HISTORY

 

Tea was discovered by accident in 2737 BC China by Shen Nong. Many years later, the jasmine plant was believed to introduce into China from Persia via India during the Han Dynasty. (206 BC to 220 AD) It was not until the 5th century when jasmine flower was being used to scent tea. [3] However, jasmine tea did not become widespread until the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912) when tea started to be exported in large quantities to the West.

 

Today, there are many production places for jasmine green tea such as Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Zhejiang provinces of China, as well as Vietnam. Among all, Jasmine tea produced in the Chinese province of Fujian has the best reputation.

 

CULTURE

 

Tea has been part of the lifestyle and custom in China for over a thousand years. Tea is often associated with literature, arts, and philosophy. Use of tea is incorporated in tea ceremony, traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese cuisine, Weddings, and daily practice. It is common to prepare tea for family gathering or guests visits as a sign of respect. Tea drinking is also common knowledge for other circumstances such as to express thanks, to apologize, to celebrate, etc. [4] There are different types of brewing method, preparation, and tea wares for different regions of China.

 

In northern China, it is a custom to serve Jasmine tea as a welcoming gesture to guests and friends. Jasmine tea is the local tea beverage of Fuzhou, while jasmine flowers are the municipal flower of that city. In the South, jasmine green tea is popular in dim sum restaurants.

 

While Taiwanese bubble tea is widespread worldwide, “jasmine green tea with tapioca balls” is one of the most popular recipes for bubble tea beverage.

Jasmine Flowers

Photo by kevinomara / CC BY

Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl tea

Photo by 0121stephen / CC BY

Jasmine Green Tea

Photo by killerturnip / CC BY

China Royal Jasmine Curls tea, Fujian Province

Photo by moonlightbulb / CC BY

Girl's Ring Jasmine Tea (Nu'er Huan), Fujian Province

Photo by chashitsu_lasere / CC BY

HEALTH

 

Jasmine green tea is beneficial to our body if we consume the right amount. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, they recommend adults to drink around two to three cups of jasmine green tea a day. (providing between 240 and 320 milligrams of polyphenols.) [8]

 

Jasmine green tea has a base of green tea, which have many benefits includes:

  • protect your body from cancer: prevent bladder, breast, ovarian, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, prostate, esophageal, skin and stomach cancers 

  •  help boost your metabolism

  • lowers overall cholesterol levels

  • raises the levels of HDL, high density lipoprotein 

  •  preventing atherosclerosis 

  • promoting alertness and mental awareness

**Please note that there is some danger associated with drinking large quantities of jasmine tea during pregnancy. It is also best to avoid drinking it on an empty stomach because it is somewhat acidic and can cause stomach discomfort. [5]

OTHER NAMES: mòlìhuā chá or 茉莉花茶(in Chinese)

 

Jasmine Green Tea is scented with aroma from jasmine blossoms to make a scented tea. It is the most famous scented tea in China. [1]

 

VARIATIONS & FLAVORS

 

Typically, jasmine tea has green tea as the tea base; however, other variation such as white tea and black tea are also used. The resulting flavor of jasmine tea is subtly sweet and highly fragrant. [2]
 

Different jasmine green teas are made with different grades of green tea. The best are made with a large ratio of tea buds to tea leaves. These will have a subtler, more delicate flavor than teas made with larger leaves and fewer buds. Highest grade of jasmine green tea is called "Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl." (Photo on left)

 

Tea Ceremony Set in Tea House

Photo by 13523064@N03 / CC BY

MAKING PROCESS

 

Traditionally, fresh jasmine flowers are placed on a tray above a woven tray of tea leaves in a warm room. The jasmine flowers are replaced often to give the tea an ethereal, light aroma and flavor. Then, the tea is dried and packaged to be sold.Another method of making jasmine green tea is to mix green tea leaves with the leftover jasmine flowers. Let it sit and allow tea to be scented. Then separated flowers from the tea before the tea is dried and packaged. Sometimes, a few jasmine flowers will remain in the tea when it is sold.Some jasmine green teas are flavored with natural jasmine essential oil, jasmine natural flavor, artificial jasmine flavor or a mix of flower flavors. [6]

 

PREPARATION

 

For each cup of Jasmine green tea, add one teaspoon of loose tea and steeped with filtered water that is around 190 degrees F or 88C (simmering, not boiling). 3 minutes is usually plenty. 

 

For brewing jasmine pearls: 

use more water with only a few pearls per cup

 

For jasmine flowering tea: 

one "flower" is enough for a large mug or whole pot of tea. [7]

Red Tea Set for Wedding

Photo by csss / CC BY

Dim Sum with white tea pot on upper right 

Photo by roboppy / CC BY

Jasmine Flower Tea

Photo by darcymoore / CC BY

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