Jasmine tea

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Jasmine tea
Jasmine Pearls.jpg
Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl tea
Chinese 茉莉花茶

Jasmine tea (Chinese: 茉莉花茶; pinyin: mòlìhuā chá) is tea scented with aroma from jasmine blossoms to make a scented tea. Typically, jasmine tea has green tea as the tea base; however, white tea and black tea are also used. The resulting flavour of jasmine tea is subtly sweet and highly fragrant. It is the most famous scented tea in China.[1]

The jasmine plant is believed to have been introduced into China from Persia via India during the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD),[2] and was being used to scent tea around the fifth century.[2] However, jasmine tea did not become widespread until the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912) when tea started to be exported in large quantities to the West.

The jasmine plant is grown at high elevations in the mountains. Jasmine tea produced in the Chinese province of Fujian has the best reputation.[1] Jasmine tea is also produced in Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Zhejiang provinces.[1] Vietnam is also known for the production of jasmine tea.

Preparation[edit]

Tea leaves are harvested in the early spring and stored until the late summer when fresh jasmine flowers are in bloom. Jasmine flowers are picked early in the day when the small petals are tightly closed. The flowers are kept cool until nightfall. During the night jasmine flowers open, and release their fragrance, and this is when the tea scenting takes place. There are two main methods used to scent the tea with the jasmine.[3] In one method the tea and flowers are placed in alternating layers; [4] in the other, the tea is blended with jasmine flowers and stored overnight. [2] It takes over four hours for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavour of the jasmine blossoms. The scenting process may be repeated as many as six or seven times for top grades such as Yin Hao.[2] The tea absorbs moisture from the fresh Jasmine flowers so it must be dried again to prevent spoilage.

Cultural uses[edit]

In northern China it is customary to serve Jasmine tea as a welcoming gesture to guests.[1] Jasmine tea is the local tea beverage of Fuzhou, while jasmine flowers are the municipal flower of that city.

See also[edit]

Jasmine species commonly used as an ingredients for Jasmine tea:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Gong, Wen. Lifestyle in China. 五洲传播出版社, 2007. Retrieved Oct. 23, 2010, from [1]
  2. ^ a b c d Ron Rubin, Stuart Avery Gold (2002). Tea Chings: The Tea and Herb Companion. Newmarket Press. p. 101. 
  3. ^ Lindsey Goodwin. "What is Jasmine Tea?". about.com. 
  4. ^ Dawn Campbell (1995). The Tea Book. Pelican Publishing. p. 117.