The Forecast: Showers, low cloud, fresh southwesterlies with an overnight low of 1 degree. Damp socks, cold toes, cold nose. Tissues. Lozenges. The only thing blossoming around here is a cold/flu virus. I am longing for summer.
Jasmine tea was my first favourite green tea and we go back a long way. We met one cold, dreary night in a Thai restaurant. I needed to warm my hands. One tendril of steam from that quaint ceramic pot and I knew we were a match.
Today is The Shortest Day so I’m celebrating with a cup of good quality Jasmine tea. The sweet, extravagant fragrance of this tea effuses summer into my stuffy winter-room. The taste is clean and calming. The Longest Night is over. (Yay!)
“Close your eyes and imagine what it was like to luxuriate in the splendour of a richly fragranced and lavishly appointed Ming dynasty tea tasting.”
– The Story of Tea by Mary Lou Heiss & Robert J. Heiss.
A couple of facts:
Jasmine tea, as the name indicates, is green tea scented with Jasmine flowers. After the tea is plucked it is dried by fanning warm air over the leaves. At the right time the jasmine flowers are added to this base tea and the resulting blend is stored until the flowers have completed the gentle work of scenting the tea. Normally the flowers are removed by blowing them out of the tea before it is packaged. (Which is why you do not find flowers in Jasmine tea.)
Jasmine tea will stay fresh for up to three years – longer than most green teas.
Do not pour boiling over your Jasmine tea or it will taste bitter. After boiling the water wait for it to cool slightly. Making a science out of tea preparation is not really my thing but 80 Centigrade is the correct temperature to brew most green teas according to the experts.