Mountain Stream Teas’ Honey Black Pomelo Tea Ball | Tea Review

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Trying new tea is such a fun experience, so when I saw this black tea placed inside a pomelo peel, I wanted to see how it tasted!

Description: “This unique tea is high quality Honey Fragrance Black Tea mixed with the pulp of a Pomelo before being placed back in the intact Pomelo peel and then processed in the traditional Hakka way. Through a series of steaming, sun drying, and baking these ingredients create a tea ball that can be aged or drunk right away, and has a unique flavor profile that you can’t find anywhere else!”

Instructions: 3-4 grams* | 100°C 

*The website had slightly different information compared to Instagram Live video about the tea, so I decided to go with the information from the video.

Review: This tea was picked in the winter of 2018 and processed through a traditional Hakka dried fruit tea processing in Hualien, Taiwan. The dry leaves were a dark brown, almost black, with pieces of pomelo rind, which was equally dark in colour. The leaves had a very strong overpowering citrus, pomelo, and medical smell.

I brewed the tea using two methods: in a cup and a pour over coffee dripper. The coffee dripper method came from a nugget of information from Matt, the owner of Mountain Stream Teas, in an Instagram Live stream where he discussed the tea. He noted that producers of the tea balls put the tea into a pour over coffee dripper with a filter and brew the tea as many times as the flavour would last (~25:48 in the video). Therefore, I wanted to try it this way as well!

With some information about the tea, let’s go!

Cup

The website mentioned brewing the tea like a black tea or pu’er, so I brewed 3 grams of tea at 100°C for 3 minutes. After infusing, the wet leaves were small and broken dark black and the peel rehydrated. It smelled sweet, citrus and like candied fruit peels.

The liquor was a honey golden colour with little black specks of fanning at the bottom of the cup. It had a surprisingly smoky, roasted earthy, and citrus smell. The liquor had a very medical taste which transformed into citrus, earthy, mineral and floral. When cooled, the liquor had a strong smoky, sour, and medical taste. It had some puckering and dryness at the back of the mouth like when eating citrus. Despite not being a fan of medical teas, the flavour slowly grew on me.

Coffee Dripper

I was fairly excited to try this as I had never brewed tea using a coffee filter and a pour over dripper. I used a Hario V60 Pour Over Coffee Dripper and filter which I pre-rinsed. I used 3 grams of teas and a cup of water. I decided to keep brewing until the flavour started to fade.

Infusion 1: The liquor was a light golden colour with a mostly pomelo smell. It tasted citrus, earthy, sweet, and fruity.

Infusion 2: The liquor was a darker golden yellow with a smoky, medical and citrus smell. While the liquor was darker, the flavour was still mellow and mostly tasted medical and citrus.

Infusion 3: Colour-wise, the liquor was darker with lager range of flavours from smoky, medical, woodsy, citrus and a long linger of the earthy notes. The tea was less sweet and fruity.

Infusion 4: This infusion was very similar to Infusion 3 – a mixture of earthy, smoky, and citrus. The sip ended with some sourness.

Infusion 5: The flavours were more medical with some earthy and roasted notes.

Infusion 6: The liquor was faint and mostly a lingering of citrus.

Overall

I personally enjoy the pour over method more as I felt there was less of the overwhelming medical taste as it was split between multiple infusions which made it more plateable. As cliched as it sounds, the flavour really grew on me the more I drank it! I paired the tea with a savory cheese, spinach and mushroom quiche which was delight!

When it came to using the pour over method, it took me a while to realize not to pour the water slowly, but quickly so the water could pool at the top and infuse. Since tea is not as dense as coffee, the water quickly drips through. The method reminded me of the tea steepers with a valve that releases the water. I definitely want to try brewing more teas this way (3.5/5 rating)!

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: Taiwan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Honey fragrance black tea, pomelo peel
  • Company: Mountain Stream Teas

The question of the post: Have you brewed tea using a pour over coffee dripper?

For more information about the the tea, see Matt’s July 2, 2020 – Instagram Live!

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