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

1015 tasting notes

Many thanks to the Teavivre team for another generous round of samples. I added 5 of these pretty pearls to my 12 oz teapot and steeped for 2 minutes. Wow! This is really super good. There is a bit of cocoa, possibly hay, a good amount of malt and a smooth finish. This is amazing without anything added. While everything I’ve tried from Teavivre has been really good – this is most definitely going on my shopping list.

2 min, 0 sec

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871 tasting notes

It is so cold. I know I shouldn’t complain. I have lived in this darn country and province my entire life. I have made a conscious decision to continue living here. I actually quite like how we get four distinct seasons. I normally would not mind if it was this cold. But come on polar vortex, it is March 1. It is supposed to be like -5C, starting to melt a little every day.

It is currently -40C, feels like -52C. If you would like to know what that is in Fahrenheit, -40 is where the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales meet. That’s right! It is -40F feels like -61.6F. WHAT?!?! I am not even going to bother going outside, not because any exposed skin will freeze in 3 seconds, or because my nostril hairs will freeze on contact to the air, but I am scared my door will break off its hinges if I open it because it is so cold.

So I am drinking this to warm up. I brewed it a little extra time today so it is nice and thick. 7 pearls for 2 minutes (I usually do just 1 minute). It is thick and bold and malty. Some hints of cocoa, but a lot of sweet dark plum flavours. It is STRONG. And I need that today.

I declare today a tea day!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Hurray for tea days! Just the thing to keep you warm from the snow. :)


Those temperatures are insane. I want to come live there for a bit just to see if I could take it.

(I would put up with a lot to get my four distinct seasons, though. I really would.)


Anna you are welcome to come and visit anytime. If you stay here for long enough you will get used to it :)


Thank you! I think Canada is awesome – I’ve wanted to come live there for a while since I first visited. =)


I miss having seasons. We have two—green (rain) and brown (no rain).


I wouldn’t trade my 4 seasons for warmer weather


I might trade my 4 seasons for warmer weather. I could visit the seasons in other places and not have to live in the ones I don’t like… :)


your note makes me think to a girl I worked with and who was absolutely in love with Russia. She explained me she particularly adored the cold days in Russia when it was “so cold that my nose was blooding”. I think I stared at her as if she was a cold heroin…

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321 tasting notes

Thanks so much to Angel and Teavivre for these samples! They took a little while to get here, but in perfect condition. Teavivre is, in my opinion, well worth the wait.

I’ve never had a black pearl tea – the only pearls I’ve ever had are the small jasmine ones. I went for that little sample packet first. Upon opening it, I was surprised by how large the pearls are, and how tightly packed. They’re mostly a dark mahogany color with little striations of a lighter yellow, sort of like pine. I suppose trees are on my mind today – it was Red Pine Forest day with my preschoolers at camp. They very much enjoyed building “mouse houses” in the dips between the tree roots!

Tea! The dry leaf smell immediately conjures up something musty and dark. There’s almost a hazelnut to it, but there’s something more than that. It sort of reminds me of walking through a darkened barn, with the scents of hay and leather hanging thickly in the air, the rustle of horses and cows as they shift about and flick their tails to ward off the flies.

Never having had a black dragon pearl this big before, I think I overdid it – I put three pearls in my little tasting cup and steeped for around 15 seconds the first time. The wet leaves have such a distinctive smell – it’s the same scent as of the dry leaf, but sharper, finer, more present. It’s not as muted. I read recently that the human nose works best in warm, damp conditions… I can definitely see that here! I don’t smell so much of the hazelnut connection as I do something burnt… not badly burnt, but deliberately charred. I can’t think of what, though. Chestnuts at Christmas? Macadamia nuts? There’s more than a little bit of dark chocolate in here too, and some notes of currant. Chocolate covered nuts? It’s bothering me that I can’t put my finger on it, especially because it’s so distinctive and I just know that there’s a name for it.

The liquor of the first steep is a warm golden-red in the white porcelain tasting bowl. I notice immediately how smooth the mouthfeel is. There’s almost no astringency or drying, and it leaves a sweet aftertaste on the tongue. The scent I identified in the scent is extraordinarily present in the taste. Usually I have a hard time distinguishing exactly what something is going to taste like based on the smell, especially straight teas (It’s much easier for me to approximate the flavors of spicy chais or fruity herbals) but there’s a direct link to the taste of the tea all the way back to the smell of the dry leaf.

