Yunnan Rose Flowers and Big Snow Mountain Black Tea Dragon Ball

Tea type
Black Flowering Blend
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves, Rose
Flavors
Almond, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Butter, Camphor, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Grapes, Grass, Green Beans, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Red Apple, Rose, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Cherry, Floral, Sweet
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Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 oz / 153 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Okay, I am kicking off another year of Steepster activity with a review of my first sipdown of the new year. This was the last of the Yunnan Sourcing black tea dragon balls I had lying around, and...” Read full tasting note
    71
  • “I normally don’t like rose-scented teas. I don’t even know why I bought these dragon balls but I’ll be damned, the mood for rose struck today. Maybe it seemed like a natural progression from my...” Read full tasting note
    88
  • “This tea has a flavor that reminds me very much of cherry. The dry leaves have a very strong floral sweet smell to them. 1st Steep: As ball has not opened up yet the taste is weak. A get a slight...” Read full tasting note
    93

From Yunnan Sourcing

What happens when you combine robust Yunnan Black Tea with Rose Flowers? You get a highly complex and enjoyable tea both wonderful to drink, and to behold!

Our Yunnan grown rose flowers (墨红玫瑰花) are high grade fresh flowers grown in Wenshan prefecture. The flowers add an aestethic aspect to the experience as well as imparting a lovely rose sweetness and aroma to the black tea. We blended several different types of roses and rose petals before deciding on this particular rose and ratio.

Big Snow Mountain Black Tea is from Mengku County in Lincang, which is a high altitude area that’s home to many tea gardens. This lovely black tea was processed with care from first flush of Spring 2017 assamica tea leaves picked from 30 to 40 year old plantation bushes growing naturally at an altitude of 1800 meters.

This black tea together with the Yunnan rose flowers makes for a thick and viscous tea, complex and interesting, while lasting many infusions making it a worthwhile newcomer to our offering here at Yunnan Sourcing!

These Dragon Balls were made by my mother- in-law and father-in-law. They make them in their spare time. They use little pieces of cotton to compress them instead of saran wrap. Saran wrap compression is the most common method because it’s faster, but it causes off gassing into the tea since the tea must be steamed to soften and is very hot. We use cotton, which is safe.

Dragon balls are great because they are perfect single brewing servings, and because the leaves fare much better during transport and storage compared to loose leaf form, which tend to break apart causing the brewed tea to be overly astringent and/or bitter and detracts from overall look of the brewed leaves!

50% of the profits from the sales of these Dragon Balls will go directly to my father/mother-in-law. We will give them the money as a red packet during Chinese New Year, since they won’t accept money directly from my wife or I. Most likely they will put most of it in the bank for their retirement!

Each Dragon Ball is roughly 8 grams of tea (+/- 0.5 grams)

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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3 Tasting Notes

71
943 tasting notes

Okay, I am kicking off another year of Steepster activity with a review of my first sipdown of the new year. This was the last of the Yunnan Sourcing black tea dragon balls I had lying around, and in truth, I put this one off for so long because I had every intention of making it one of my holiday teas. I’m a huge fan of rose teas and got it in my mind that it was going to be the tea with which I rang in the new year. Honestly, I probably should have picked something else considering that I had a sinus infection at the time and this was a rather delicate tea, but what’s done is done. I was still able to get a lot out of it, and while I would not call it a bad offering, it was not my favorite of Yunnan Sourcing’s black tea and flower dragon balls. That was surprising too, because, again, I love rose teas.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped the entire dragon ball in 160 ml of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cedar, cinnamon, eucalyptus, malt, and rose. After the rinse, I detected a stronger rose aroma and new scents of cream, butter, and baked bread. There was also a subtle vanilla scent lingering in the background. The first infusion brought out a somewhat stronger vanilla aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented very delicate notes of cedar, cinnamon, malt, cream, butter, and baked bread that were chased by hints of vanilla, eucalyptus, and rose. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of sugarcane, cocoa, sweet potato, camphor, black pepper, ginger, roasted almond, and caramel as well as more amplified rose and malt scents. Stronger and more immediate rose, vanilla, and eucalyptus notes came out in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, earth, black pepper, sugarcane, caramel, cocoa, camphor, red apple, honey, roasted almond, and cooked green beans. I also detected hints of red grape, grass, sweet potato, orange zest, and ginger. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized mineral, malt, baked bread, earth, cocoa, and roasted almond notes that were balanced by fleeting hints of rose, honey, sweet potato, caramel, black pepper, cooked green beans, cedar, camphor, and orange zest.

