Yunnan Red Dragon Pearl Black Tea
By Vellore Raghunath
Origin and History
A supremely unique and pleasant Dragon Pearl Black tea first produced over 1500 years ago in the province of Yunan, thus making it one of the oldest varieties of tea. Yunnan also has the distinction of producing more tea than any other part of China and this excellent brew brings to you the flavors that can only be achieved by the ancient Chinese tea making techniques that offer a complexity of aromas that would satiate your senses with just a few pearls for a kettle. These are called “red, ” but in China, they like to call their black tea red and hence the name “Red Dragon Pearl Black Tea.”
Shape and texture
This beautiful tea is hand-rolled into pearls after being harvested in spring. Each pearl is made of hand-picked black and gold leaves are wrapped tightly and manually processed into their gem-like form. Once steeped each pearl expands out into a nice pile of full long leaves and can take you to another world in just a sip. The look is that of a small rag ball that is used by weavers to make rugs, but there ends the similarity. What this tea gives is a definite scent of chocolate and dried leaves. The care taken in making this tea is borne by the fact that the workers can produce only 1 kg tea per hour.
The Beneficial health effects of tea have been consistently demonstrated in both animal and human studies. The most widely recognized properties of tea are their antioxidant activities, arising from their ability to scavenge reactive oxygen.
Some of the other benefits are:-
• Cataract, which mainly develops as a result of protein precipitation in the lens of the eye, may be reduced by increased tea consumption.
• Black Tea contains fluoride, which strengthens tooth enamel and improves dental health.
• Among women 65-76 y of age, tea consumption was associated with greater bone mineral density measurements.
• In diet-induced obese mice, consumption of tea for 10 weeks prevented obesity and fatty liver.
• Ingestion of tea extract by healthy young men with each meal resulted in a significant increase in 24-hour energy expenditure and a significant decrease in the 24-hour respiratory quotient.
• Several epidemiological studies have shown beneficial effects of black tea in cancer, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases.
• The health benefits associated with black tea consumption have also been corroborated in animal studies of cancer chemoprevention, hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other aging related disorders.
The best way of brewing the tea is achieved by the following:
o Heat water to roughly 95°C/200°F
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o Use 2 pearls per cup/small teapot.
o Brew for 5 minutes.
After this, the brew should become a bright yellowish-green color liquor bringing a robust visual feeling.
The Yunnan Red Dragon Pearl Black tea yields a spicy and smooth aroma with pleasing jasmine overtones with the expected malty and chocolate tones of Yunnan released more slowly and gently owing to the pearl form. It has a smooth texture and the sweet, gentle taste of malt and chocolate and has minimal astringency. With its perfect level of depth and briskness, this tea would make you want to enjoy more than one cup.
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