Saturday, June 16, 2012

Teavivre, Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black Tea

Opening the package and viewing the contents is kind of like journeying to another world and trying to figure it out. The closest comparison I have experienced to these pearls is jasmine pearls but these are much larger. They look like miniature flowering tea pods. I am looking at them and trying to figure out how many do I use? I went with 5 as that seems to be the starting point I have read in other reviews. While I am pondering, I notice these smell like unsweetened chocolate.

I steeped 5 pearls in my French press with 12oz boiling water for a minute and a half. The time and temperature are per Teavivre’s instructions and they have not let me down yet. The pearls immediately begin to bubble and then expand and open in the hot water. It was fun to watch. In the press the brew is as amber as it is brown. Once poured it looks much darker in the cup. The leaf smells of lightly smoked chocolate hay.

While the tea is hot I get a light malt and a bit of tongue tingle in the sip. Surprisingly not much else given the aroma wafting off the cup. I am catching the smoke in the aftertaste. I am not usually a smoky taste fan but this is at a very pleasant level. As the cup cools it develops a roastiness from the mid to end sip.

This is pleasant but not as full bodied as I was expecting. The amount of expanded chocolate brown leaf in the bottom of my press tells me I used a sufficient amount. So, either this is a very light bodied tea, or I need to increase the steep time.

I went 3 minutes on the second cup. The wet leaf and the brew have the same aromas as on the first cup. Now I catch a hint of smoke early in the sip and it is still quite pleasant.

I think the novelty of brewing this amazed me far more than the actual tasting. Don’t misunderstand, this is quite good. It just didn’t knock my socks off like almost everything else I have tried from Teavivre. I might add that my fellow reviewers at Steepster loved this particular tea.

Generous sample provided by Teavivre.

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