This seemed to be a fairly balanced offering overall. One thing I noticed about each of these black tea and flower dragon balls was that each of the floral presences interacted with the base tea in different ways, sometimes thinning or thickening the body of the tea liquor, muting or amplifying certain aroma and flavor components, influencing the time at which each characteristic emerged, and sometimes introducing something unexpected. I basically picked up the same characteristics from the base tea with only minor differences, but each pairing seemed to organize and present them differently. This pairing emphasized harmony and balance, but that being said, it also struck me as a little too even-keeled in many places. I was actually hoping for a heavier rose presence and a few interesting rough edges, but I got neither. One positive aspect of this pairing was that the rose petals seemed to thicken the body and bring out more texture in the tea liquor, which was something I did not expect to occur. Big Snow Mountain black tea seems to consistently strike me as being a bit thin and watery, but I could not make that complaint with this particular offering. Honestly, this was a more or less solid pairing. Though I was hoping for a few pronounced peaks and valleys or a few unexpected wobbles here and there, this tea basically just stayed the course for the entirety of my drinking session. Fans of sweet yet balanced floral teas would probably be into it on one level or another.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Butter, Camphor, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Grapes, Grass, Green Beans, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Red Apple, Rose, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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88
896 tasting notes

I normally don’t like rose-scented teas. I don’t even know why I bought these dragon balls but I’ll be damned, the mood for rose struck today. Maybe it seemed like a natural progression from my wake-up cup of some underwhelming gui fei I’m trying to finish off.

Anyway, whew boy is this a sweet tea!

Gone gaiwan. 1 beautiful dragon ball, 150mL, 200F. Gave it a 30s soak and lost track of the number of steeps because I was so caffeinated. 10+ that’s for sure.

The dry ball smells so good, much like cherry and not that old lady perfumey rose scent. The aroma of the liquor matches the scent of the dry leaf and rose petals, never once making me regret choosing rose today. Once the ball opened up about halfway, the liquor became very thick with down and had a wonderful viscous texture. There was some astringency that could probably be somewhat mitigated by keeping steep times at 10-15s (I was doing several rounds of 20 before knocking the time down).

In terms of tastes, I wasn’t aiming for depth of notes today, rather just enjoying the session. Most notable was the cherry-rose, some spiciness and some minerality. Several steeps had a pronounced note of frankincense. Where this tea really got me was the intense! date sweetness that lasted long in the back of the mouth and seemed to also sit in my chest. I’m not normally a fan of super sweet teas but in this one, it just worked so well.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable, incredibly sweet tea, one that would be great to share a session with somebody. The rose petals are beautiful and vibrant in smell and taste, never perfumey but quite fruity. I do wonder if the fruitiness could be attributed to the base tea. I know YS sells it alone but I haven’t tried it. Regardless, the two ingredients work really well together. Another thing to note is these balls are pressed not nearly as compact as the Silver Needles or Moonlight White dragon balls, giving this tea less of a learning curve than those other two. I’m glad I picked up several of these dragon balls and won’t be in a rush to finish the last one just to get it out of my cupboard, saving it for when the mood strikes again.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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93
48 tasting notes

This tea has a flavor that reminds me very much of cherry. The dry leaves have a very strong floral sweet smell to them.

1st Steep: As ball has not opened up yet the taste is weak. A get a slight underlying sweet taste. I’ll be honest I don’t know if that’s from the tea from the gummies I ate a few minutes ago. Very sure its from the tea. Almost a cherry like flavor.

2nd Steep: The cherry is most defiantly from the tea.

3rd Steep: The ball begins to break apart and the brew gets a bit darker. I have adoring the taste the rose petals provide.

Got about 8 steeps in before it went weak on me.

Flavors: Cherry, Floral, Rose, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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