As it turns out, just when I was ready to place an order, I received a gift of Harney & Sons Dragon Pearl Jasmine from a fellow tea-lover and friend. What an indulgence! I love Dragon Pearl Jasmine, and the H&S version is great. (Note: You can get small sample bags from the H&S website, which makes this affordable! Disclosure: H&S did not give me anything in return for this review.)
Dragon Pearl Jasmine is an exquisite tea. Preparing and drinking it is, for me, equally a visual feast as well as one for my nose and taste buds. The dry leaf is rolled into those lovely balls, alternating with threads of dark and light. (Much of this is still hand-rolled!) It's hard to imagine that those tightly bound balls will unfurl, but they do!
I brewed my tea for 3 minutes at 180 degrees. In that short space of time, the leaf went from the first photo to the second. The aroma is its signature - intensely jasmine. The flavor is hard for me to describe. It's sweet, but not too much. A bit floral, but not too much. Not bitter at all. I enjoyed an additional 2 steepings.
The way the tea and jasmine are merged is a beautiful story. The tea is placed on screens or trays, alternating with trays of fresh jasmine blossoms. The tea and jasmine blossoms are stored together for several days, until the aroma of the jasmine permeates the tea. It takes several weeks to finish.