Ohhhh the Chocolate Macarons (French spelling)…so light they would float on air. My Black Dragon Pearl Tea was like the Chocolate Macarons. So very Parisian. Smooth, light and cocoalicious.

I’ll buy some of this tea…it is really the best black cocoa tasting tea I’ve had. Now I have 2 Verdant favorite Black Tea’s and 2 Teavivre’s.

The Today Show was on while I was enjoying my cup and was showing the Larimer County Fire…right here. I saw a helicopter picking up some water. Hum, it looked like the little lake about 3 miles from my house.
I picked up my camera and walked to the end of the complex and was shocked to see the fire was right up my hill from me behind Horsetooth Reservoir. Yikes! My daughter called me and we set up a plan in case I have to get out of here. I walked to the end of the complex and took a picture.



Be SAFE! Don’t try staying too long if they say to get out!
On another note – those lawns are VERY well manicured! :)


Glad I don’t have to do yardwork!Or plow snow or maintain the pool or anything! My association includes water and security and garbage too…all building maint, wiring, paint etc. $125 a month so not bad. Yes I was going to go look down the street again. I hear the planes.

Joshua Smith

I hope you’re okay! Hopefully the wind blows away from your town.


Unfortunately, it’s right behind my house…praying the wind does not shift but it’s supposed to bringing the whole thing downhill. But, that is man’s opinion…the wind does what the wind wants to do.

Joshua Smith

Ain’t that the truth. Weather prediction is hard, and accuracy is just too computationally intensive to be commonplace. Regardless, I’m keeping you in my thoughts.

Jim Marks

Sadly, Liz’s aunt and uncle had to evacuate (in a real hurry) and near as anyone can tell, they’ve lost everything that didn’t fit into the two pick-ups.


Oh no! Lord have Mercy! Do they need help?

Jim Marks

Family is engaged. Liz and I live closer than anyone else, but she leaves for Tokyo on Friday morning. I am waiting for word from mom-in-law that I should mobilize. They do have alternative housing as a short term solution, I think the real issue will be whether or not insurance coverage will allow them to re-build, or what.

I was touring NM and CO this time last year and it was horrible to see how much smoke was blowing over from AZ. We were at the top of Sandia Peak in Albuquerque and you’re supposed to be able to see all the way to AZ from up there and we couldn’t even see downtown Albuquerque. At another point, we were more or less racing the fires in southern CO trying to make an end run around them so we could get home.

Y’all need to move out of the desert and get near some water!


The smoke is low this morning woke me up at 5am sick! Went outside and couldn’t see the hills at all behind my house. The pictures on the Today Show etc of the copters picking up water is behind my place so I think your family must have had a home up by Horsetooth.


Lightning and people start fires too. We had fires in the hills around Silicon Valley that were huge and in the Sierras. At least where I live, no tornados! (Too close to the mountain!) The only safe place though is heaven!


Sorry to hear that, Jim. I hope they are ok.


If you need to come here and need a place to stay let me know! Reader John Timby is a great friend and lives close by. I’ve known him 18years and a good contact (St.Lukes Erie)
You are welcome to my home. I can stay at my daughter’s house.

Jim Marks

New England is close enough to heaven for this yankee boy. No wild fires, no tornados, no hurricanes, no earthquakes, no fire ants, no kudzu, no heat waves, no 10 year droughts… of course we do get nor’easters and blizzards. Oh well.


I really do love it here in Northern Colorado! Not humid or crowded, not a desert, sunny beautiful ….some lightning struck and pow! Fire! (Natural but it’s been extra dry!)

Jim Marks

Unfortunately, the extra dry is going to just keep getting worse. As humid as it is in Houston, we even had a wild fire scare last Summer because of the exceptional drought conditions.

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3283 tasting notes

This tea was my companion in the garden this morning. The task at hand was to water the Northwest Quadrant & dig up the rest of the garlic. While doing so, I came across a burrow of baby bunnies, in a little hollowed out place under the straw. I admire their cuteness, but didn’t touch them, & gently layer the straw back over them & went on with my work.
I grew 6 kinds of garlic this year! My whole house reeks of freshly dug garlic, & that is awesome! There’s lots of hanging & braiding to do, & hopefully I’ll never have to buy garlic again!
Lovely tea, by the way. I’ve reviewed it plenty of times, so that’s all I’m saying.


So cute! What’s your secret of keeping garlic ! Mine stunk the house and hubby said its either him or garlic. I bought a lot on farmers market


Those bunnies are so adorable :-)


Just read your Golden Monkey/breakfast post, now this one – I’m jealous of both.


Oh, those bunnies are so cute.

Terri HarpLady

Boychik, I’m hanging it from the pipes in the basement, at least for now. There are photos somewhere in my FB page of the first garlics & shallots I harvested this year & braided. So the soft neck garlics are being braided, & the hard neck ones are just being hung up from string until they dry out, & then I’ll cut the stems off & put them in a basket, I guess.


