25 Days of Tea: Day 9 (Jasmine Dragon Pearls)

cropped-pearl_blogheader_jaspearls2.jpgJasmine Dragon Pearls are a classic: green tea leaves scented with jasmine flowers and rolled into small balls the size of pearls. At many of our farmers markets, I often over hear people confuse this beauty with the tea that unrolls into a flower. At that point I admit to ease dropping and take the opportunity to explain that what they are talking about are display teas and not Jasmine Dragon Pearls. While it’s true that these go through a similar process during steeping often referred to as the “agony of the leaf” (where the leaves slowly unfurl in water) display teas are often a lessor grade green tea where leaves are sown together with a flower that seems to pop-up or grow as it steeps. Jasmine Dragon Pearls are actually individually rolled leaves that open gently during steeping.

Leaves are harvested in the early spring and stored until summer; waiting for fresh jasmine flowers to come to full bloom sometime around late July. These Jasmine flowers are gently gathered very early in the day when the petals are closed and kept in a cool place until evening when hot summer days wane. That’s when the magic happens. After the jasmine buds relax, they gently open to release their distinct aroma which the tea leaves absorb. This is often done in 1 of 2 ways: alternating the flowers with the tea leaves (like a  lasagna), the other is to just blend the flowers in with the tea leaves. It takes many hours for the tea leaves to absorb the fragrance from the blossoms and is usually repeated many times (as much as 6 or 7 in higher grades.)  The tea leaves are then dried again to remove any moisture it took on during the scenting process.

The next step is truly amazing.

Each one of those scented leaves are then hand-rolled into a little “pearl.” Each and every individual leaf. And… there’s a person (an actual human being) who sits all day long at a table and rolls each tea leaf into a that little round ball.  The first time I saw how this was done I was humbled and it’s why I am so diligent not to waste ANY tea leaf, but especially a Jasmine Dragon Pearl. Someone spends their entire day sitting at a table rolling 1 leaf at a time, so that we can enjoy a gorgeous cup of green tea. Something to remember as we reach for a cup of tea to sooth our less then perfect day: it’s because someone else made it possible. Watch this video made by our friends at QTrade to see the hand rolling of the leaf. In the meantime, here are some notes on this blend:

• Overview:   A classic, jasmine scented Chinese green tea from Fujian Province.
• Dry Leaf:    Plump round balls
• Liquor (liquid):    Brownish yellow-green
• Aroma:   Floral and green
• Flavor notes:    Immediate jasmine floral notes. Green tea is almost secondary at first and then marries on the palate. Faint hint of smoke at the end. If steeped too long, this tea can become astringent and bitter.
• Brewing recommendation:     175° Fº / 2 minutes. (Steep multiple times)
• Caffeine: Yes

If you are interested in giving this classic a try, please visit the Pearl Fine Teas tea shop today and use code: 25TEAS9 at checkout to get 25% of Jasmine Dragon Pearls – today only!

Happy Sipping!
-The Chief Leaf


25 Days of Tea: Day 9 (Jasmine Dragon Pearls)



Trekking down to our local school to cast a vote in this historic election is both an honor and a privilege not taken lightly. This election more then ever, we give thanks to that one thing that kept us sane over the last few months: TEA.

It feels like a hundred years ago rather then 8 when Obama and McCain were battling it out for the Presidency in 2008 – when we all thought that election was intense. Twitter was “newish” and we were all trying that thing called tweeting. I remember sitting at the computer trying to figure out this new medium and fired off a tweet into the void as Pearl Fine Teas and asked: “If Obama and McCain were tea blends what would they be?

To our surprise, people actually responded.

Winter 2009 Tea A MagazineLong story short… what happened was an interesting chain of events that culminated in a contest where we took votes and suggestions, and then blended 2 teas to represent each candidate. We announced the winner on Nov 4, with fulfillment the week of the inauguration.  Through all that new tweeting I met Jack Cheng  when he was part of Steepster.  Jack reached out and showed me 2 illustrations he had done of each one of our blends made entirely out of tea leaves (you can see an early blogpost here.) They were and still are fantastic, and ultimately ended up on the cover of TEA. A MAGAZINE.  I noticed recently through a feed on Facebook that Adagio Teas created an illustration of Trump and Bernie paying homage to our Obama-McCain!