Second steep, and as I pour the water into the cup it immediately blossoms a deep red. The pearls have mostly unrolled and are like spider legs climbing up the side of the cup. The liquor is a deep red-brown color. Definitely overdid it with the pearls – the first thing that hits my tongue is a strong astringency. It actually helps define the flavors I was missing earlier – it almost reminds me of a graham cracker. That coupled with the chocolate notes and the astringency in this steep – it’s like a warm summer night, all your friends sitting around a firepit, roasting marshmallows on sticks, the smoke blowing through the breeze and stinging your eyes when it’s aimed in your direction.

Possibly the best black tea I’ve ever tried!


I’m steeping three pearls now, Western Style for three minutes. It’s just as good, and I’m even getting notes of butter in the middle of it. Incredible! This tea just keeps on giving!

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

It does take a little while for the samples to get here, but I have ordered from them twice and my order came much faster! Just so you know, in case you were thinking about ordering! And that was with the free shipping, too, not expedited.


You did a beautiful job on this review! It takes effort but you obviously connected with the tea and the moment!


@Ashmanra – yes, that’s been my experience as well! I think this tea absolutely needs to be a permanent member of my collection, so I’m glad you say the ordering time is faster than the sample time :)
@Bonnie – I actually felt like you while I was writing this. Thank you :D


Now that you know it’s worth it, I hope you continue.


How long did your package take to arrive? Mine took over 30 days, but I guess that’s normal. I almost ALMOST got a sample of the black pearls, but opted for the silver needle instead since I’m not always a big fan of black pearls. But now your review is making me wish I had. Have you tried Teavana’s black pearls?

Invader Zim

Their packages usually take a while. Mine took about 25 days to get here, but the price and taste of the teas are well worth the wait in my opinion.


I honestly don’t remember when I ordered it. Teavivre emailed me awhile back saying they had new samples and do I want to try them? Of course! So yeah, not complaining about the wait time at all – it’s just that when I do order from them I’m going to have to be more careful about monitoring when they run low.

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1328 tasting notes

From the queue

I’ve had dragon pearls before. I’ve had Teavivre’s dragon pearls once before, and that was the time when I was turned off Teavivre’s samples in general. There was nothing wrong with the tea and it was in no way Teavivre’s fault. It just so happened that I had half the dragon pearl sample and then a few hours later it became abundantly clear to me that ‘that niggly iffy feeling’ was in fact food poisoning (I believe caused by some mayonnaise I’d eaten the day before and probably shouldn’t have eaten). It created an unfortunate link between the Teavivre sample packaging and the illness, so I’ve had difficulties with them since. It’s really hard to convince yourself to taste something when it reminds you of food poisoning, no matter how much you had otherwise been looking forward to it. It’s been months and months and I’m just now finding myself capable of using them again. (Last time I had food poisoning, it ended up being associated with beans. Didn’t touch beans again for the better part of six months.)

It occurs to me that I’ve told you this before…? Let’s just skip all that.

The aroma is quite strong on this one. Very cocoa-y at first, and then as it cools it comes more grain-y and a little malt-y. It’s very pleasant. It has almost all the notes that I like in a Chinese black. We’re just missing a hint of smoke here to make it perfect. But we can’t have everything.

The taste is quite strong as well. I’m wondering if I might have brewed it a little harder than was strictly necessary as I nearly forgot to pour it, but apart from a little extra bite, no harm done. If this had been an Indian or a Ceylon tea, it would have been completely ruined by now. This is why I love Chinese. No fuss.

You can still pick up a great deal of grain-y notes and a lot of cocoa as well. I expect if I hadn’t forgotten it at first, it would have been loaded with cocoa notes. In general this tea strikes me as rather sweet, but I don’t really consider it very malty. I think it’s the cocoa notes that make it sweet and a hint of something along the lines of burnt sugar.

Do you have caramelised almonds for Christmas where you live? They make them with melted sugar in big bowl shaped pans and they’re excellent when bought from a stand on the street, freshlymade and still warm. You can also get them factory made in shops along with all the other sweeties, and I would advise people to stay away from those as they are quite horrid indeed. Smells sickeningly sweet, though, when you walk past a stand. This sweet note reminds me of eating those almonds, the good ones from the man on the street. I want some now. I’ll have to keep an eye out (or a nose out, as you generally smell them before you see them) for a stand.


