Jasmine tea is the most popular variety of flavored tea. This is, in part because Jasmine has been used to scent and flavor every variety of tea: white, black, green and oolong. So, no matter your preference in tea, there is a Jasmine tea for you.
To make this delicious blend, tea artisans plucked jasmine blossoms just as they were beginning to open. Then the petals were stored in a cool place until nightfall, when the blossoms began to release their fragrance. They were then added to dry green tea leaves, to allow the dry tea leaves to absorb the fragrance. Ordinary grades of tea were scented two or three times; the special grades even more.
Today, most jasmine tea is still made with green tea, though the process is no longer carried out by hand. Most believe that the Fujian region of China produces the best jasmine tea because it is this area of China that produces the largest and most heavily scented jasmine blossoms and the loosest green tea leaves.
The looser the tea leaves, the better they are able to absorb the jasmine fragrance. The first plucking of green tea will produce the best jasmine tea because the leaves are at their tenderest.
While the majority of jasmine tea is green tea, there are also quite a few white and oolong jasmine teas. White tea, in particular, lends itself quite well to being combined with jasmine because both offer a sweet and subtle flavor and fragrance.
Oolong jasmine teas are smooth with the fruity taste that is common in oolong tea. However, the jasmine also makes the tea fragrant and sweet. You’ll find oolong jasmine tea to have one of the most distinctive flavors of any jasmine tea.
And, for the die hard black tea drinker, there is also black jasmine tea. This variety can be a bit harder to find than other varieties of jasmine tea. Because black tea has a stronger flavor than other varieties of tea, the jasmine flavor is less noticeable when it is combined with black tea. Still many black tea lovers who favor lightly flavored teas find this blend very appealing.
Regardless of the variety of jasmine tea you choose, you should make the time and effort to brew the tea correctly to ensure the best flavor. First, begin with the best loose tea. The best way to ensure that you get good tea is to purchase it from a reputable tea shop whether in your local area or online. Really good tea may cost a bit more, but its quality is unmistakable.
Brewing good tea requires fresh cold water. Put the water in a clean tea kettle and bring it to a boil on the stove. Meanwhile, put hot tap water in your teapot to warm it up while the water is heating. Once the water boils, remove the tap water from your pot and add your tea leaves. For white jasmine tea, use about 2 teaspoons of loose tea per cup. For other jasmine teas, you’ll only need about 1 teaspoon per cup. Follow the table below to choose the appropriate water temperature and steeping time for your jasmine tea.
Tea Variety Water Temperature Steeping Time
Black Jasmine Boiling 3-5 minutes
White Jasmine 185°F 5-8 minutes
Green Jasmine 160°F 1-2 minutes
Oolong Jasmine Boiling 2-3 minutes
Adhering to the appropriate water temperature and steeping time is critical for making good tea. Too much steeping and your tea will be bitter; too little and the tea will be thin and weak. Water that is too hot for delicate teas like green and white will compromise the tea’s light flavor.
Jasmine tea, particularly, green and white jasmine teas, are also wonderful for iced tea. The jasmine fragrance and light sweetness are perfect for a hot day. To make iced tea, brew several servings of tea at once and cool. For white and green teas, allow the tea to cool completely before you add ice. Adding ice to the hot tea may dilute the delicate flavor too much, making it taste weak and flavorless.
Jasmine tea has been around for centuries for a reason. It’s one of the most delicious varieties of flavored tea around, regardless of the type of tea used. Whether you choose black, white, oolong or green jasmine tea, you’re sure to be delighted by its fragrant bouquet and its sweet taste. It complements every flavor of tea and creates a soothing and delicious beverage whether hot or cold. And jasmine tea is a healthy beverage, too.
In recent years, tea, particularly green and white teas have received a lot of attention for their potent anti-oxidants. The anti-oxidants in tea and other plant based foods help fight free radicals in our bodies.
These free radicals are oxygen containing molecules that damage our cells and DNA. A diet rich in anti-oxidants rid our bodies of these free radicals before they can damage our bodies. Diets rich in green and white tea have been shown to prevent serious illnesses like cancer, high cholesterol and cancer.