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

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


  1. I think I enjoyed reading about this tea the most, so far. I guess because of hearing how it was made coupled with the prettiness. (Is that a word?)Oh well. But I really do not like the Jasmine. It has a tendancy to give me headaches. I love it outside and could smell it all day. Maybe it's just the closeness of it when sipping along with the steam. Anyway I'm glad you enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to hearing about whatever you found while shopping yesterday! Toodle~

  2. This is a tea I've wanted to try for a long time, and I just bought some a few weeks ago (whew! it is pricey! I gave in because the shop owner let me buy 1 ounce. But still - $8!)

    When I tried it, I was surprised how pleasant I found the jasmine to drink; it was not nearly as perfume-y as I expected it to be.

  3. Your description of the wet leaf compared to an actress without her makeup on made me chuckle! Clever analogy.
    I love the fragrance of Dragon Pearl Jasmine, and I love the fact that those pearls are hand rolled; it's such a beautiful tea.

  4. Great write-up! From jasmine to gunpowder - now that will be quite the contrast!

  5. Oh pearl teas! These are a treat to enjoy, you lucky lady!

  6. lovely post thank you for sharing! it sounds delightful! hugs :) you made me wish summer would get here quicker talking about the scent of jasmine! lol

  7. I am so glad to read your findings on this tea. My daughter-in-law was recently in another city and visited a tea shop while she was there. She enjoyed a cup of this tea while at the shop, and liked it so much that she bought two small bags of it--one for me and one for her--to bring home. What a nice surprise gift that was! I've been very miserly with it--saving it for special occasions, but I think I will go and make DH and myself a cup of it right now. What better "special occasion" is there than a lazy Saturday?

  8. Steph is oooh so much fun! From Jasmine to gunpowder, my foot! I'm seeing pearls to gunpowder. My scales are broken, but I was using Gunpowder along with Ceylon Kenilworth to make my own Prince of Wales blend. I am waiting for next Saturday with baited breath. Say Angela, Barnes & Noble is having an 11 o'Clock to One for "Twilight" next Friday night...can we have a Tea Tasting preview next Friday right here, instead????

  9. I am continuing to enjoy reading about your tea tastings. You are doing a superb job!! I appreciate the fragrance of Jasmine tea, but personally don't care for the taste of floral teas.

  10. I enjoyed your review of Dragon Pearl Jasmine. I have never tried this tea. Most of the Jasmine scented teas I've tried are too flowery for me - kind of overpowering the tea. Maybe I need to invest in a better quality blend.


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