Red Dragon Pearl

Tea type
Black Tea
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Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Molasses
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaEqualsBliss
Average preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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57 Tasting Notes View all

From thepuriTea

This unusual black tea is hand-rolled into spheres the size of chickpeas in southern Yunnan, China. Just two or three of them are enough for a fantastically bold brew with all the flavors of a crisp autumn day. It’s malty, nuanced and tannic like a fine Second Flush Assam black tea, but it also offers complex flavors of spiced, stewed apples, fallen leaves and cocoa that set it apart from other black teas. Floral aromas and a clean, bittersweet finish round out this singular infusion. Try it with breakfast, brunch, grilled duck or dark chocolate.

Tea to Water Ratio 1:1. If you prefer a stronger flavor, use up to two grams of tea for each cup of water.

Water: Filtered water is best. Use water at 212ºF (fully boiling)

Traditional Steeping: 3 to 5 minutes

Flash Steeping: First, we run warm water over the tealeaves and pour it off very quickly. This removes any impurities and “awakens” the tealeaves for brewing. Then, we steep the tea – 35 to 60 seconds.

About thepuriTea View company

Our mission is simple: to provide gourmet teas and practical teaware. We source all of our teas and teaware directly from China, Taiwan and India to ensure the maximum quality, value and freshness for our customers. By cutting out the middleman in our selection process, we can pass on savings to our customers and guarantee the quality of each and every one of our products.

57 Tasting Notes

3294 tasting notes

And it is a sipdown!
This has been a tasty pearl, sweet & a little fruity, & I’ve sort of hoarded this last cup for awhile, knowing that the company closed & there would be no more. It is sad when companies don’t make it, but sometimes you just have to let go, right?

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985 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon…..

Black Dragon Pearl Tea….one of my black tea loves. I love watching the tea unfurl. The pearls are a little bigger than a chickpea/garbanzo bean. This one is very good with notes of chocolate, slight malt, super smooth and rich. I used 12 balls in my 24 oz teapot. It was perfection. This one is a little more than I like to spend for 4 oz, but if you are buying a pound, it is pretty reasonable. It is just that I am not sure I want to have that much of it on hand.

Resteeps well.

Teapot method with 12 Red Dragon Pearls.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

How many resteeps do you get Jenn?


At least three…then I am usually ready for something else.


I’ve never had a black dragon pearl, but I am getting a sample of the Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black Tea from Teavivre soon so I am excited to try one!


@Dinosara…I like that one! In fact, it is pretty much the one I am leaning toward as it is better priced in smaller amounts.

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1112 tasting notes

I have a funny story about these!

My husband told me the other day that he didn’t have any Red Dragon Pearls left in his work stash, and that he could use some. So, yesterday I put a little container of them in his lunch bag, marked “Red Dragon Pearl Tea” clearly on a label on the lid of the container.

He said that he opened the container in the middle of eating his lunch whilst working and not really paying attention, and thought they were chocolates (!) and popped five in his mouth!


Let’s just say he quickly realized they were not actually chocolate.

He spit them out — I asked if he then brewed them but he threw them away! What a waste of Red Dragon Pearls :(

This continues to be one of my faves — not a week goes by where I don’t have it at least once. Chocolate notes, yeah, but NOT CHOCOLATE!


Best chuckle all day! Thanks! (And thank your poor hubby for making us smile.)


I totally would have brewed them! :D Thanks for the laugh.


A waste of a good tea but a hilarious story anyway! :D Black pearls ARE like chocolate…


Hahaha… poor guy :)


That is tragic! And hilarious.

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411 tasting notes

Alas my yummy friend, you are gone. You are gone, I have too much other tea, and my cupboard is too full. I may replace you, because you are an awesome tea. You remind me of autum leaves and are a great tea for the pre-winter months.

However, it will be a while until I could replace you. So long! Farewell. Be well until we see each other again.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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15131 tasting notes

Another tea from Terri I was epxecting somethling closer to a black pearl when i tried these so the fruitiness in these was totally unexpected. Chocolate/cocoa notes mixed with fruitiness that is reminiscent of those fruit and nut bars… Really enjoyed the uniqueness of this one! Nice purchase for us terri!




Haha we’re all such enablers. :)

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, the fun thing about all these pearls is they each taste different. I initially thought they would all be about the same, for some crazy reason. :)

Terri HarpLady

Of course, it shouldn’t surprise me, since all the Assams taste different, all the Yunnans do too. Pearls can be made from any tea. It makes it funner.

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1353 tasting notes

I had nearly forgotten this one. It was only because I went to remove the orange pu-erh that Wombatgirl gave me (and which turned out to be my preferred morning travel cup tea) that I was reminded of this one. So now I’m using the other half of the sample, also sent to me by Wombatgirl, and can remove this from my cupboard as well.

(Actually I rather suspect my cupboard might need some general cleaning up because there are things in there I would swear have been gone for a long time… Must have a poke through the Basket O’ Samples soon and figure it out.)

