Zomba Pearls

Tea type
White Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Apricot, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Cashew, Grain, Hay, Honey, Malt, Nuts, Oats, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal, Honeysuckle, Sweet, Warm Grass, Floral, Lemon, Straw
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Fair Trade, Kosher, Vegan
Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 30 sec 6 g 13 oz / 383 ml

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26 Tasting Notes View all

From DAVIDsTEA

How it tastes:
Medium-bodied with delicate notes of sweet citrus, fresh vegetables, and a buttery finish

This one-of-a-kind white tea from one of Malawi’s most renowned tea gardens. Satemwa is a progressive third-generation, family-owned farming estate in the Shire Highlands that specializes in processing teas… by hand! Each leaf is hand-plucked and rolled by an amazing team of 15 local tea-crafting women—a true labour of love. Satemwa places much emphasis on sustainability and maintaining the wellbeing of those who work there.

What makes it great:
• It’s hand-plucked and rolled by a team of 15 local tea-crafting women.
• The tea comes from a third-generation family-owned garden that only grows Fair Trade teas. This helps support the livelihood of its tea producers and their families.
• It’s unusual to have a white tea like this hand-rolled like an oolong—try it “gung fu” style!

Ingredients: Hand rolled, lightly oxidized white tea from Malawi, Africa.

About DAVIDsTEA View company

DavidsTea is a Canadian specialty tea and tea accessory retailer based in Montreal, Quebec. It is the largest Canadian-based specialty tea boutique in the country, with its first store having opened in 2008.

26 Tasting Notes

82
2884 tasting notes

Strange VariaTEA TTB – Tea #12

So there’s a whole unopened (well, previously unopened) 50g pouch of this in the TTB. I remember seeing this type of tea at What-cha before, but I’ve never tried it, or any Malawi tea that I can recall. So here we are!

I used 5 “pearls” for a 16-ounce pot. I’m really bad about overestimating the amount of tea to use when it’s compressed or rolled, so I probably could’ve used less. They didn’t actually unfurl much during the 3-minute steep, so they could probably take quite a few steeps.

Anyway, on to the tea. It’s very flavorful for a white tea, with a combination of green, black, and white tea flavors. The texture is smooth and slightly thick, and there’s a black-tea-like malty note and body. But it also reminds me of a nutty green tea, such as Long Jing. Smooth and buttery with a pronounced nutty flavor, reminiscent of cashews, and also a light vegetal note. Also picking up on the hay and oats flavors I usually find in white teas, and a lovely natural sweetness. There’s an interesting astringency that sort of tickles the back of my throat.

I’m a bit torn on whether to keep this one, as I’m not a resteeper and that seems wasteful for a tea that barely unfurls on the first steep. Plus this tea is extremely pricey…

Result: Tried?

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Cashew, Grain, Hay, Honey, Malt, Nuts, Oats, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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83
725 tasting notes

Not to brag or anything, but I think I have a pretty good memory when it comes to tea. Like I basically can remember purchasing every tea that’s in my cupboard, or opening up the present or opening up the TTB. I can look at a tea and go “Oh, I remember I got this from so and so from the teeny tiny tea box!” or something like that (I cheat and write who I got the tea from and which TTB but I remember physically opening the TTB itself ahaha)

But THIS tea?? I organized my tea stash the other day and came across this tea and NOTHING. I either got this tea myself or had my parents get it for me one year since there’s nothing written on the package itself.

I was looking at the description and saw that it was a white tea from Malawi, Africa. I saw that and got real excited and sent it to my boyfriend! He works in an African themed restaurant and is constantly looking to up their food and beverage game. To be honest, I’ve only ever had Rooibos or Honeybush so I didn’t think that Africa really made any other “full leaf” style teas. I looked at the tea and immediately thought China.

It is a beautiful looking tea but it is very weak. I didn’t know how to treat this so I just followed the pacakge. It said 1-2 pieces in 16oz water for 4-7 minutes. No temp on in, so I erred on the side of caution and just went 10 degrees below my safety net and used 160* water…. yeah not a good idea. The tea ended up being a bit too watered down! It’s delicious and I’m enjoying it right now, but I feel like I’d enjoy it more with hotter water and a stronger taste. I weighed the pearls and it looks like each medium sized pear is just under 1g so I probably used like 1.6g of tea for my 12oz mug. I’m definitely going to tweak it the next time!

At this time I’m not going to rate it, but I’ll definitely give this another go next time!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 6 min, 30 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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84
90 tasting notes

Light but flavorful, smooth, a very good tea.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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93
6005 tasting notes

(DavidsTea 2022: 88)

I actually recently just re-added this tea to my collection… and also have an old bag of it that I need to finish… but I couldn’t resist a cup yesterday. First infusion was nice and light, but I oversteeped the rest and they were a bit strong. I think I need to use fewer pearls.

