Behind The Brew: Jasmine Tea

Jasmine1

Dearies, I’m sure many of you have heard of jasmine tea, but do you know the story behind it? It is the world’s first known scented tea, and continues to be extremely popular. The flowers were first brought to China from Persia during the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220AD) and were soon added to tea for the wonderful flavor. However, it started to become popular in the Qing Dinasty (1644 to 1912) when the tea was exported to the West.

Jasmine tea is typically made with green or white tea. It tea can be found as traditional leaves, or wrapped into little ‘pearls’. The irresistible floral aroma is a perfect complement to these vegetal, nutty teas. Traditionally, to create a jasmine scented tea the blooms are picked during the day, and layered over the processed tea leaves in the evening. Jasmine flowers are extremely fragrant, and bloom at night (isn’t that romantic?). The fresh blooms scent the tea they’ve been incorporated with. Freshly processed tea leaves are very absorbent, and soak up the beautiful scent. The flowers are left with the tea for many hours to develop a complex floral flavor. The tea is then fired to dry it out after absorbing the moisture from the fresh flowers. Jasmine oils may also be used to flavor the tea.

Kat first tried Jasmine tea at a Chinese restaurant as a child. Now that she has a home of her own, she keeps a box of this Fresh & Easy Jasmine Green Tea in the house at all times. She was happily surprised to find this tea in her local grocery store, and it has been on her shopping list ever since. It is the perfect lift for a quiet lazy afternoon. It is also wonderful to relax with after a hectic morning. As soon as you open the individually wrapped tea bag, the luscious jasmine aroma hits your nose.  The steeped tea is a perfect combination of mellow, vegetal and sweet. The green tea flavor is clean and simple. Calming and gentle, instantly relaxing. The jasmine flavor is floral, beautiful, but not too strong. The flavors all work in harmony.

Kat enjoys this tea both hot and iced. The floral flavor holds up well to both preparations.  Have you tried jasmine tea? How do you usually prepare it?

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