I was food poisoned by bad eel about 7 years ago. I still can’t eat it. Or cottage cheese for the same reason about a year ago.

Terri HarpLady

ughghg, I’ve been there with the food poisoning :p

I want those almonds, lol. You can’t get anything like that in St. Louis, except for Gus’ pretzels. That’s the only street food they have here.


Aww, I miss those almond stands in Sweden. Next time I try this tea, I’ll keep that flavour profile in mind.

And I hear you all on the food poisoning. Shrimp used to be one of my favourite foods, but after getting a horrific bout of poisoning from them, I couldn’t eat them for years. Even now, I’m super cautious. Not fun. :/


I’m glad I’m not the only one who reacts in this way! It’s strange, even when you know logically that it’s safe to eat and it’ll taste great if you do, you just really really don’t want to.

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141 tasting notes

Thank you Teavivre for this great sample!

Pure chocolate-y goodness! Malty, thick and smooth, along with a tiny amount of good astringency.

The recommended time to steep was 1-2 minutes, of which I choose to go a little longer. The liquid was still much tamer than a bolder Assam, and had a medium brown appearance.

These nice sized pearls were delightful to watch unfurl. They seemed more to explode in slow motion, than unwind. There is a ton of great looking leaves in each of these balls.

The tea is definitely quality enough to steep a couple different times. The second steeping was very pleasing as well!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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541 tasting notes

This one is great, very nice and malty with lots of cocoa/chocolatey flavors that i really wasnt expecting, I WAS expecting the cocoa notes because i’ve had this type tea from other companys but this one was by far the best, I wasnt expecting to actually taste chocolate but i almost did this in this one and that is just perfect to me, I like this one alot better than…well other companys version of it, Also of course its always lovery to watch any tea unfurl when its rolled into a ball so thats a plus too. This tea can take you away if you let it so Let It!! :)


I’m going to tell you (Shush) but my local tea store has this and I can’t tell the difference between teavivre and their’s. It’s even from the same area. Hum. Costs me less. Interesting. I bought some from teavivre too.

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217 tasting notes

I was excited to try this new tea from Teavivre. Teavivre’s products are consistently great in taste and value. The little unbrewed leaf balls, which I assume are hand-rolled, are also a fun concept.

I followed the recommendations on the package and brewed it for two minutes. There was no suggested tea amount listed so I filled my official tea spoon as I normally do with loose leaf. This came out to about four balls per eight-ounce cup. When the steeping process had completed, a brew with a rich amber color appeared.

At first sip, I could detect a little sweetness and the familiar woodsy taste that accompanies most of Teavivre’s black teas. In the beginning I was a little disappointed with the flavor power. However, the taste seemed to amplify and become more pronounced with each sip. By my sixth swig, I was really enjoying the blend and thinking that THIS is what I’ve come to love and expect from Teavivre.

I can’t say that I noticed a chocolate taste as some reviewers noted. To me, the sweetness was more like honey. Of course, you can’t go wrong with either flavor.

This tea is a great new addition to the Teavivre collection. It most likely will be on my order list the next time my Teavivre supply diminishes…soon!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

Stop, I didn’t get chocolate, either! Just like you’ I associated this with honey. It was DELISH!


Hi Ashmanra! I guess great tastebuds taste alike! ;-)


LOL! And I had typed Stoo and autocorrect changed it to stop but I didn’t notice until just now! Sorry about that! :)


No problem, Ashmanra. I’ve been called worse. :-)


Hehehehe…….me too.


Ya’ll are trippin


To tell the truth I use 5 for 8oz and use sweetening and cream to bring out the cocoa chocolate.


That sounds great too! I used 5 for each cup today and it did seem to provide a somewhat richer flavor. This is really wonderful tea. I have it on my shopping list for my next order!

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470 tasting notes

Once again I am behind on tasting notes! I was so absorbed with tasting out my Red Leaf matcha samples and making sure I have sufficient notes for each that I’ve had about 7 other teas so far that I have yet to log, all of them new. Sigh! Well, I’ll start with this, which I am drinking right now. I made my dad Teavivre’s Yunnan Golden Tip earlier today and the smell had me really craving a Chinese black. I got a sample of these in my recent order and they seemed like just the thing.

I love how these look! They’re my first pearl-type tea that wasn’t a Jasmine, which are generally pretty smaller. These are big and chunky, I used 4 for a big cup and they unfurl into so much tea! It’s fun to watch, they start dissolving as soon as you pour water over them. And among all the black tea leaves was one stray green one—wonder how it got there?

