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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: The English Tea Store’s Dragon Pearls Tea

© 2011 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
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The Subject:  Dragon Pearls
Company:The English Tea Store

Straight Tea Rating:

About the rating designation.

Water temperature:160° F
Steeping time:1 min.
Tea type:Green
Dry leaves:  Pearl shapes about 1/8th to 1/4 inch in diameter, sweet fruity/apricot aroma, recommended to use 5 to 10 pearls per cup of water

1st Infusion:  
Aroma, plain —  Gentle, delicate
Taste, plain —Light – almost too light
Color, plain —Very pale yellow
2nd Infusion:  
Aroma, plain —  Slightly stronger, planty
Taste, plain —Still very light, hint of apricotty tang in aftertaste
Color, plain —Slightly darker yellow
3rd Infusion:
Aroma, plain —  Same as #2
Taste, plain —Same as #2
Color, plain —Same as #2

Little Yellow Teapot was not the perfect steeping vessel for this tea. We suggest you invest in a gaiwan or two. It’s one of those teas that is visually interesting and that should be treated carefully. We did our best, though, and that little teapot soldiered on.

The sample package and the vendor’s website do not have any steeping instructions for this tea, so we looked around online for a similar tea and settled on the water temperature and steeping time above. Based on those temp/time settings, we found the tea to be a bit too light tasting, but then we used 8 pearls per cup of water. A few more pearls per cupful would probably have rendered a slightly stronger flavor. Bear this in mind if you choose to give this tea a try and want a more flavorful infusion.

The leaf pieces are that treasured two-leaves-and-a-bud-combo, not seen in the tightly hand-rolled “pearls” but clearly evident after steeping:

Since the package has a clear window, we’ll be sure to store this tea carefully away from light. This type of tea tends to be quite affected by exposure to light. The pouch is very good, though at keeping out air and odors. Stored properly, this tea will keep for about a year and give you a nice gentle tea for those special moments.

If you like jasmine, try Dragon Phoenix, which is similar but with a wonderful floral aroma and flavor. The vendor carries one that you could give a try.

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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