Red Dragon Pearl

Tea type
Black Tea
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Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Molasses
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaEqualsBliss
Average preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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From thepuriTea

This unusual black tea is hand-rolled into spheres the size of chickpeas in southern Yunnan, China. Just two or three of them are enough for a fantastically bold brew with all the flavors of a crisp autumn day. It’s malty, nuanced and tannic like a fine Second Flush Assam black tea, but it also offers complex flavors of spiced, stewed apples, fallen leaves and cocoa that set it apart from other black teas. Floral aromas and a clean, bittersweet finish round out this singular infusion. Try it with breakfast, brunch, grilled duck or dark chocolate.

Tea to Water Ratio 1:1. If you prefer a stronger flavor, use up to two grams of tea for each cup of water.

Water: Filtered water is best. Use water at 212ºF (fully boiling)

Traditional Steeping: 3 to 5 minutes

Flash Steeping: First, we run warm water over the tealeaves and pour it off very quickly. This removes any impurities and “awakens” the tealeaves for brewing. Then, we steep the tea – 35 to 60 seconds.

About thepuriTea View company

Our mission is simple: to provide gourmet teas and practical teaware. We source all of our teas and teaware directly from China, Taiwan and India to ensure the maximum quality, value and freshness for our customers. By cutting out the middleman in our selection process, we can pass on savings to our customers and guarantee the quality of each and every one of our products.

58 Tasting Notes

714 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: ~6g
Water: 8×3oz filtered boiling water
Tool: Swivel Teapot
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: black tea, fall leaves
Steeped Tea Smell: black tea, sweet, reminds militiajim of orange pekoe
Flavor: crisp, clean sweet black tea
Body: medium
Aftertaste: fall leaves, in a good way
Liquor: translucent orange brown

It’s not remarkable, but is it a crisp clean black tea that reminds me of fall.


Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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308 tasting notes

TeaEqualsBliss was very kind and sent me a sample of this. I was then kind and let my husband drink it. :) We were making tea today and he really loves black tea so I let him have it. He really loves the Teavana Black Dragon Pearls so I thought this was right up his alley. It looks identical so it could be the same tea. I did have a taste of it and liked it well enough. It has a lot of depth and earthiness but had a touch of bitterness to it. I think I like the Teavana Dragon Pearls better (but its been a long time since I’ve had that one, so hard to tell).

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89 tasting notes

I was surprised by this tea. There was an initial astringency, but it faded quickly as the tea cooled. It was then smooth and sweet. I only had a sample, but i’d like to get more.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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333 tasting notes

I got a sample of this in my swap with moraiwe. It’s malty and cocoa-y – it reminds me a teensy bit of Laoshan Black, but with less roastiness and, I think, a bit less body. It resteeps very nicely. This is clearly a high-quality tea, and I did enjoy trying it, but I’m beginning to wonder if maybe Chinese blacks are just not my thing. I’ve only started exploring this genre of tea relatively recently, and while I can see why these deep, intense teas with strong cocoa notes appeal to so many people they’re not quite what I’m looking for (most of the time, anyway – I could see myself enjoying a tea like this on occasion, for a change from my usual lineup, and I also wonder if I might enjoy teas with these sorts of profiles a bit more in the winter). The only black teas I’ve really loved have been Darjeelings, and this is kind of like the anti-Darjeeling. I’m definitely not done experimenting with Chinese black tea, though – I know it’s a huge category, and there may be something I’ll adore out there.

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144 tasting notes

A bright, juicy tea with a nice malty bottom end. The “fall leaves” comparison may be a nice way of saying “slightly brassy with a middling flavor profile”. It’s actually a good tea for those who do not prefer any real pronounced flavor or characteristic. It is well rounded though just not quite enough of anything to blow my mind.

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511 tasting notes

(Oh darn-it, I went and put this log under the wrong company and didn’t catch my error before at least a couple of you read it. Oh well. It’s where it belongs now.)

What a neat looking tea. The pearls are much bigger than I thought they would be. I wasn’t sure what an appropriate serving size would be, so I just went with a default teaspoon which fit about 5 pearls. I steeped them for 3min30sec and it made a very strong smelling cup. It smelled like a black tea alright, and a bit earthy too. Something about it was even reminiscent of a pu-erh, but not quite. The flavor is quite malty, but not quite as sweet as other malty blacks (like the Hong Jing Luo also from thepuriTea). It’s a good robust cup of black tea nonetheless.

EDIT: as I near the bottom of my cup, I can’t help but think that this tea really could use some sugar or honey. I prefer my tea straight, though, and would rather drink a cup that doesn’t ask for extra frills.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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7 tasting notes

The aroma of the dry pearls is intoxicating, and the aroma of the brewed liquor is no less so. In the first infusion, there’s a pronounced winelike flavor and aroma, with deep chocolate undertones, smoothed by a faintly sweet, almost-vanilla flavor. As the liquor cools, the tangy-sweet taste of baked berry pie emerges, and when it cools to lukewarm there’s the creamy flavor of a chocolate malted milk shake, but with just the right amount of natural sweetness. If you enjoy self-drinker teas that need no added milk or sugar, you’ll love this one.

In the middle infusions, the chocolate and fruit gradually give way to the flavor of malt. In the later infusions, there are some light toasted tobacco notes in the aroma, but the flavor is pure malt. Surprisingly (for a red tea), the flavor becomes progressively sweeter (although lighter) in the 4th and 5th infusions, much like a fine ripe pu-erh. But there’s no pu-erh earthiness here.

I infuse for 2:30 for the first infusion to get the pearls to open, then drop to 1:30 for #2, and lengthen the steeping time for later infusions.

Red Dragon Pearl is truly an extraordinary and unique tea—very complex and more interesting tea than most other black teas I’ve tasted. I’m hooked for life; I will never be without this tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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102 tasting notes

This is a sample I received in my order from this company. I brewed it this morning and made it into a tea latte with half tea, half steamed milk (18 oz total). It was wonderful! On its own, it’s a strong, robust black tea with a bit of a roasted flavor and notes of chocolate. With milk it becomes a treat, something in between a cup of strong black tea and a cup of dark hot chocolate. I did have to sweeten this tea, because it was a teeny bit bitter (to my taste) when plain. I added one packet of Stevia and one packet of Splenda, and then it was perfect. But that’s what I do to almost every black tea I drink, so what I consider “bitter” may not be so to others.

This, to me, seems almost identical, if not the same exact tea, as Teavana’s Black Pearl tea. There seems to be a reasonable amount of caffeine present, and I feel more alert after drinking this. I enjoyed it quite a bit and will purchase again, either from Teavana or thepuriTea, whichever place has a better deal.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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615 tasting notes

Malt, cocoa and tobacco! What could possible be wrong here? The first steep started as a malty brew with cocoa hints that faded to an earthy tobacco flavor. I didn’t notice any astringency but it has a dry quality that melts away nicely. The second and third steeps were sweeter, but no less tasty. (Plus the tea is really cool looking!)

Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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795 tasting notes

Got this in a swap a while back from Moraiwe. Thanks!
Ooooh! I just had a lemon starburst candy and then took a sip of this! It added a nice lemon flavor that went well with the tea! Once that wears off, I get a nice malty flavor with a little earthiness that is very much like some breakfast teas I have had. It’s pretty smooth and enjoyable! I bet it would be great iced with some lemon!

I used 3 pearls.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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