I have been meaning to try this for a while. Thanks to Russel Allyn and Harney and Sons I can! They sent a free sample of the loose leaf version.
I have only had one other Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea and that is the one from Teavivre. I will try to compare and contrast the two teas as best I can. I gave some of the Teavivre pearls to a Teavana employee, and he said that the Teavivre ones seemed more earthy than Teavana’s. Let’s see how these two stack up.
Appearance: the pearls are very similar. Teavivre’s pearls are ever so slightly larger overall. I notice that the Harney and Sons says green and white blend on this page. I had not noticed that before.
Steeping: both smell great! Neither has a sickening, artificial perfume aroma, and that is important because my first jasmine tea experience was somewhat traumatizing.
Color: the liquor is very similar. Both are golden, but there is a tiny peach colored cast to the Teavivre when the level is low in the cup. When the cup is filled completely, the Teavivre tea is slightly darker. H&S remains golden.
Wet leaves: though the Harney pearls were smaller, the unfurled leaves are larger, especially in width. They are a bit lighter in color than Teavivre’s, which have more…stem?…attached. They are long and wiry.
Taste: wow, I feel so spoiled. Both are these are very good. The Teavivre tea is softer and smoother, the jasmine perhaps a tiny bit more pronounced up front with the tea flavor following, and it gains astringency as it cools.
The Harney and Sons tea tastes more like the greens I have been drinking for the past six months with just a hint of sour astringency at the front, and the jasmine following at the end. This is not a bad astringency I am referring to, but the palate cleansing property. I am getting that sweet, late rising aftertaste that comes with many greens, and I suspect the Harney and Sons tea is the source of that as I haven’t noticed it before drinking Teavivre’s, and the Harney tea has the sort of taste up front that I associate with teas that do that.
Summary: both are great. Teavivre’s version is jasmine followed by green tea flavor until it starts to cool. Harney’s is the opposite – green tea flavor that says, “Here I am!” followed by soft jasmine.
Different people and different tastes mean some will prefer one, some the other. I hope this review helps!
If you love jasmine tea, also try Harney’s tea just called Jasmine. It is incredibly inexpensive, you can drink it every day at the price, and very, very good. I actually preferred it over one of their more expensive jasmine loose leaf offerings.