I’m following instructions this time, and the instructed steeping time is 3-5 minutes. I did a cautious 3. Although it felt really weird to do it. 3 minutes is an eternity when you start at 1 minute by standard!

OW! I burned by bongue! Ow….!

The aroma at any rate is lovely. It’s got substance. A sweetish, somewhat heavy body of something like cocoa, and a spicy note floating on top which for me is enhancing the cocoa of the body.

After a reasonable cooling time, I’m trying again, and what I get is remarkably sweet. It’s not quite that thick honey note I found in an Assam that One Enchanted Time, nor is it really a strong kind of chocolate-y cocoa-y thing. But it is sweet.

It starts with a slightly wooden oaky note and then the sweetness comes. This sweetness that is so hard to pin down. More dark syrup than sugar. Slightly spicy and sweet at the same, almost biscuit-y. And finally a finish with a good flash of cinnamon. Yes, biscuits is a good comparison really.

This makes it sound like something that’s primarily a dessert tea, but this is not actually true. It’s got a strong flavour that makes it good for most any time of day.

I rather liked this one, and I would definitely recommend that others try it too.


OW! I burned by bongue! Ow….!

Psh, n00b! ;P

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431 tasting notes

Yet another good, I like this one a lot. It has character, it is not your grandmothers tea and I like it. It is rich, bittersweet as described, robust, and earthy. Not at all boring. Some really good stuff. :-)

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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6768 tasting notes


I do!


I’m just finishing up the infusion of 3 of these balls or PEARLS and am REALLY excited to try this!!!!

At first I could smell – ever-so-slightly – something that smelled fruity but like cocoa. This completely intrigued me!

While infusing…it smells a little like cocoa…but very slight. The wet leaves smell like Assam.

The taste is very unique. They mention ‘chocolate’ in the description…I would say it would be a dark chocolate because it is really bold and – well – dark. It’s not really sweet. There is a tad of bitterness to it but I am comparing that to a dark chocolate type bitterness.

I can ‘find’ the apple comparison they spoke of. And I can taste a bit of oak or other like woodsy type taste.

This is VERY Malty! Even in the aftertaste.

What a FUN tea! Nifty!!!!


Sounds like my husband would love this one! Also, I don’t know why, but I love any tea that comes rolled up in a ball. :)


I was just looking at their website. I love how they show the brewed color of the tea. This seems esp important for oolongs. They are definitely on my list to order from soon.


ha ha .. i want to try!


Just sent you a quick PM, Kristin…


Now I wish I had caved on this tea when I was ordering the Jasmine Yunnan!

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612 tasting notes

Had this yesterday while wrapping up Season 4 of Buffy. Very tasty! I think I just like dragon pearls though—I haven’t had any yet I didn’t enjoy. This brewed up a nice malty, deep chocolate cup that was very satisfying, edged with smoky and cold weather harvest flavors (think apples, prunes, maple) making one think of fall, winter, seasons of dormancy when things below ground. I think I may steal Terri’s idea of using pearls as a purse-friendly portable option. Yum. Also, resteeps very well; I got 4 solid infusions and might’ve been able to keep going but figured that was enough caffeine for a while. Didn’t make me jittery either but gave me that “calm focused energy” thing tea is known for.

Such a bummer thepuritea is gone now; I’ve enjoyed the samples I grabbed in their going out of business sale. Knew that’d be a bittersweet experience—if I liked the teas it’d be with the knowledge they’re impossible to restock and if I didn’t, well, then I’ve had tea I didn’t like. I guess it’s better this way, the former, but ah well.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

yes, calm focused energy is a great way to describe it!

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4196 tasting notes

Another one Terri Harplady included in the teabox for me in my special baggie of teas. thank you! :D Dragon pearls again so soon? Why yes. I’m not sure why these are called red pearls… maybe only because in China black tea is called red tea? I used four pearls for these steeps.

First steep // 3 min // 20 min after boiling (deciding which tea)
This one is SPECIAL. It doesn’t even seem like a black tea because there is just a honey honey honey flavor! The texture is even like honey! I’ve never had a tea like this before. I couldn’t guess it was a black tea, honestly. Maybe it is just because of the lower temperature? Definitely no astringency.

Second steep // 4 min // right after boiling
The amazing honey is still here, but now there is a deeper flavor — a bit like chocolate with honey notes, a bit more astringency that is just noticeable (but the first cup was just SWEET.) Still not quite like a distinct black tea. So so good. I’m very amazed that even black (or red) dragon pearls seem to be so unique!

Third steep // 3 min // right after boiling
This cup was much like the second but there was a hint of oakiness that detracted from the honey chocolate! So the light honey flavor from the first cup definitely wasn’t just from the lower temperature, as the other two cups would have had a stronger flavor right after boiling. This has to be the sweetest black tea I’ve tried.

I love these. I have eight more pearls – so two more steeping sessions to savor later!


Mmmm sounds good. I’ll have to check and see if she’s included any of these in my care package.

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