When I moved to Canada, Teaopia was my go to for tea. There was one in the mall a short walk from my place. They were so friendly, had great teas and were really knowledgeable about the teas. The steepers we all love? Teaopia had a “Tea Master” even back then. When it was sold to Teavana they kept the location but you likely know my feelings on Teavana’s sales tactics, so I rarely visited. So I was delighted to hear the former founder of Teaopia had a new brand, Citizen Tea.
While it has been around for a while, I avoided it for some time. I hate falling in love with new brands to find they don’t make it and you lose a new fave. But I want to try some different brands in 2018, my reviews last year became very DAVIDsTEA centred. So I ordered some sample bags (samples don’t count towards a no buy right? Today, I have the first of the reviews, Citizen Tea Black Pearls.
Citizen Tea Black Pearls ~ $14/50g
If you have tried Black Pearls (or Black Dragon Pearls as they are often named) you will know they are not all created equally. And the price points can be huge too. As far as pearls go, Citizen Tea Black Pearls are quite affordable at $14 for 50g. They are earthy, but not overly so with a sweet honey finish. Plus they second steep really well so the price per cuppa is not as bad as it looks.
Citizen Tea Black Pearls Ingredients and Steeping Instructions
Ingredients: black tea (as Black Pearls should be)
Steeping Instructions: 1 teaspoon per cup, boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
This is not actually that helpful when it comes to teaspoons and pearls. Depending on the shape of your teaspoon, 1-4 pearls can sit on it. I originally added 6 to my 12oz cup as that is what I used with Teavana’s Black Dragon Pearls but 4 was plenty for 12 oz. The sample bags offered by Citizen Tea are quite generous. Often brands say they make a certain number of cups, but you get 1-2 servings max if you make it to full taste.
Citizen Tea Black Pearls Review
I do love a good black tea and Citizen Tea Black Pearls did not disappoint. It brews to a nice deep amber. With 4 pearls in 12 oz for 3 minutes, is just the right balance of earthy, malty and honey sweetness. The kind of black tea you can serve to people who only drink bagged tea and they will love, but with the smoothness and notes tea lovers expect. Not too astringent or bitter and a lovely aftertaste. I forgot about my tea and it tasted great cold too.
I have tried some that are more chocolate than these pearls. While I do love a chocolate finish, these are still really good and cost a lot less than some other brands. Plus, they come from a Canadian company which is always good.
The leaves in Citizen Tea Black Pearls unfurl easily and the second steep (7 minutes) is not as strong or earthy but sweeter. Still a great cuppa and I almost prefer the second steep. Maybe I will add a fresh pearl to it next time to get the perfect balance. I tried a third steep but it was too weak for my liking.
Citizen Tea Shipping Review
Citizen Tea offer free shipping with orders over $60 but add some stuff to your cart and you might just see a free shipping code pop up for your first order! You can also join their newsletter for a $5 discount code. Their shipping was excellent. I ordered around lunch time and it was shipped the next day. They used Canada Post Expedited so it got to me in just a day.
I was a little worried as I was not sure of their packaging and it was pouring rain the day it was delivered but the packets are foil and the box was wrapped in plastic so everything was dry. Even though I only ordered sample packs, they included smaller samples with my order and a free spoon too. So definitely happy with my first experience with Citizen Tea,