Review: Chah Dragon Phoenix Pearls

Chah, Jasmine Tea, White Tea Add comments
Lynn’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"White jasmine, in the language of flowers, means “Amiability, sensuality, or attachment.” When attached to white tea, jasmine is, in my opinion, quite sensual."
Lynn’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8.5/10, Jamie gave it 7.5/10
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chahdragonpearlsThis tightly pearled tea is a white tea scented with jasmine. The little pearls are attractive in both scent and color - a pale olive stripe runs the circumference of each sphere and the jasmine scent is sweet with sleepy floral fullness.In Chinese mythology, the dragon and phoenix symbolize the yin-yang balance and are often depicted together. Dragon pearl teas mirror this, with the powerful yin energy of the jasmine flowers balanced by white tea’s delicate yang energy. OK, I’m making that up, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?

White tea is gaining popularity in the west, but for many it is an acquired taste, not because it is so strong, but quite the opposite. White tea is delicate, ephemeral, and requires a certain amount of attention to really appreciate it. If you don’t pay attention, you might mistake it for unflavored hot water, when in fact it possesses an inherent sweetness akin to spring water, with a touch of bitterness in the finish just to make sure you knew it was there.

White jasmine, in the language of flowers, means “Amiability, sensuality, or attachment.” When attached to white tea, jasmine is, in my opinion, quite sensual. The combination of the two, when done well, is one of my favorite low caffeine teas.

Chah’s Dragon Phoenix Pearls are made by scenting white tea leaves from Fujian six times with jasmine flowers, layering leaves and flowers and allowing the scent of the flowers to infuse the tea. The leaves are then hand rolled into distinctive little balls that pop like watch springs when hot water is added. Only six or seven are needed to flavor a cup.

Chah’s pearls are a pale olive green with lighter detailing, and reminded me of little balls of yarn. They are very aromatic, too. I steeped seven pearls in one cup of 212F water for three minutes. This produced a straw-colored liquor brightly fragrant of natural jasmine. The flavor was quite mouth coating, clean, sweet and floral, with a smooth finish that was slightly drying—flowers and spring water. However, it was a bit weighted to the jasmine, rather than the tea. Not a major complaint, but noticeable.

The leaves had done their crazy watch spring thing and I pulled out several bud pairs that where up to three inches in length. I did a second infusion of three and a half minutes, which produced a cup just as fragrant, but tasting a bit more of the tea than flowers this time, with a touch of white tea bitterness to go with the sweetness that was more evident now. Overall, this is a nice, refreshing example of the type.

— To purchase Chah Dragon Phoenix Pearls, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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