Well, last time I rambled I talked about my frustration with Ark, it seems that the internet’s really angry reaction to the canceling of the Halloween event made it very clear to the devs that this was a bad idea. So they delayed it, later this week I will get to play the event because I can’t quit this game, so I will play it. Of course, the delay of the event means that my plans for Halloween have been canceled so I have no idea what I am doing to celebrate today. Perhaps painting shall keep me occupied on this most spooky of days.
Today I am looking at an orb of goodness from Teavivre, their Yunnan Rose Dragon Ball, a tea after my own heart! Combining a Simao Dianhong with rose petals in a tightly rolled ball individually wrapped making it a really cute gift. Good for either western style brewing or gongfucha, it is a versatile tea, and since it is just tea and roses and no flavoring or oils you get pure rose taste and smell. It is no secret by now that I love roses in my hongcha, but often I find it has been blended with flavorings or oils and I prefer just straight up rose petals in my black tea. Unwrapping the ball and giving it a good sniffing, the aroma is quite pleasant. There are the obvious notes of rose, reminding me of rose water, gently sweet without being perfumey, along with cocoa, malt, and a touch of peanuts. The rose is not at all overwhelming and it is balanced with the notes of the Dianhong, which is good, frequently rose teas have overwhelming rose.
Such an elegant tea deserves an elegant gaiwan, so I used the audacious gold lady for this tea, it also works well since it is a larger gaiwan meaning more room for the ball to expand. The aroma after the first steep has notes of malt, cocoa, yams, peanuts, and gentle roses. The liquid is sweet, with notes of roses and honey giving it a nectar quality, along with cocoa and roasted peanuts. I find myself looking forward to drinking it!
This might be the most perfectly balanced rose Dianhong I have ever tried. The rose is gentle and light, never once overpowering the notes of the Dianhong, but also always being present so there is no mistaking it is a rose tea. That persistent rose note makes it suitable for someone like me who absolutely loves food and drink with a rose theme, but also making it suitable for someone who is only slightly a fan (like Ben, just an example.) Of course, it helps that the base Dianhong is enjoyable, smooth notes of malt and cocoa blend with yams and peanuts with a lingering honey finish. It is a classic Dianhong with all the familiar notes.
As is frequent with these teas that are tightly curled up into balls, the first steep is light, but the second steep is more intense, part of the reason a lot of people either have a longer than normal first steep or rinse the tea. Since I think rinsing would be a waste, in this case, I just go for a slightly longer steeping time. The second steep is still pretty intense compared to the first, stronger notes of all the ones present in the first steep, especially the rose and chocolate with lingering brown sugar and honey. I feel like this would be the perfect tea to drink on some romantic occasion, it just has that feel!
This tea goes for a LOT of steeps, I kept pulling flavor from this ball for a good twelve steeps, and at that point, I switched to just drinking straight from the gaiwan and refilling it as needed for several more refills. It was not a short-lived tea, definitely an all-day session, which was fine by me! There was not a ton of evolution between steeps, just light bit omnipresent roses and classic Dianhong notes til the very end. This tea evokes romance, summer gardens, and just general happiness, I greatly enjoyed my massively long session with it!