Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Enjoying Tea

In the early days of my loose leaf tea drinking, I first encountered jasmine green tea pearls.  I was working evening shifts at the college library and we had a small, varied supply of tea, mainly our favorite tea bags.  But one night, one of my coworkers had brought in loose leaf teas they were looking to share.  I was fascinated by these little green pellets in one of the tea canisters and dropped a few in mug even though we didn’t have tea bags or filters.  I watched the balls of tea unfurl and fill my mug with flavor.  Turns out they were jasmine green tea pearls, and I’ve had a nostalgic affinity for this kind of tea ever since.

The Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Enjoying Tea are beautiful little tea oddities.  Tightly rolled pellets of tea, twined with both grey fuzzy buds, and olive green leaves.  Brew them gently, despite their tight shape, these leaves are still green tea at heart, keep the temperature of your water a little cooler than normal.

The dry leaf was already heady and fragrant with jasmine blossoms.  Brewed, the flowery notes continued to be pronounced, full and luscious like a bouquet of flowers in your hand.  Beneath all that flower-power, the tea has a buttery base, with slightly earthy and savory undertones.  The less sweet notes paired well against the powerful jasmine.  The overtones of each sip carry the floral flavors, so sweet they are almost fruity.

Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Enjoying Tea lived up to my fond first memories of trying jasmine pearls from many years ago.  Give this tea a try and make your own jasmine-scented memories!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Enjoying Tea

This green tea has a unique shape of a pearl and comes from the Chinese province of Fujian. These hand rolled pearls consisted of both leaves and bud. This tea has a sweet flavor with a flowery jasmine aroma. Researchers in Japan found that people who drink green regularly have a lower chance of getting cancer or developing heart diseases. Dragon Pearl is a great tasting healthy tea to drink regularly. We highly recommend it.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange Cardamom Black Tea from Aftelier Perfumes

I didn’t have much information on this tea going into my first cup, so I was surprised to see these black tea leaves unfurl into a deep, dark, red brew.  This tea almost seems like a pu erh rather than an astringent black tea.  The base is earthy, almost smoky, and much richer and more savory that I expected.

Aftelier Perfumes describes the tea as “red tea rolled into pearls and roasted,” which makes sense with the musky, toasted notes I tasted.
The orange and cardamom are minimal, the most noticeable on the back of each sip.  There’s something sweet and herbaceous in this blend, it’s not a full-on smoky black tea, but the brightness is slightly subdued and more noticeable in the mouthfeel than the flavoring.

This tea was unexpected, but very enjoyable.  I was waiting for the astringent bite of orange, or the baked-good sweetness of cardamom, and instead tasted a complex, smooth, and earthy tea.  This makes me curious to check out other flavors Aftelier Perfumes has to offer!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Aftelier Perfumes

This delicious full-bodied tea is flavored with Aftelier Chef’s Essences: the perfect marriage of mouth-watering blood orange and the spicy warmth of cardamom. Organic Red Pearls Black Tea, a rare tea from Fujian, is fully-oxidized Mao Feng tea leaves that have been rolled into small black pearls. They are then pan-fired where they develop a burnished sheen, toasty caramel-like aroma, and spicy, assertive — yet wonderfully sweet — flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nonpareil Taiwan Li Shan Oolong Tea by Teavivre

Recently I’ve been going through an all-black-teas-all-the-time phase, so trying this oolong was a refreshing change. In addition to the great flavor, I also loved how intact the leaves were, and how they were rolled into neatly compact pearls.

I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for 2 minutes (using the entire sample packet). The packet suggested 1-2 minutes; I sampled it after 1 minute and decided I wanted it stronger, so I left it in for another minute.

The rolled leaves start to expand as soon as they’re submerged. They’re pretty tightly rolled, but they expand a LOT. I’m not really good at determining the level of oxidation in an oolong but I’d say it was fairly light to medium, based on the color of the leaves (and of the liquor). They seem to be high-quality, fairly intact leaves; I was able to pull out one crumpled piece and tease it open to discover that it was actually a couple of entire leaves attached to a bud by the associated stem. So cool! It makes me feel a lot closer to the plant, somehow, than when the leaves are pre-measured into a sachet and/or chopped up into eensy bits.

The tea liquor when steeped is a mid-light yellow, not quite as light as the average green tea, with that distinctive oolong-y fragrance (a bit floral and a bit savory).  

First sip: tangy. There’s a definite presence of acidic/astringent aspect. A warming, slightly roasty flavor travels over the top of the tongue while the astringency pulls at the sides of the tongue. By “roasty flavor” I mean an almost nutty, hearty savoriness. It’s not exactly roasted (and certainly not smoky) but it’s a very hearty presence with more depth than just the floral/orchid oolonginess.

The flavor is overall quite smooth with no noticeable bitterness. This smoothness combines with the savoriness to give an almost buttery impression. There’s maybe a tiny bit of mineral-y-ness as well, combining with the green (in a good vegetal sort of way) and slightly roasty/hearty/buttery flavor to create a very satisfying flavor profile. 

The tea is fairly sweet already, so I added just a pinch of sugar. I don’t usually prefer milk with oolongs, so I didn’t add any. I imagine you could re-steep this tea with good results as well, based on the quality of the leaves. 

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Teavivre

The Nonpareil Taiwan DaYuLing High Mountain Cha Wang Oolong Tea is grown in the area at the altitude of 2500 meters, in which the climate is cold and forests grow well. This cold and moisture condition is suitable for tea trees’ growth. In addition, the soil here is fertile, meanwhile performs well in drainage. Thus the tea leaves carry a natural scent of flower and fruit.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Guangxi Golden Pearls from Tea Shirt. . . Rolled Tea Pearls!

So far the teas I have had from Tea Shirt have been tasty and I am eager to try more so today I am reviewing Guangxi Golden Pearls from Tea Shirt. I have really liked other Golden Pearl teas I have had from other companies and this one is just as good.

Guangxi Golden Pearls from Tea Shirt is made up of black tea leaves that is hand rolled into little ‘balls’ or ‘pearls’ as the product description says on their website. Dry – Guangxi Golden Pearls from Tea Shirt – smells a bit like chocolate and fruit. Once infused – Guangxi Golden Pearls from Tea Shirt has a stand-alone fruity aroma, naturally!

The flavor on the tongue is a medium to medium-strong black tea with natural fruity notes. What kind of fruit? One sip I lean more towards a berry flavor and another sip I think it’s more like a stone fruit flavor…like a plum. I can’t quite put my finger on it (or should I say my tongue?) Guangxi Golden Pearls from Tea Shirt has a subtle chocolaty pop to it in the middle of the sip as well. This is pretty tasty, indeed! Guangxi Golden Pearls from Tea Shirt is a winner in my book!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Tea Shirt

Premium black tea from Guangxi Province, China. – Handmade pearls of about 1cm in diameter with distinctive golden tips. Fruity and characteristic aroma.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!