Tea Review: Malawi Zomba Tea Pearls

Along with the Satemwa Antlers, I also opted for the Zomba Tea Pearls, another white tea from Malawi sourced by What-Cha. Just the appearance of the dry tea peaked my interest, loosely rolled balls of reed-like tea, almost like rolling hay around in your palms.

I overestimated the amount of tea pearls to use. Only after selecting 10 pearls did I look at the packaging's recommendation of 4-5. Oops. How to remedy this problem? Rinse the pearls with one long rinse and then use short steepings of 15-30 seconds. Keep in mind the next time I had this tea I used a proper amount. Having too many pearls really tampered with their opening and expanding while steeping. Water temperature was at 185F.

I really thought that the Zomba pearls tasted very similar to Bi Luo Chun, with a seaweed and slightly salty taste to it. I certainly enjoyed it more than the Antlers, and I really enjoy the flavor that came from a non-tippy white tea. However, I feel like this is a divisive tea, where people will either love it or hate it, much like the particular taste of Bi Luo Chun. Check out the photos below of this very unique tea, both in taste and asthetically.

Zomba Pearl, puerh pick for scale

Zomba Pearl, puerh pick for scale

So use half as much as this... Really cool looking tea though!

So use half as much as this... Really cool looking tea though!

Rinsing the leaves to open them up.

Rinsing the leaves to open them up.

After rinse before first infusion. Scroll down for the final image of opened leaves. Again, I should have used fewer pearls.

After rinse before first infusion. Scroll down for the final image of opened leaves. Again, I should have used fewer pearls.

This is after two steepings. The pearls opened up and they produced very well for the five steepings that I enjoyed.

This is after two steepings. The pearls opened up and they produced very well for the five steepings that I enjoyed.

The liquor the brewed tea appears a bit darker than other white tea styles, but not as dark as the Antlers.

The liquor the brewed tea appears a bit darker than other white tea styles, but not as dark as the Antlers.

Opened leaves after a few steepings. The leaves were a beautiful green color with little withering. That may account for the similarities to Bi Luo Chun, a green tea.

Opened leaves after a few steepings. The leaves were a beautiful green color with little withering. That may account for the similarities to Bi Luo Chun, a green tea.