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85
3 tasting notes

Bought it as part of the Summer Sale from the DT website (1/2 price + additional 20% off). Enjoying the different characteristics from each infusion. Not sure I catch the “buttery” but feel"honey suckle" represents the finish for each sip. I use about 6 tea rolls for each 16 oz cup and steeping 4 minutes per cup in a Perfect Tea Maker (so that the leaves are not soaking between brews). So far, three steeps of an easy & drinkable green tea without the need to add anything..

Flavors: Honeysuckle, Sweet, Warm Grass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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75
37 tasting notes

feb 16/18

i probably need to be doing this more. i like these zomba pearls quite a lot. a decent thickness to the tea, and im getting bassier notes than i usually get from white tea, more hay, and vegetal than the bai hao yin zen my wife, son and i shared last night while my oldest son was at kickboxing. this is the second time ive had this one since buying it a month or so ago. im 2 steeps in, and from what i remember the rolled leaves give it a good longevity. zomba pearls is my 3rd gongfu of the day after having a white2tea raw flapjack for breakfast, and finishing off my 2017 spring wu yi rou gui, seriously just rambling now waiting on my water. steep 3 and 4 are giving me some good mouth watering and something like a honey mustard note that is really quite nice. also a bit of that tongue numbing thing going on. im going to hammer this for a couple more steeps. i went probably 2 minutes of so for steep 5. the flavour has pretty much left, but still a decent body (im still not prepared to say “mouthfeel” yet), and doubleing down on the tongue numbing. a bit of astringency. if i didnt have steep 6 in the gaiwan already i wouldnt bother at this point, but since its there i might as well. i steeped it about 6 minutes or so on the killshot, and a tiny bit of flavour came back, but i will probably go 4 good steeps here as a rule. after all this the pearls were still more or less intact.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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85
88 tasting notes

A very pretty tea with undertones of honey, soft lemon, toast and hay-like, golden, vegetal flavors. I don’t find it to be very buttery (more bright and honeyed), and certainly nothing like Butter Sencha’s intensely buttery, creamy sweetness. I think that Zomba Pearls has a toasty, delightful, hay-like taste to it. Pleasant and warming. I originally said I wouldn’t repurchase this, because I like Tie Kwan Yin for a bold, warm, toasty tea and Butter Sencha for a buttery, sweet tea, but I like Zomba Pearls for exactly when those two blends are too much. This has a bright, light, happy taste to it that’s just easy to enjoy. Tastes like sunshine and happiness.

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70
316 tasting notes

Picked up literally 10g of this to try – and since its such a light tea, 10g seems like a fair bit. But I was so looking forward to trying this, and since it is now online as well – maybe I’ll sneakily use my FS reward on it. At first I only steeped it for 4 mins, but it needed more, so I stuck the leaves back in for a bit. I added some sugar and it’s actually not bad. Better than the first 4 mins, haha! It has a vegetal taste. Also kinda buttery and floral. I don’t get any citrus/lemon out of this at all… Which is disappointing, but maybe resteeped will be different? Anyways, so far for a straight white, I quite enjoy it.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Vegetal

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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606 tasting notes

My taste buds are off today. I have my four wisdom teeth out yesterday and today I’m attempting tea. haha I actually feel really good. I had no pain yesterday whatsoever, which makes me really happy. Today I’ve got a little bit but it’s more of a sore jaw then pain from the incisions. I’ve taken an advil to see if it’ll help. I probably should have taken two.

Anyways, so I decided that this was the tea to have as I can’t eat too much yet. Lots of pudding, yogurt and soups… and I’m going to attempt scrambled eggs and a soft tea biscuit if I can make myself mix them up and bake them.

So, I am having a hard time getting all the flavours from this one like I was hoping. I really wanted to taste the buttery-ness to this one as that’s what drew me to it. I wanted something with that taste because frankly I’m so hungry and want something, anything that is of substance. haha Either way, I’m not really getting the buttery, but rather the straw flavour from this one. There might be a hint of butter or something…

Like I said, my tastebuds are off today, but that’s okay. I’ll eat something, I’ll continue to heal and life will continue to be good. My baby is coming home early today (he was suppose to be at my mom’s until this evening, but she’s not sure how to keep him entertained I guess so she’s bringing him back.) I’m not too upset though. It’s been more than 24hours since I’ve seen him, so I miss him and I’m sure he does too. :)

Christina / BooksandTea

I remember when I had my wisdom teeth out, I ate a lot of mashed potatoes. That would be easy to chew and give you your butter fix, I think.

TheKesser

That’s a good idea!

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77
13421 tasting notes

Hot mug a few nights ago – actually maybe on Christmas now that I think about it?

Very thick mouthfeel, and rich flavour notes for a white tea. More on the autumnal sort of side, with straw/hay notes and a bit of a malty/brassy sort of quality. Like a good white tea but on steroids, and dipping a little bit into more conventional black tea qualities. Some nectarine undertones.

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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