This time around I wondered (like last time) what the blends for the candidates might be for this election with Trump as the (R) candidate and Hillary, the (D) candidate and America’s first potential female president. So much has changed these 8 years in the U.S. and in American Government. At the moment we are a nation divided, and its been a brutal campaign. With all the unusual shenanigans that went into this election year we all traveled a very long road to get us to today: November 8th. Regardless who wins tonight, there is no doubt that we will need support for the days, weeks, months and 4 years ahead.

Recovery Infusion Blend (Organic/Kosher)

So this time around in honor of the 2016 Election Year, Pearl Fine Teas will offer an  (Election) Recovery Blend: An inclusive blend with health benefits to help: the Left, the Right and the Middle.

Here is a breakdown of some of the health benefits from our newest caffeine-free infusion:


• Roasted chicory root: Eases digestive problems, prevents heartburn, reduce arthritis pains, detoxes, boosts immunity, may reduce heart disease.
• Ginger root:
Boosts immunity, calms an upset stomach, helps with nausea, warming, stimulates circulation.
• Lemongrass:
Detoxes, helps insomnia, boosts immunity, excellent tonic for nerves.
• Lemon balm:
Reduces stress and anxiety, helps promote sleep, eases indigestion.
• Orange peel:
Vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, pectin.
• Lemon essential oil:
calming, detoxifying, antiseptic, sleep inducing, anti-fungal.
• Hibiscus:
Lowers blood pressure, and boosts immune system.
• Coriander:
High in manganese, iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and protein.
• Cinnamon:
High in antioxidants, lowers blood sugar levels, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal.
• Rose petals:
Immune Boost, improves digestion eases stress and anxiety.
Rosehips: Rich in bio flavonoids, pectin, vitamin E + B complex, selenium, manganese

We’ll offer this blend at the TeaTent and online soon on the new Pearl Fine Teas website.

It’s still early in the day as this post goes live, and we won’t know who our next President will be, but our hope is that the road to recovery is a short one and that the great divide will heal sooner then later.  No matter what happens we are grateful that one thing is certain:  there will always be TEA.



Worshiping Oolongs

I love oolong. I drink it morning, noon and night. I’m particularly fond of Oolongs from Taiwan. Could you call it an obsession? Hmm… probably. But there are worst thing, right? Today I’m blogging about a few people that I know who are just as mad about Oolong as I am.

Marilyn. My most beloved acupuncturist who has the warmest, most inviting treatment room in the city and is located in a favorite part of town: Cap Hill/Eastern Market. I’m always relaxed and in a good space after seeing her each week. She is a miracle worker and the results are profound. Those of us in advertising have the unfortunate dilemna of insomnia. Me included. Or rather it used to be me. Thanks to her tiny needles, I sleep just fine. One of the requests I get from her is: “Are you bringing Jade Oolong???” said in a very, well… “I need my oolong” kind of way. She goes through it fast. I’m happy to supply.

high mountain dong ding

Chandler. No, not the guy from Friends. The guy who comes down to talk to me at the Market on Wednesdays. Chandler walked up to me one day and said with excitement, “You have a 2nd flush Darjeeling???” My reply was, “Yeees. Do you know what a 2nd flush is?” He knew quite a bit about it. He bought Darjeeling and we got tea-chit-chatting and I mentioned Oolongs. His eyes sort of lit up when I shared with him that we had a Jade Oolong and a High Mountain Dong Ding. Immediately, he wanted the Dong Ding. I told him that I was taking it off the site for selfish reasons and that I wasn’t sure I wanted to sell anymore. I won’t say he begged, but I was convinced to part with 3 or 4 ounces. It’s now listed on the site as limited quantity. Which it is. This past week he came by to visit again and leaped at the Jade Oolong. I’ve no doubt he will love it. Chandler qualifies as a TeaPeep. We’re happy to have him as a customer. Thanks Chandler!

Teaescapade. Im proud to say we have a fan in teaescapade. Nikki is a tea enthusiast who blogs about tea, does reveiws and really stays connected with many people in the tea industry through her blog. We sent Nikki some samples of our teas to try and on October 5, 2008, she reviewed our Jade Oolong. Check it out and her blog too. She does very comprehensive reviews of teas. Thanks teaescapade!

So, rather than keep blogging Im headed down stairs from some Yellow Gold Oolong (Huang Jin Gui) but that’s another story.

Worshiping Oolongs