I have many favorite teas and I usually vary my daily choices according to my mood, the weather, the time of the day, among other things. But there is one tea that has a special place in my heart and that is the Jasmine Tea (green tea infused with jasmine flowers). Every time I prepare it feels like the first time… It takes me to new places, relaxes and inspires me like no other tea. The smell is fresh, pure, delicate, and the jasmine notes are so sweet….
This is a tea that I love offering to friends and family when they come to visit. For me it is the best way to welcome them and make them feel at home. People usually say to me, “Oh! This is so nice and mellow, I like it. I never liked it that much when I tried it before…It was too strong and bitter” and I usually say that it is probably because the leaves have been spoiled using water that is too hot or because it has been left standing in the infuser for too long. So if you are preparing Jasmine Tea make sure you don’t let it brew for more than two or three minutes and try to avoid using boiling hot water. The water can be boiled but let it cool down a little bit before pouring into the leaves and you will notice the difference.
Jasmine Teas are usually produced in China and are made by scenting green tea leaves with fresh jasmine flowers. The jasmine blossoms are picked during the day and then stored until the evening when they open and release their sweet perfume. When the blossoms begin to open, the tea is blended with the flowers and stored for hours so the tea can absorb the perfume. This process is repeated several times, mixing the tea with new fresh flowers day after day until the fragrance is fully transferred to the tea leaves.
The liquor of this tea should be pale green-yellow or pale amber and the jasmine aroma definitely lighter than the dry and wet leaves; always subtle and natural, not too strong nor artificial. Just imagine the smell of the real flower…
Train your senses, smell your tea and try to find freshness, green, flowers, fruits and spices as nature intended. Use your nose and try to choose a good one. If you buy a tea with a scent you can smell all over the house, it is definitely artificial and probably not a good one. Trust your instinct!
When you open the lid of a caddy of a Jasmine Tea, it should be a real treat. It is like the smell of a beautiful garden, the smell of a bunch of fresh flowers someone has just picked for you… It should be something you look forward to every morning, every evening, every day…
Photo credit: Alejandro Rojas.