Ancient Dragon Pearl Tea 陳年龍珠茶 is a very rare and exotic “tea”. It is actually the excrement from a type of insect larva found in Yunnan, China. The larvas feed on the leaf of a local native plant. Bamboo tray is placed below the leaf to collect the larvas’ excrement. Scientific analysis shows that the excrement contains crude protein, crude fat, tannins, vitamins and nearly 20 types of amino acids. The excrement is then processed by pan roasting with tea in the ratio of 5:1:1 (Excrement:Tea:Honey) to absorb the flavour of the tea.
Sounds bizzare? But really, it a very highly prized, rare and exotic traditional tea that are sought after by many tea connoisseurs.
Today, I will brew this exotic tea to savor its taste. This tea is processed in the 1950s. The shape of the tea looks like mustard seeds but half the size. After refreshing the tea, it smells like a good aged tea with musky and minty aroma. The color of the brew is very dark brown. The taste is very exotic and pleasant with layers of complexity of musk and dried fruits. It has a pronounce minty and refreshing aftertaste with the profile of a good aged tea.
Overall, it is a very pleasant and unique experience drinking this tea. Definitely this is the type of tea that I will appreciate more and more over time. It reminds me of my experience with truffles when I first tried them and now I am a great fan of truffles. Or perhaps even, the caviar of tea.
But beware! This is a very rare traditional tea processed in a very remote area and the authentic ones could hardly be found in the market nowadays. Although this tea may sounds bizzare, it is definitely a rare and exotic tea that is part of the tea history.