Making jasmine tea requires conscious effort and patience in order to brew flowering petals into a delicious elixir. Jasmine is one of the most famous scented teas in China and increasingly attracts popularity worldwide, for good reason. Featuring a wide array of health benefits, jasmine tea can help relieve stress, boost your energy and protect heart health.
Jasmine tea features a delicate flavor profile and exudes an aromatic floral scent, which needs to be infused thoughtfully to preserve the taste. Read on to find out the basics of selecting a delicious jasmine tea and how to brew it to perfection.
Jasmine tea is an herbal tea that is brewed using a mixture of tea leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant and infusions of fresh jasmine blossoms. Some more affordable jasmine tea blends are made using the true tea base and jasmine extract or artificial flavor in place of the fresh buds.
Jasmine tea is most often made using green tea, but can also occasionally be made with oolong, white or black teas. Tea leaves are harvested from the plant in spring and are carefully preserved until the jasmine blossoms begin blooming in summer.
The two most common jasmine species used for jasmine tea include Jasminum officinale known as Common Jasmine and Jasminum sambac or Sampaguita. The blossoms are then added to the stored leaves and allowed to infuse for a period of several hours or weeks depending on the tea master and blend.
The jasmine scent infusion process is then repeated several times. For standard grade jasmine tea, scenting is done only a few times while it is repeated up to nine times for high quality teas such as Yin Hao and Dragon Pearls.
You can brew jasmine tea infusions using tea bags, matcha blends, loose leaves or pearls. In general, since jasmine has such a delicate flavor profile, it's recommended to avoid brewing with tea bags. This is because many bagged teas contain broken leaves, dust and other residuals that can affect the true taste of jasmine tea. If you must use a tea bag, opt for jasmine tea sachets that offer more room for the leaves.
Loose leaf teas are an ideal go-to when it comes time to brew your favorite cuppa. They are easy to find and can be purchased in almost every grocery store, online or in local tea shops. With loose leaf teas, you'll need an infuser to keep the buds contained when brewing.
Jasmine tea is traditionally brewed using loose tea leaves, but is also available in the form of rolled pearls. Known as Jasmine Dragon Pearls or Jasmine Phoenix Pearls, the jasmine tea is hand-rolled into small perfumed balls that unfurl to release the delicate flavors and scents associated with jasmine tea.
The jasmine buds are rolled and then dried before being blended with jasmine flower buds. Once the buds open, they release and infuse the pearl with flavor and aroma. Typically from the Fujian province, using pearls to brew your jasmine tea can add an extra special effect to an afternoon tea gathering.
Selecting the right jasmine tea will depend heavily on your tastes and how much you want to spend. Higher quality and purer jasmine teas are like fine wine in that they are more time-intensive to cultivate and thus more expensive. You'll also want to keep in mind which jasmine tea type you want, loose-leaf or pearls. For loose-leaf teas, use 1 heaping teaspoon for every 8 ounces of water.
When it comes to brewing any tea, water is the essential foundation for a delicious cup. Avoid using distilled water as it does not allow flavors to develop. Instead, you should use spring water as a first choice and filtered water as the second best option. Spring water is free from chemicals and compounds that can alter flavors. Using tap water can result in a more bitter tea due to the presence of treating chemicals such as chlorine.
Since jasmine tea is delicate, it is more sensitive to water temperatures and you should not brew using boiling water as you would a regular true tea. Instead, aim to heat your water between 160 and 180 F.
The best way to ensure proper temperature is to invest in a thermometer or tea kettle with temperature settings. If you don't have either of these on hand, simply use the Chinese tea brewing method of watching for bubbles. Bubbles that are the size of fish eyes and haven't breached the surface of the water generally indicate temperatures of 160 to 180 F.
Jasmine scented tea should steep for 2 to 4 minutes depending on desired strength. If you find that your jasmine tea is too bitter, try using fewer leaves or brewing for a shorter amount of time. We recommend steeping for 2 minutes initially and testing the flavor every 30 seconds to suit your taste preferences.
Jasmine green tea offers a delicate flavor profile and sweet scented aroma that helps you relax and unwind. The sweet floral notes of jasmine tea combined with the fresh finish invigorate taste buds and the perfumed aroma will awaken your senses. Follow the steps outlined here and you'll enjoy a perfectly brewed cup of jasmine tea every time.