Results: A versatile rich tea fit both for that afternoon pick-me-up & a relaxing cup after a hard day. Full of caramel & chocolate notes, the beautiful pearl shapes are a smart choice when introducing loose tea to first-time drinkers.
Origin: Lida Ecologic Tea Garden, Fengqing County, Yunnan Province, China
Tasting: 8.9g / 200°/ 10oz / rinse 5-20-20-30-40-60 (seconds) / boiled finished leaves for iced tea
Gong-Go Gear: Teavana Perfect Teamaker (get yours via my Amazon Affiliate Link)
Average number of infusions: 5 (boil leaves after for iced tea)
As a chocolate addict who has problems with milk, Yunnan black teas hold a special place in my heart. With all the holiday craziness, I let my supply run out and was relieved to find I still had a bit tucked away from Teavivre. I’d never have gotten the holiday baking done without it.
A spring tea, Fengqing Dragon Pearls are produced from Yunnan Dianhong tea bushes. Plucked early in the season before the spring equinox (Qingming or pre-ping), these types of tea are unique in appearance and flavor from other black teas. The young buds are covered in white hairs and rolled by hand into interesting little balls that range from deep brown to bright gold.
If there’s one type of tea that everyone will like, dragon pearls made from Dianhong are at the top of the list. Anyone not familiar with loose leaf teas are intrigued by the unusual ball shape and even more so when they bloom to reveal whole buds, stems, and leaves. I always try to keep a few of these tucked away for special quests. Their novelty makes for a memorable tea experience. For all these reasons this tea is a recommended Gong-Go Essential Tea I think everyone should keep around in their cupboards.
Grown in Fengquing County in the southwest portion of Yunnan Province, China where some of the oldest tea trees are reported to exist, Dianhong can be translated to Yunnan Red. The Dian Kingdom was an ancient state in the central northern area around Dian Lake and the Yunnan Province is often simply referred to as Dián. Hongcha means red tea in Chinese so when you put dian and hong together the rough translation is Yunnan Red Tea. When you look at the liquor color of Dianhong compared to other black teas, the name is quite fitting.
After the amazing shape and fantastic name “Dragon Pearls,” my favorite characteristic of this tea are its chocolate and caramel notes. Rich, distinct, sweet and smooth when brewed properly. The lack of bitterness can convert any “tea must have sugar” diehards out there. I get a lot of orange in the finish as well and for that reason recommend it for the most amazing boiled iced tea you’ll ever taste.
Once I’ve finished with my hot tea, I always take my spent leaves and throw them in a pot on the stove to boil anywhere from ten to twenty minutes depending on how much tea I want to make and how many leaves I have left. The longer you boil the stronger it will get but this can always be cut with water after boiling – this is my preferred method. I got one nice pitcher out of the 8.9 grams I used for this tasting and it kept me cool and fresh while baking Christmas cookies in a hot kitchen.
Rich chocolate, honey, & caramel
Distinct hand rolled pearls of brown and gold
Shining amber with notes of brown sugar and honey
Rich and velvety sweet with the flavors of milk chocolate, honey, sweet hay, and orange
Fresh, smooth, and mouthwatering
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 1 :
Fresh sweet hay with a sweet chocolate and orange finish
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 2 – 3:
More dark-chocolate with tangy orange
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 4 – 5:
Light cocoa & citrus with an indistinct floral finish
Iced Tea (boiled leaves):
Brisk and refreshing with rich deep caramel and orange notes.
Teavivre Fengqing Dragon Pearls Black Tea (Available via my Amazon Affiliate Link)