The Zen of Black Dragon Pearl Tea
Craving a little downtime? That’s why I love rainy days. It’s an excuse to just take it slow.
The fresh sweet fragrance of the rain with it’s soft pattering sound makes it a perfectly cozy day for cocooning, drinking Black Dragon Pearl tea and taking in a good read.
Black Dragon Pearl is one of my favorite teas. This is the tea I drink every morning. Each day I sit, sip my tea, and slowly awaken to the day before me.
Black Dragon Pearl comes from the southern Yunnan province in China, this black tea version of the popular Dragon Pearl is naturally sweet and smooth with a touch of earthiness.
As you can see here, only the highest quality leaves and buds are selected and expertly rolled into a large pearl-like shape before the leaves can dry. I love watching this amazing golden-tipped large leaf tea steep, as each pearl gently unfurls delivering a superb tea experience.
You can infuse this tea in a tea sack of sorts, but please don’t. You will get much better flavor if you let them fully open naturally without constraint, as in a large infuser or leave them be in your cup.
Black Dragon Pearl is a full-bodied infusion with subtle cocoa notes, producing a beautiful coppery-amber color. It’s smooth and sweet on its own but stands up well to added milk or sweetener, too. It’s also very forgiving since it doesn’t turn bitter if you accidentally over steep it.
For a western brewing method, use 3-4 pearls per 8 ounce cup of boiling point water and steep for five minutes.
The tightly rolled nuggets of the Black Dragon Pearl contain its own mystery, aroma, texture and hue as intriguing as its name.
You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
Intrigued, I decided to find out a little more about the origins of this delightful tea.
How Black Dragon Pearl Tea Is Made
The Leaf Chief/Master Taster Cynthia at Adagio Tea gave me some information on the background of Black Dragon Pearls.
“Our Black Dragon Pearls are from Yunnan, where they get their smooth, sweet, and rich character. The leaves are plucked and go through the black tea making process. After oxidation and while still pliable, they are kept warm on a heating pad of sorts to keep them supple. This fills the room with a wonderful aroma of the leaves.”
Black tea is fully oxidized, producing a hearty rich flavor. This means that once the first two leaves and bud are plucked they are then allowed to “wither” to reduce the moisture in the leaf.
Once withered to a satisfactory moisture content, the leaves are rolled. The rolling releases the flavonoids setting up the enzymatic process for oxidation. Once fully oxidized the leaves are set out to dry and cool.
Cynthia adds, “They are hand rolled into the pearl shape and twisted into nylon mesh to keep their shape while they dry. It looks kind of like a bunch of grapes when a bunch of them are twisted into the mesh. When completely dry, the pearls are released from the nylon.”
Just the idea that each pearl comes from hand picked tea and is then hand rolled adds to the zen of the Black Dragon Pearl tea. It is to be slowly savored.
The Birthplace of Tea
The Yunnan province of China is thought to be the birthplace of tea. Some of the wild growing tea trees are purported to be about 1,700 years old. That’s simply amazing to me. These trees are still giving after all these years.
The old growth camellia sinensis trees are never pruned. Yunnan produces some of the very best black tea than any other part of China.
What The Dragon Means to The Chinese
I’m not sure why they added the “dragon” descriptor when they named this tea Black Dragon Pearl so I can only speculate.
Dragon is the symbol of the Chinese nation and represents authority and good fortune. Many emperors used this symbol during their dynasties.
The ancient Chinese dragons symbolize Chi – which is energy. The dragon stands for new beginnings. Because the dragon represents success and prosperity, it is one of the most popular Asian symbols.
The dragon is said to bring power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it.
I gain my energy and strength every morning as I sip this lovely Black Dragon Pearl tea. And perhaps a little bit of luck and prosperity will come my way.
Where to Buy Black Dragon Pearl Tea
Of course I sell Black Dragon Pearl Tea on my website. I source mine wholesale from a large tea importer.
If you don’t wish to buy on-line, I’ve had some excellent Black Dragon Pearl tea from Teavana, now owned by Starbucks and usually found in large shopping malls.
I’ve purchased Black Dragon Pearl from Adagio Tea, who also sells quality high end tea.
The choice is yours, but you really shouldn’t miss out on this exquisite tea. If you have a tea merchant that is a personal preference, please share with us here.
Health Benefits of Black Tea
Black tea is high in polyphenols, a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants have proven health benefits to cardiovascular health.
Black tea contains an amino acid called l-theanine, which is unique to tea and has some very interesting effects on the brain. L-theanine increases alpha brain waves inducing a calm and deeply relaxed state. Combined with the caffeine, which is about half the amount found in coffee, the overall effect is a focused calm.
Many scientific studies show that regular tea drinking can have significant health benefits. After all, it is a plant based food. Flavonoids, the same compounds found in fruits and vegetables, are the major bioactive compounds found in tea. However, in tea, they are found in very high concentrations. Because of this, tea may help to maintain good health.
Tea flavonoids are linked to cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, weight management, metabolism and other health benefits. Research studies have shown that tea drinkers tend to have lower risk for cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and many other chronic diseases.
Studies have shown that tea may help support healthy blood flow and circulation by improving blood vessel function. Research associates tea drinking with with a reduced risk for high blood pressure, stroke and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
Studies suggest that tea may help reduce cancer risk in a variety of ways.
- Boosting the immune system
- Inhibition of uncontrolled cell growth
- Reduction of free radicals
The majority of studies on tea and cancer have been done with green tea. Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This compound is what scientists believe protects against various types of cancer. Emerging research suggests black teas may provide similar benefits.
However, all tea that comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant contain flavonoids.
Tea flavonoids may help increase metabolism and fat oxidation and improve blood sugar control, as found in some studies. It is the tea catechins, which is a type of flavonoid, that provide a modest shift in metabolism promoting weight loss and maintenance.
Thanks For Reading
Thank you for reading and please share with friends and family. Leave a comment and share your favorite tea and where you buy it. I want to hear from you!