This is a strong, malty tea with heavenly cocoa notes. It’s a bit astringent but in a pleasing way, in fact it reminds me of an Assam but lighter and with less body. It brews up a surprisingly light amber color, very pleasing, and has a light flavor to match. Not bad light, just less heavy than I expected from the heady, yeasty cocoa smell. However, it’s the most chocolatey black I’ve tried, so scrumptious! Reminds me of a bakery shop, which I think most Chinese blacks do… or maybe I just really like pastries and associate everything with them!


I just tried basically the same thing from another company. Agree with the chocolate/cocoa remarks. Really surprised me.

Terri HarpLady

At Teavana they call them Black Dragon Pearls. Basically it’s the only tea I buy there. I love them!


I have a sample of the Teavana ones, I’ll have to do a comparison!

Terri HarpLady

yeah, I haven’t actually compared them to TeaVivre’s, although I’ve had theirs too. Just not side by side. I think Mandala also carries them.


and mine are called Red Dragon Pearls from thepuriTea (but same thing)


I’ve now tried these, the Teavana and the Mandala ones, and these are definitely my favorite!

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423 tasting notes

Thank you Angel for the sample. I actually forgot I had this and some other samples to try until last night when I was looking for something to drink before bed. I was thrilled to see this in the samples as I do love Black Dragon Pearl (see the note from yesterday).

The dry leaf smells slightly malty. Actually smells the same as the other companies tea I was drinking yesterday. But what about the taste? MALTY CHOCOLATE goodness!! Now I see and taste what all the talk was about. This is mighty good tea! I’m going to need to place an order when I get low on the other tea I have like this. Def. one for the perm. collection.

I also wanted to add there seems to be a sweetness on the end like honey or something. I don’t know what it is, but I love it! I also love that a few pearls will probably get me a few more steeps today. :)

Boiling 1 min, 45 sec

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206 tasting notes

My first thought when I opened this…“Holy cow these pearls are ginormous!”

So pretty though! Mixture of black & gold.

I love watching pearl tea steep! It’s almost like blooming flowers ha ha.
Anyways, this was another tea from my BF order. And I have not been disappointed me yet! Leaving me in awe with every tea I try.

At first when the package said to steep it up to 10 mins I thought there is no wayyyyyyy!
But yup! On my third steep I took it there! Yup! 10 mins!

That’s crazy! How is that possible?!

Anyways this tea was scrumptious! Malty! Sweet! Chocolatey!
I will have to savor my last little pack of this! let’s just say when my stash is all cleared out I will definitely be reordering from them! I’m really loving all these malty chocolatey teas lately perfect for upcoming valentines day! I want a valentine tea :( a steepster valentine!

Look at these beauties:

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

BrewTEAlly Sweet, i cant see your pics:(


i love dragon pearls! their chocolately, honey-like flavor amazes me.. the only ones i’ve had have been from Teavana, so i’m always on the lookout for other brands.. the ones from Teavivre sound amazing! also want to try Mandala’s too.

ps- of all ‘chocolate’ teas i’d say black dragon pearls do it best, and they’re au naturel! do u have any recommendations for other chocolate flavored teas or straight teas with nice cocoa notes?

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Mandalas flowering tea cones, verdants laoshan black, verdants laoshan genimacha black, harney and sons soho, harney and sons Florence. There are so many! I can’t even think right now ha ha.

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Steapshoppe’s black and white!!!


gah, thank you so much!! i’m also interested in Verdant’s laoshan black/genmaicha, and H&S Soho…will check out the others! :)


Love these pearls – agree with BrewTEAlly Sweet’s suggestions. Florace and Soho are really good – Verdant Laoshan Black is really chocolate for a straight tea, and the chocolate genmaicha is just amazing. Haven’t had the Mandala cones, but well everything from Mandala is good….
The one I would like to add is Herbal Infusions Cacao. It’s not tea, it’s a herbal blend – but IMHO it is just silky smooth milk hot chocolate. :))


thank you so much, Dexter! you have been most helpful :D
i know…Mandala seems to be all the rage around here…am dying to try their Milk Oolong, Special Dark & GABA Black..
also, the Herbal Infusions Cacao sounds delish!


It’s all just personal preference, I hope you find something that works for you. :))

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