Saturday, April 6, 2013

red dragon pearrl, thepuriTEA

Unblended black tea is something that doesn't run in shades of grey for me. I either adore it, or I never want it to touch my tongue again. So, when I find a black tea that has me gushing, I want more. This tea was so far into the former category, that I was extremely fortunate to find that I could get about three infusions out of  the leaves before they started fading.

Not chocolate maltballs. Do not eat.

The tea is a gorgeous chocolate brown with flecks of gold and green, tightly wound into perfect little balls. The smell was sweet, dry and malty and had a chocolate tobacco-like quality (chocolate tobacco is probably not a thing, but if you smell this tea you now know what it would smell like).

I steeped 6 pearls in 16 oz of 212 degree water for two minutes for the first infusion, and three for each following. While steeping, the tea had a sort of rich earth and caramel smell, remaining sweet, but less dry. The first infusion led to a burgandy brown colored cup. The first cup was sweet and had the slightest hint of cocoa and malt. There was also a slight earty tobacco flavor that rounded it nicely. The finish isn't what I would call astringent, but it has a dry quality that melts away nicely.

Two steepings in, the balls started to fall apart.

The pearls were still (mostly) together at the end of the first steeping, just starting to lazily unfurl. By the end of the second they were fully separated, but still brewed a rich golden brown cup. The tea still tasted subtle and the sweetness was more pronounced over the earthy quality. The third steeping was a caramel color and was similar to the second cup, only more delicate.

Overall this was an amazing tea and very highly recommended!


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