A delicate China tea scented with jasmine flowers.
The jasmine plant had its origins in Persia, or present day Iran. It was brought to China before the third century. However, it wasn't until sometime around the fifth century that its intoxicatingly fragrant flowers were first blended with tea. Today Jasmine mainly comes from the counties surrounding Foochow in Fukien province, a district the Chinese poet Lu Yu included in his list of the outstanding tea producing areas.
The delicate Jasmine flower opens only at night and is plucked in the morning, when the tiny petals are tightly closed. Between six and eight in the evening, as the temperature cools, the petals begin to open. It is reported they emit a "popping" sound when they open, which is the signal for the scenting to begin.
Flowers and tea are "mated" in machines that control temperature and humidity. It takes four hours or so for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavor of the Jasmine blossoms, and for the highest grades, this process may be repeated as many as seven times.
Because the tea has absorbed moisture from the flowers, it must be refired to prevent spoilage. The spent flowers may or may not be removed from the final product, as the flowers are completely dry and contain no aroma. They simply add visual appeal and are no indication of the quality of the tea.
Jasmine is, without a doubt, one of the world's great teas. China produces seven quality grades of Jasmine tea. Our Jasmine Blossom blend has downy silver tips and most of the spent jasmine blossoms have been removed. It has an intoxicating aroma and a balanced and delicate flavor. This romantic tea may be enjoyed any time of the day but is especially pleasant in the evening.