Organic Zen Pearls – Review #1

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So just how good is one of David’s most expensive loose leaf teas?

Vital Stats*

Type: White
Caffeine: Medium
Cost: $19.98/50g
Density: 5.29g/PS
Servings/50g: ~14
Cost/16 oz steeped: $1.41 (@ 3 steeps)

OK, so I lied. When I was reviewing the Jasmine Black Pearls I said I probably wouldn’t use my rewards on anything else. My next reward came so suddenly though, and I still had so much of that left, that I decided to try something else!

Enter Organic Zen Pearls.

Here’s a floral-scented pearl of wisdom: Hand-rolling tea is a tradition that began over 1300 years ago, when a Chinese emperor wanted to give an original gift of love. Our gift to you is this organic white tea, lightly scented with jasmine flowers and hand-rolled into delicate pearls that gently unfurl as they steep. Breathe deeply and let your mind – and pearls – expand.

Unlike the Jasmine Black Pearls, these pearls are smaller, so the guidance is 1-2 Perfect Spoons per 16oz of 90 degree water. I went with two as is normally needed for a flavour I can enjoy. I only had a 16oz steeper free, so I was just going to make one serving for myself, but decided last minute instead to make two in a row and just mix them in the pot so it would still have some fair potency.

I did three minutes for the first steep, and four minutes for the second. When pouring the water in for the second, I was AMAZED to see how much the tea had blown up.

I couldn’t find an angle that really does it justice. I’ve never seen a tea blow up quite like this one.

The initial smell of the steeped tea was quite similar to the Jasmine Black Pearls, which was of course, Jasmine, and it’s amazingly calming effect just from inhaling the steam coming off the tea.

The initial taste seemed just a little bitter to me, but nothing objectionable by any means. As the tea cooled though, the taste became more and more floral, to the point that it was a little too much for me. I’m very glad I started with two steeps in one pot, because that should have brought the intensity down some. I would imagine the initial steep on its own would have been a little too potent for me to enjoy at all.

Next time I will use a single Perfect Spoon and write a whole new review as I’m sure that will be a very different experience.

When I made the 3rd steep, I added it to the remainder of the second steep in the pot, hoping to bring the intense floral flavour down some. Somehow – I suppose because the tea in the pot was already a little cool, bringing the overall temperature of both down, the 3rd cup seemed even more floral. It was to the point that it was almost unenjoyable. I wasn’t going to waste it though, so I did finish that cup – and then went back to do a 4th steep even, and again mixed it with what was left of the 3rd steep in the pot.

Now the flavour started to settle down some. It wasn’t quite watery, but it was mixed with the previous steep, so I imagine a fourth steep on its own wouldn’t be very good at all. It did at that point become substantially more tolerable.

So my first attempt with this tea was a very big swing and a miss. It’s not that I dislike floral teas entirely – I have some White Chrysanthemum Tea that I absolutely love, and that is literally just flowers. It was just this specific floral taste that didn’t really appeal to me. It’s hard to say exactly why, other than that it was very intense I suppose. I will give this a second try, with half as much tea next time though, and hopefully have a much better experience.

Until next time, happy steeping!

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