Review of Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black Tea

8 of 105 of 54 of 583 of 100
ExcellentExcellentGood Value

In spite of having tried quite a few Yunnan teas by now, this was something completely different for me! Very interesting, although a little bit difficult to brew to satisfaction. The dry leaf, rolled into dense spheres, has only a mild aroma, more suggestive of Keemun than other Yunnan teas.

I first used a small (about 6oz) teacup, and brewed 3 balls for 3 minutes, in which they partly unfurled, looking to be about as much as one teaspoon of leaf for a more typical black tea. This method produced a deep golden-colored cup, much lighter than typical black teas. I found I preferred using more leaf, about 5 balls for my usual size mug, and brewing for 3 minutes.

Aroma is interesting...a little like a Keemun and a little like some Yunnan black teas, but slightly more floral. When brewed stronger, the dominant tone is of chocolate or unsweeteened cocoa. Reminds me somewhat of large-leaf Ceylon OPA black teas.

Flavor is strange but pleasing: when brewed strong enough to satisfy me, it has a strange bitterness, but it is quite clean. I like bitter teas, and this tea is low in astringency in spite of being so bitter and dark in color, which I like.

Makes multiple infusions, although I have tended to like the first one best. Good price for an artisanal tea of this quality.

I can see this becoming a favorite of mine. I can't imagine everyone loving this one as much as I do, because it is quite odd, and tricky to brew well, but I love the combination of high bitterness and low astringency, and I love the faint floral tones that emerge from a background of cocoa and chocolate.

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