This Tea Tuesdays feature is about Jasmine tea. Jasmine tea is green tea that has been scented naturally with jasmine flowers. China is a tea producing country that also grows jasmine flowers, with the most famous and traditional jasmine tea coming from the Fujian province. Tea gardens producing jasmine tea aims to balance the flavours between the floral blossoms and the tea leaves. Scenting the green tea is a labourious process that can take several days and even weeks to complete. Jasmine flowers are picked during midday at the warmest peak of summer, as the blossoms are tightly closed to protect against the sun. When the jasmine flowers dry and cool off, the blossoms burst open and their aromas are at their prime for the scenting process. The freshly blossomed jasmine flowers are mixed with the tea leaves by hand or machines in a temperature and humidity controlled room. The fresh floral aromas of the jasmine blossoms are absorbed into the tea leaves at this production step. Depending on the grade of tea, the process of scenting may occur multiple times and fresh jasmine blossoms may be used for each new layer.
Tea is able to absorb the aromas of the jasmine flowers easily because tea is hygroscopic. This means that tea is able to absorb moisture from its surrounding environment, changing its own composition. At the final stage of the scenting process, the tea leaves are fired to remove all moisture. It is at this stage that the jasmine flowers are removed, as the tea has entirely absorbed all of its aromas. However, some jasmine teas will be packaged along with the dried jasmine blossoms for appearance only. The dried jasmine flowers do not enhance the flavour or aroma of the tea, and are left for aesthetic purposes only. Due to the fact that tea is hygroscopic, you should always ensure your tea is stored in an air tight container. For example, keeping your tea open in your spice cabinet would alter the flavours of your tea! Continue reading below for our sensory breakdown of a Jasmine tea from China.
This jasmine tea blend included the dried jasmine flowers