A great gift tea, or a talking point to brew with guests.
Green tea » Chinese » Basket-Fired » Pearl leaf balls, ★★★
This tea’s obvious selling point is its shape. These beautiful, 1-cm, hand-rolled balls resemble calligraphic ink swirls on a page, or, as the name suggests, Rolling Clouds. To my liking, this tea is one of the few unfurling tea varieties that isn’t flavoured with flowers.
Brewed, this tea tastes slightly sweet and slightly floral, but otherwise unremarkable. Its speciality, again, is its leaf shape, which serves not only as a talking point, but also slows down the unfurling of the leaves, giving rise to a longer-lasting brew (耐泡). This makes Rolling Clouds an ideal catalyst for an afternoon of conversation with friends and family. Note that the brew is exceptionally light in colour, but not in taste.
If anyone knows the Chinese name for this tea, then please let me know. The best I’ve found is a Russian website that calls it “卷云”, but that sounds a little inauthentic to me.
I wouldn’t buy this tea for myself, but I would buy it as a gift. I’d also bring it with me when visiting family or friends. ★★★