Osmanthus Flower and Yi Mei Ren Black Tea Dragon Ball

Tea type
Black Flowering Blend
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves, Flower Petals
Flavors
Almond, Anise, Apple, Baked Bread, Butter, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Licorice, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Orange Zest, Osmanthus, Pine, Pineapple, Raisins, Rose, Smoke, Straw, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Flowers, Fruity, Peach, Sweet, Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Chocolate, Floral, Sugar
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Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 g 5 oz / 160 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Here is another sipdown from last month. I discovered several black tea dragon balls from Yunnan Sourcing in my tea hoard, and having recently finished the fantastic spring 2017 Yi Mei Ren, I just...” Read full tasting note
    45
  • “Not quite as nice as the other dragon ball I tried recently, but delicious nonetheless. Floral notes are most prominent, I did not note anything extra special about the black tea though.” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “1st infusion. Sweet palate, very fruity (apricot, peach) 2nd infusion, tea more frank, drier and tonic, but keeps its voluptuousness, the fruits are less sugar but always present in all subtleties,...” Read full tasting note
    88

From Yunnan Sourcing

What happens when you mix just a touch of fresh premium grade osmanthus flowers with our luscious Yi Mei Ren “Needle” Black Tea from Wu Liang Mountain? The answer is: A chocolatey, floral and fruity tea that smells and tastes great! The osmanthus flowers are not at all overpowering and were blended in just the ratio complement the already wonderful Yi Mei Ren black.

When you open the pouch holding these take in the scent of the tea and revel in it’s commingled essence! In the early steeps the dragon ball will gradually unfurl and the tea soup flavor and aroma will gradually gain strength. Once the leaves and flowers are un-furled, the the tea will provide several enjoyable chocolatey sweet and fruity/floral with excellent viscosity and complex mouth-feel and aroma. Later steeps are mild and enjoyable and the tea avoids collapsing into astringency or unpleasantness of any kind!

“Yi Mei Ren” (彝美人) means literally Yi (Minority) Beauty. This tea is named “Yi Mei Ren” as its made from Wu Liang Mountain material, an area inhabited primarily by Yi Minority people and bears similarity to both and oolong and a black tea in its fragrance and taste. Yunnan large-leaf varietal material is used and the tea is wilted and fermented like a black tea, but for a longer period of time with several intervals of vigorously shaking the leaves. This promotes more thorough wilting/fermentation and leads to it’s darker color.

The brewed tea is highly aromatic with a chocolaty sweet taste with no noticeable astringency. The tea liquor is super clear and deep gold with tinges of red if brewed longer. Due to the higher level oxidization this tea can be stored for several years with subtle changes in aroma and flavor.

Same garden as our Yi Mei Ren, but processed from more mature leaf into a “Needle” shape. Taste is more chocolatey and less floral, but overall not very different.

These Dragon Balls were made by my mother- in-law and father-in-law. They make them in their spare time. They use little pieces of cotton to compress them instead of saran wrap. Saran wrap compression is the most common method because it’s faster, but it causes off gassing into the tea since the tea must be steamed to soften and is very hot. We use cotton, which is safe.

Dragon balls are great because they are perfect single brewing servings, and because the leaves fare much better during transport and storage compared to loose leaf form, which tend to break apart causing the brewed tea to be overly astringent and/or bitter and detracts from overall look of the brewed leaves!

50% of the profits from the sales of these Dragon Balls will go directly to my father/mother-in-law. We will give them the money as a red packet during Chinese New Year, since they won’t accept money directly from my wife or I. Most likely they will put most of it in the bank for their retirement!

Each Dragon Ball is roughly 8 grams of tea (+/- 0.5 grams)

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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3 Tasting Notes

45
846 tasting notes

Here is another sipdown from last month. I discovered several black tea dragon balls from Yunnan Sourcing in my tea hoard, and having recently finished the fantastic spring 2017 Yi Mei Ren, I just had to try this tea. Unfortunately, I did not realize that this dragon ball was made using the similar but not nearly as satisfying Yi Mei Ren Needle black tea. I was expecting an abundance of sweet, floral, fruity flavors, but instead, I ended up getting more flowery notes springing from a muted, fairly nondescript black tea base.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped the entire 8-9 gram dragon ball in 160 ml of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry dragon ball emitted aromas of osmanthus, malt, and straw. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of cream, baked bread, and sugarcane as well as subtle cocoa scents and a greatly amplified osmanthus aroma. The first infusion introduced aromas of anise and pine. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of osmanthus, pear, malt, cream, butter, and pine that were backed by hints of baked bread, sugarcane, straw, and pineapple. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of raisin, licorice, earth, and rose. Anise notes appeared in the mouth alongside hints of pine, smoke, roasted almond, apple, and vanilla as well as barely perceptible cocoa. Stronger and more immediately noticeable impressions of baked bread, sugarcane, and straw also came out alongside notes of licorice, raisin, earth, minerals, orange zest, and rose. There were also very subtle menthol hints on each swallow. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and emphasized notes of minerals, osmanthus, malt, vanilla, butter, orange zest, and pear that were chased by fleeting hints of straw, roasted almond, pine, cream, baked bread, earth, raisin, and menthol.

This was not a terrible tea, but it also struck me as being decidedly unbalanced and unfocused. The osmanthus tended to dominate throughout most of the session, and it seems that the base tea just did not have enough strength and character to rein it in and pull everything together in a satisfying fashion. If you really like osmanthus and aren’t looking for something with more depth, then you’ll probably be into this, but if, like me, you are looking for a tea with balance and great interplay between the tea base and flowers, then you should probably look elsewhere.

Flavors: Almond, Almond, Anise, Anise, Apple, Apple, Baked Bread, Baked Bread, Butter, Butter, Cocoa, Cocoa, Cream, Cream, Earth, Earth, Licorice, Licorice, Malt, Malt, Menthol, Menthol, Mineral, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orange Zest, Osmanthus, Osmanthus, Pine, Pine, Pineapple, Pineapple, Raisins, Raisins, Rose, Rose, Smoke, Smoke, Straw, Straw, Sugarcane, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Vanilla

Preparation
8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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80
38 tasting notes

Not quite as nice as the other dragon ball I tried recently, but delicious nonetheless. Floral notes are most prominent, I did not note anything extra special about the black tea though.

Flavors: Flowers, Fruity, Peach, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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88
31 tasting notes

1st infusion. Sweet palate, very fruity (apricot, peach)

2nd infusion, tea more frank, drier and tonic, but keeps its voluptuousness, the fruits are less sugar but always present in all subtleties, we note a slight nascent astringency.

3rd infusion, We drought this drought, but we left on the fruit yellow (stewed), slight bitterness and agreeable by its presence which equalizes the tea, then notes of malted honey.

4th infusion, the liquor pulling more on honey and more astringency but still keeping are surprising pleasant softness.

Too bad to have had only one ball of this tea ….

Gong fu cha 25/15 at 95 ° C then 45/60 at 90 ° c

Flavor: Apricot, peach, honey, malt, chocolate, astringent +, bitterness + -

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Chocolate, Floral, Malt, Peach, Sugar

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