Saturday, March 14, 2009
Tea Tasting Saturday #11 - Dragon Pearl Jasmine
Many moons ago, I received a birthday gift of this tea, only it had a slightly different name: Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls. It was the first really "perfumey" tea I had ever tried. Frankly, I probably wouldn't have purchased it myself, so I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed it, and I was grateful for the gift. It was only after I'd polished off the tin of tea that I learned it was actually a pricey little tea! Still, if you've never tried this one, and you're not averse to a little fragrance in your cup, this tea is a must.
Name of tea: Dragon Pearl Jasmine
Category: Chinese Green Tea
Purveyor: Upton Tea Company
When purchased: January 2009
Dry leaf appearance: Small little balls of tightly furled tea leaves with a mostly dark green appearance, occasionally including balls of light green, even shading to white. A very pretty tea!
Wet leaf appearance: Oh, beauty is such a fleeting thing! This one starts out just gorgeous but soon returns to a normal leaf appearance. Kind of like seeing an actress or supermodel without her makeup on, the steeped Dragon Pearl Jasmine looks like ordinary tea.
Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 180 degrees, 3 minutes. I didn't remember having any problem measuring this tea the time I tried it before, and measuring the balls was really quite easy.
Scent: That lovely jasmine scent I knew to expect. However, I did detect a "vegetal" scent behind the jasmine, something I'm not sure I would have detected without the aid of this year-long experiment in tea tasting.
Color: Pale green
Flavor: Definitely has the "mouth feel" of a Chinese green, but greatly enhanced by that wonderful jasmine. Maybe it's because I love perfume anyway, but I really enjoy the jasmine fragrance of this tea.
Additional notes: I had assumed this was a handmade tea, so I enjoyed reading about Michael Harney's trip to a factory where he watched neatly uniformed women rolling the tea leaves between their palms before the tea balls were placed on racks and scented with jasmine blossoms.
Next week's tea: Gunpowder