Xiao Long Zhu
Xiao Long Zhu (小龙珠), better known as Dragon Pearls, Jasmine Pearls, Jasmine Phoenix Dragon Pearls, etc. is a jasmine tea and is especially popular with beginners because it looks beautiful and the infusion has a pleasant aroma. In addition, you can do almost nothing wrong when infusing this tea.
Sometimes it is mistakenly assumed that Xiao Long Zhu is a white tea because of the leaf buds, which stand out bright white against the green of the tea leaves. The leaf buds are in fact whiter than in a white tea such as Baihao Yinzhen, as the latter is slightly oxidised.
Although flavouring tea with jasmine has been practised in Fujian for hundreds of years, the idea of shaping leaf buds into balls and flavouring them is relatively new. Due to high demand, the production of flavoured tea shifted from the city of Fuzhou in Fujian to the district of Hengxian in the southern province of Guangxi, where more jasmine can be harvested because of the warmer climate. At the same time, they also started to grow tea themselves to save the original transport of the tea.
Xiao Long Zhu from Guangxi is cheaper than Xiao Long Zhu from Fujian for many reasons. The better quality is still obtained from Fujian. One should not buy Xiao Long Zhu of a new harvest too early, as jasmine does not smell optimally until July, in Fujian even not until August. Experience shows that early-produced Xiao Long Zhu tends to come from Guangxi due to the warmer climate, because jasmine flowers there as early as May.