Phoenix Green Pearls
I have a fondness for pearls. This green tea is rolled into pearl shaped balls and is a joy watching the tea leaves unfurl. With its creamy vegetal aroma I find a slight hint of a bakery spice with a hint of mineral flavor. The boldness of this tea lingers very nicely calling you back for another sip. I particularly like this tea steeped at 200°F but it also does well at 212°F. With its richness, I had to try it iced. Yes, it is quite lovely iced.
$2.00 – $46.99
A green tea from Guizhou, from a cultivar with a thicker leaf that is rolled into a pearl shape. This is not a shy green, and the intensive rolling accounts for the bolder sensation on the palate. More components from within the leaf coat the finished leaf as the rolling is repeated. The wet sticky leaves are teased (shaken) apart before another sequence of rolling. Therefore, while the usual Tea 101 course may prescribe a lower water temperature for Green teas, this one can stand up to water at boiling, at a temperature that will start the unrolling process, releasing the inherent character of the leaf. The taste, however, is very different from that other well known pearl tea, Gunpowder. In Chinese, the words for Gunpowder is “pearl tea.” If one has the time, the preferred way to brew Phoenix Green Pearls is with a Gaiwan (covered bowl). A glass one would show the gradual unfurling of the leaves with each infusion. The first steep would be less than 30 seconds, yielding a clean, fresh taste. With each subsequent infusion, the flavor deepens, with the brew becoming golden. The character is herbaceous, akin to leafy green vegetables.
If serving this tea iced, consider using an extra 1 1/2 teaspoon of tea for every 6 – 8 ounces of water to provide more flavor. Melting ice will dilute the blend. You can also cold steep to maximize the flavor by filling a pitcher with the appropriate tepid water. Add the suggested amount of tea leaves either in a tea bag or an infuser and put the pitcher into the refrigerator for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Taste the tea and if it’s to your liking, remove the tea leaves and serve.
(1 1/2 tsp (6 gr) to 6-8 oz water)
3-4 minutes @ 186 - 212°F
Number of Western Infusions: 1
(1 1/2 tsp (6 gr) to 3 oz water)
20 seconds at 200 ℉, add 10 seconds to each infusion
Number of Eastern Infusions: 3