Ok I have to put them in a basement otherwise … I don’t mind the smell actually but I have allergies. I should look up pics on FB

Terri HarpLady

While you’re there, friend me!



Terri HarpLady

We have so many rabbits in my neighborhood already, it’s ridiculous. They aren’t even hardly afraid of people, they are out all day, but at night it’s like they are taking over the place, they are everywhere.


Makes me think of my time at UVic. It got to the point where the university set up a spay/neuter plan for the rabbits. Catch, fix, release. They were burrowing under a couple of the old buildings, but people got so upset with the idea of a cull.

Terri HarpLady

We also have foxes, hawks, owls, raccoons, & coyotes in the area, & although a lot of people are freaked out about that, I personally love having so much wildlife around, & of course rabbits are food for all those other creatures.


We ended up with one or two cougars living on campus, which was a little worrisome because they can be large and dangerous cats. Puma. Those things. :)

Terri HarpLady

We get reports of mountain lions in St Louis county every so often. :)

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559 tasting notes

My Teavivre samples arrived today! This will be my third round of tasting from this generous company, and as usual, I am like a kid on Christmas. This tea was the one I was most excited about. I read everyone else’s reviews on it and it got me quite excited for my turn. I am in love with Teavivre’s black teas, and when I smelled the pearls, I knew it was not going to disappoint.

As far as preparation goes, I used two pearls in about 10 ounces of water with a steel infuser. It unrolled rather quickly into long, whole, pointed leaves much like their yunnans. I let it go for the whole two minutes because I was a little worried by how pale amber the tea was. But the scent of it as it cooled reassured me that it would be flavorful.

Maybe next time I will use three pearls, but this is still a delicious cup. Malty cocoa is the strongest flavor, I agree. It reminds me a bit of their bailin gongfu, but a little more astringent. Also, there is just the barest hint of smokiness that makes it very satisfying. It is by no means your average black tea, and I can’t wait to get through this cup so I can make another. It’s great.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

I used about 5 pearls for 8oz and had lots of cocoa with no astringency. Tasted more like nibs…really good!


I tried a second time with more pearls and it was just like that. Delicious, smooth cocoa-y goodness.


See, glad you tried it with more. Sometimes it’s like that. I’ve had that happen before and I just try it again after reading a note from someone. It is really good! I just ordered some from Teavivre because I liked it so much!

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2815 tasting notes

This sample was provided by Teavivre – thank you!

I wasn’t sure how many pearls to use, I have a mug that’s about 10 oz. and I used 4 pearls but it sounds like other people may have used more. The aroma of the wet leaf is fresh and malty with a touch of sweet tobacco.

The predominate notes I am picking up here are of malt, but it is definitely a lighter and sweeter sort of malt than one would find in an assam, for instance. The tea liquor is a clear reddish-brown. There are also subtle notes of chocolate present and I’m picking up on a bit of fruitiness. I maybe crazy but I am getting plantains… ha.

The tea does not have much astringency and is fairly sweet and pleasant. To me it’s a bit reminiscent of a golden monkey.

I did get a very respectable second steep out of this with a slightly longer steeping time (4-5 minutes).

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I love that plantain malt flavor…can’t wait for my Teavivre to arrive with the LS in it too! You’re driving me nuts with the reviews Amy! ; )


hopefully yours will be coming soon!


Another must buy…….when I order from Teavivre. Did you get a decent sample?


Scott, yes they do give you nice sized samples. I’d say this is somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-10 grams


I love this one! I ordered it without sampling. I have some samples coming soonish, too, that will include the LS!


Lol you guys are driving me crazy too because I can’t wait to try this one and it is in my next sample package! This sounds so good


Oh yes! I got a nice sized sample of this, too!

Scott B

It may depend on what samples you get, but I weighted my 5 samples out of curiosity and the individual bags were 25-25-25-21-16 grams-very generous samples. You don’t have to worry about making a mistake and having nothing left and you are free to experiment with brewing parameters.

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464 tasting notes

Somehow I always think the taste of this tea is going to be darker and chocolatier. It’s a good tea though. Dark green beans, a little chocolate, and a little honey.


honey and chocolate… can’t go wrong! :)


Dark green beans? Hmm, hadn’t thought of that. Out of curiosity, when you say you expect this to be “darker and chocolatier,” do you have any particular teas in mind that you expect it to be more like? (My ulterior motive is that that’s what I look for in tea. :D )


Well… Verdant’s Laoshan black is the darkest, chocolatiest, yummy tea I’ve had so far and Teavivre’s Bailin gonfu black is pretty darn yummy too for a cheaper alternative.


Mmm. The Laoshan black grew on me, and I’m going to have to try the Bailin gongfu; it’s one of the ones I’ve been eyeing. Thanks!


Well if you run across any really yummy dark ones make sure to post those reviews! :-)

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