Jasmine tea can feel like a dull classic, but a premium jasmine tea can elevate your experience to new levels and unlock the sensuous mysteries of this floral tea. Try Clair Thé’s Emperor’s Jasmine, a delicate green tea from the province of Fujian in China and read on to find out more about the poetic origins of this tea.
Jasmine Chun Hao means 茉莉(Jasmine )春(Spring)毫( Pekoe) and indicates that the green tea is harvested in the spring and mostly consists of young and tender buds that are still covered with pekoe, or silvery-white hair that protect the young developing leaves from harsh weather and insects.
Another meaning of Hao 好 is “Good”, which harkens back to a time when this tea was reserved for the royal court and the Emperors.
Scenting green tea with flowers became increasingly popular under the Ming Dynasty in China and flowers with a high level of essential oil such as Jasmine were favored.
Since Fujian province is one of the most important producers of tea in China and its climate also produces impressive quantities of jasmine flowers, jasmine tea is one of the region’s specialties.
High quality jasmine tea requires the same quantity of flowers as of tea (about 100kg of flowers to scent 100kg of tea!).
The best time to harvest jasmine flowers is around midnight during the summer months. Once the flowers are at full bloom, they are layered with the tea, heaped and left for a few hours. As heat builds up, the essential oils are released and absorbed by the tea. The flowers are then removed by hand and the process is repeated about five times. Each scenting takes 11 to 12 hours.
A few flowers might be left for decoration purposes but a good tip to recognize premium jasmine teas is that they do not contain flowers. Teas that have not undergone this extensive process hide their lower quality with many flowers!
Drink jasmine tea:
It is very important to remember that green tea should be brewed with water at a temperature between 170f and 185f. Boiling water will make the tea taste bitter! For this delicate tea, we recommend 170f (75c). You can use a kettle with variable temperature, let the water stand for a few minutes after boiling or add a few ice cubes (about 4 per cup) to boiling water.
Western style (teapot or mug): Use 1 ½ tsp/cup meaning that if your teapot contains 2 cups, you will use 3 tsp of tea. Brew for 2 to 3 minutes.
Eastern style (gaiwan or small teapot, 1/2 cup or 120 to 150ml): Use 4 tsp of tea and brew 2-3 times, one minute for each infusion.
Delicious by itself or blended with Marigold Orange Tisane (Read more about cold brew method of making iced tea)
Bake and cook with jasmine tea:
I love to cook and bake with tea, but jasmine tea is especially rewarding because its delicate aromas combined with the vegetal notes of green tea complement many different flavors.
I use it in my fall pear jam, which is delicious on scones. You can also add a dollop of pear jasmine tea jam to toast and crackers with goat cheese!
Jasmine tea is also delicious in madeleines and other baked goods.
I like to use a two-pronged approach to cooking/baking with tea:
Brew a strong infusion (about 1 Tbsp of tea for 1/4 cup of water) and crush a small quantity of tea leaves (1 teaspoon for a batch of madeleines) and add both to the boiling jam or the batter.