Yunnan is the the Southern Chinese province bordering Vietnam. It's believed to be the birthplace of tea, and the oldest wild growing tea tree (never pruned to be bush height) is about 1,700 years old. The land is covered with rolling mountains and winding rivers and its sub tropical climate make it ideal for growing excellent teas.
Yunnan's most senior cultivated tree is a relative youngster - a mere 800 years old. These are the large leafed tea varieties - Camellia sinensis assamica - which is also found in India. Yunnan also has the distinction of producing more black tea than any other part of China, although it's a relative newcomer to this variety. Black tea was first produced here in 1939, and is distinguished by its unique peppery, earthy and sometimes cocoa flavor.
Our Black Dragon Pearls are picked in spring using only the highest grade of leaves which are marked by the golden hairs. The leaves are made into the shape of a pearl by hand, roughly the size of a marble and larger than that of the Jasmine Pearls and 100% oxidised. The act of rolling preserves the flavours of the tea and keeps it fresher for longer. Black Dragon Pearls remain one of our favourite teas for the deep and rich chocolatey flavour but also for the visual unfurling of the leaves.