Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jasmine Tea

Jasmine tea (known as mo li hua cha) is a green or oolong tea that is scented with the fragrance of jasmine flowers.  I was told that the process of making jasmine tea involves spreading newly harvested jasmine flowers over the tea leaves (done in the evenings when the flowers bloom at night).  A good quality jasmine tea is usually determined by the quality of the leaves as well as the scenting process.  Good grade jasmine teas are tea that have been scented by the jasmine flowers about 5-7 times before the tea is ready for sale.  The pearl jasmine tea has the tea hand rolled into a mini balls.   Prices for good grade jasmine tea costs from  US$25 for 100g (4oz). 

You will notice that some of the jasmine tea, that are packed for sale, have the jasmine petals mixed with the tea.  This is merely for visual appeal as the flowers had mainly lost their aroma to the tea. (see pix). 

The taste of jasmine tea, to me, is a light and delicate flavor.  The taste of the green tea comes with a fresh floral scent with a nice sweet finish.  I could get 2-3 good infusions of good tea from a single brew.  In Hong Kong chinese restaurants, jasmine tea is one of the tea choices been offered to the diners besides pu erh, chrysanthemum and tie guan yin. Just ask for “heong pin”, that’s in Cantonese for jasmine tea and in a few moments you will be served with a hot pot of wonderful tea.  Many new chinese tea drinkers take to jasmine tea well.  Its sweet floral scent and delicate taste of this tea makes it a favorite among many tea drinkers around the world.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I recently read your short interview with the owner of Norbu Tea. I am very thankful for the work that Norbu Tea is doing. I see him as the bodhisattva of tea to the unenlightened palettes of US people. Anyway, i love your discussion of Jasmine Tea. I am also an avid tea drinker and self-proclaimed "aficionado."
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