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This stuff is some kind of magical or something.
At $18.98/50g, I clicked on this stuff mainly to see how any tea could possibly be worth that much when practically everything else on the site is in the ~$8-$12/50g range. Their writers strike again, with a description that would make just about anyone want to shell out their hard earned cash for some of this –
Black pearls, black jasmine teas and Chinese black teas are all extremely rare. So what do you get when you combine all three? A seriously special, super-rare, once-in-a-lifetime tea. A DAVIDsTEA exclusive, this hand-rolled black tea is rich, floral and refreshing. With its delicate jasmine aroma, caramel notes and wild honey sweetness, it’s definitely a tea experience worth seeking out.
I was very, very tempted to order some, and then as I was playing around in my cart, I realized I could use my Frequent Steeper reward to get 50g of this for free!
Upon arrival of the order it was the first thing I opened. It smells nice. A little floral. Nothing that really knocked my socks off or anything though.
The pearls themselves look quite interesting, and knowing they were hand rolled somehow adds to their mystique.
Unlike every other David’s Tea I have which calls for “1-2 Perfect Spoons”, depending on how you like it, this calls for “3 Pearls.” Four shalt thou not use, neither use thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three.
Five is right out.
A quick note on value and volume (and the reason there are extra little bits in the steeper) – I pulled out and counted all the pearls and there were 40 in the bag! That was a LOT more than I was expecting. At three per 16 oz, that will get me 13 steepersful, which is not too shabby at all!
I was getting pretty excited by this point. I only steeped it for three minutes on the first go to make sure I could get a decent second steep out of it, given what it’s worth.
When it was done I put it into a small pot (as none of my cups actually seem to hold 16 oz) and brought the pot and a mug over to my desk.
As it’s a 95 degree brew, I had to let it cool for a bit, so I poured a cup and did other things for a few minutes. Once I figured it was cool enough, I brought the mug up to my nose and gave it a big whiff.
Holy crap, what the hell is this?
This intoxicating brew had just sent a wave of calm through my entire body, just from smelling it. It wasn’t the smell itself – it didn’t smell all that terribly different than it smelled in the bag – it was just something I was inhaling from the tea. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced that before in my entire life.
Next I took a sip, and it was more of the same. Relaxation throughout my entire body.
I was slowly sinking deeper and deeper into my chair as every sip brought on more and more relaxation. I remember thinking this would be a perfect before bed tea, if it wasn’t “High Caffeine.”
Then I started to get some weird tingly, relaxy stuff going on in my forehead about midway between my nose and hairline, which was so weird and hard to describe I won’t even bother trying to tell you about it.
Needless to say, I suddenly understood why this tea was worth $18.98/50g. The experience with my second brew (5 minutes this time) was not as profound, but it was still a VERY enjoyable cup of tea.
Shockingly, when I gave the tea a sniff after finishing my second brew, it still smelled quite potent, so I figured I’d see if I could get a third out of it. I’ve tried thirds with many other teas and most of the time it just tastes like hot water, so I don’t bother anymore, but this still smelled very strong – and sure enough, it did yield a very nice and flavourful 3rd steep! I considered going for a 4th, but there wasn’t much of a smell left to the tea after the 3rd, so I stopped there.
At, let’s call it one cup per 16 oz, with 40 pearls in 50g, at three steeps per three pearls, this 50g will make 39 cups of tea! Let’s say you manage to make one with the last pearl and call it 40 – 40 cups of this, for $18.98? It doesn’t seem so expensive now! I haven’t done this kind of math on any of my other teas – they’re so widely variable in density – 50g of Organic Peppermint Amour will probably make 20 steepers, and 50g of Choco Chaga Detox will probably only make about 5 (it’s very dense) – but from my experience with all the teas I’ve had so far, I do not think this is that far outside of the realm of reasonably priced when you consider how much it makes. (Note: This review was written prior to the addition of “Vital Stats” to all my reviews.)
They have one other tea I’ve seen that is around this price, Organic Zen Pearls, which I would like to try – but with how incredible this stuff is, I may exclusively use my Frequent Steeper rewards on this so long as it is available, and I wouldn’t be shocked if I paid for a little out of pocket too.
Until next time, happy steeping!