Posted by: ktzefr | June 29, 2012

4 Fun Facts About Jasmine Tea

The jasmine is blooming on my back stairs.  It still amazes me that a single tiny, white flower can produce such a big scent.  It’s the smell of summer and the tropics, of perfume and sweet breezes.  I love it.

I also love jasmine tea — hot tea, even on a 10o-degree day like today.  If I have to stay inside where it’s cool, at least I can drink tea while I work.  Jasmine Pearl smells just like my flowers on the back porch.  It’s a pretty tea, too.


Jasmine Pearls; Photo:KFawcett

HISTORY — The best jasmine tea comes from the Fujian Province in China because this area produces the largest and heaviest-scented jasmine and the best tea leaves to absorb the fragrance. It has been a favorite tea since the Song Dynasty (A.D. 960-1279) and is often used in tea ceremonies as it was once believed to have spiritual powers.

HOW IT’S MADE — Jasmine flowers are picked in the morning when they are fresh.  When they start to open in the evening they are put next to the tea leaves for the tea to absorb the aroma.  For ordinary grades, the leaves are spread out with the blossoms for a second or third scenting.  Superior grades may be  allowed to absorb the jasmine for up to seven times over a few weeks.  Sometimes the blossoms are removed, but the blend is pretty when they’re mixed with the tea leaves.

THE BEST VARIETY — Jasmine Pearl is one of the prettiest and most flavorful of the teas.  The pearls are made with the newly-sprouted spring tea leaves and rolled by hand into the shape of a pearl.  It takes at least 2,000 pearls to make one pound of tea.  The rolled pearls are heat infused with jasmine flowers several times to get the desired aroma. 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS — Most jasmine is made with green tea, but it also can be found made from oolong, white, and black tea.  The green variety is healthiest because it retains the tea’s antioxidants in the most natural form since it is not fermented (you can get similar benefits with white tea).  Studies conducted by Kyoto University found that the smell of jasmine reduced study participants’ heart rates and produced “calm and vigorous mood states.”  Calm AND vigorous.  Hmmmm…

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Other jasmine teas worth trying…

Jasmine Chung Feng, Jasmine Heung Pin, and Jasmine Hubei (all green teas); Jasmine Pouchong (lightly fermented), Jasmine Mandarin Oolong (semi-fermented), Jasmine Yin Hao Silver Tip (a white tea); and Jasmine Yunnan (black tea).

Jasmine Pearl and other varieties can be ordered from the following vendors: Rishi Tea, The Tao of Tea, and Teavana.

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Responses

  1. Now I’ll have to go out and buy some! Thanks, Katy–All I ever wanted to know about jasmine tea, and a little bit of history, too!


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