Jasmine Tea is usually scented tea produced by mixing the leaves of the tea plant (Camelia Sinesis) with jasmine flowers.
The Jasmine tea is usually associated with the Chinese culture. I remember as a kid, trying to find Jasmine tea in Brazil, where drinking tea is not so common due to the steady warm temperatures throughout the year, being difficult and thus expensive. My mom would allow us to drink just one cup of the Jasmine tea a week to “save it” for special occasions. With the past of the years, it has become more and more popular and after the popularization of the Chinese restaurants in the Western countries, it became one of the most famous scented teas.
Types of Jasmine tea
Jasmine tea is frequently made out of green tea, although it can be made of black tea, white tea or Pouchong (bao Zhong) as well. The Jasmine tea of Umiteasets has loose, tightly slim and lightly fermented Pouchong leaves mixed with dried jasmine petals – very aromatic and white.
It has a very intense floral aroma, almost perfume-like. A very pleasant aroma, I must say.
Pouchong, is a form of Oolong tea that is barely oxidized, making it very similar to the green tea. Pouchong is usually considered a form of Oolong, but it is sometimes a separate style of tea, or even known as the Chinese green tea by some. However, it is a slightly fermented tea (10-20%), which differs from Green tea, a completely unfermented tea.
Pouchong tea and an overwhelming majority of jasmine tea is grown and produced in Fujian, China, where it originated and where the Umiteasets’ Jasmine tea comes from. There are small productions in Taiwan as well and it is frequently used in scented teas such as rose and jasmine.
How the Jasmine tea is scented
The Jasmine flowers are picked during the day and stored until the evening when they are open and start to release its perfume. It is when the tea is heaped for several hours with the flower heads in a warm room to allow the absorption of the perfume. When this process finishes, the tea is separated from the blossoms, dried and rolled and then again layered with the petals of the flowers to be sold.
Benefits of the Jasmine Tea
Jasmine tea is loaded with powerful plant-based compounds known as polyphenols present in tea leaves. These act as antioxidants and protect the cells against free radical damage and eventual heart disease and cancer. Also the Jasmine blossom may also help with relaxation.
How the Jasmine tea tastes
The leaves of the Jasmine Tea from Umiteasets have an intense green appearance and are handpicked and rolled.
Once it was brewed, the tea leaves have become yellowish and looked much like the green tea, with a light vegetal and floral aroma.
I brewed 3.5 grams of the tea in 200 ml of water at 87ºC for 2 minutes as recommended by the instructions. The infusion produced a pale amber liquor with a powerfully perfumed aroma and a flowery taste.
I noticed a milder flavor than the Oolong tea yet stronger than the green tea. In my opinion it tends to have a less of an edge of bitterness and astringency than the green tea, although with a bit of sharpness, but also some honey-like sweetness followed by a floral, perfume-like aftertaste.