Posted by Jeremy @ Arbor Teas on July 16, 2015
On warm summer nights in tropical and subtropical regions
such as China’s Fujian Province, the air is scented with the deeply floral
jasmine. This evergreen vine and shrub comes to life for a few weeks
each summer, its blooms opening every night to the delight of anyone happening
to pass by.
In Fujian, when the jasmine blooms, it's time to go to work, harvesting it in large wicker baskets and carrying it to the tea plantations. There, the jasmine is combined with a special selection of green tea that’s held every year in anticipation of jasmine season. The jasmine blooms are layered on top of the green tea, and left overnight, until the scent of jasmine permeates the tea; then, the jasmine is discarded. This process is repeated several times until the tea is perfectly scented. The tea is then “fired” one more time to prevent spoilage. Then, this intensely floral tea is ready for market.
Jasmine tea has been a mainstay in Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian, since the 12 th century. It has even outlasted other varieties of scented teas, including rose, terrestrial orchid, and gardenia teas, which were popular during the Ming Dynasty.
Why has jasmine tea outlasted the rest?
Some believe that jasmine tea is the perfect balance of Yin and Yang – the green tea representing the warming Yang and jasmine representing cooling Yin. This perfect balance of Yin and Yang is thought to be harmonious. In fact, in Chinese medicine, jasmine tea is prescribed in the treatment of a variety of conditions – from fevers to inflammation.
But you don’t have to have a fever to enjoy this perennial favorite. You simply have to decide how you want your jasmine tea – loose leaf, or in the shape of delicate, hand-rolled pearls .