Image (modified): Jess
Tea, an old time favorite, first originated in southwestern China, where it was used for medicinal purposes. It was much later that the British acquired a taste for tea, and even later that Americans jumped on the bandwagon.
For centuries, cultures have enjoyed the health benefits of drinking brewed tea. Although tea is a common beverage, the aspects of brewing tea properly still provide challenges. With that in mind, we're going to show you how to brew jasmine tea the right way.
About jasmine tea
The more unique the tea, the more delicacy required. Jasmine tea is a traditional Chinese tea that is manufactured by flavoring green tea leaves with fresh Jasmine flowers. The Chinese perfected the process of making jasmine tea more than 1,000 years ago, and as the demand for it increased, so too did the cost of planting and cultivation.
The blend of jasmine tea leaves with green tea releases antioxidant properties, which are believed to combat cancer and promote weight loss. Jasmine tea is also said to help regulate mood swings, promote calmness, and enhance relaxation. It provides therapeutic, tranquilizing effects that support cardiovascular health, reduce the process of aging, and lower the risk of diseases.
For more info on its many health benefits, check out this short video.
It is said that simply inhaling the aroma of a cup of jasmine tea is potent enough to lower a person's heart rate. No wonder millions of people around the world love sipping on a cup. What's more, its benefits are unleashed through a process of proper brewing.
How to brew jasmine tea
Jasmine can be brewed with tea balls, pearls, or loose leaf petals, and each of these variations slightly changes the delicate, fragrant sweetness that jasmine tea is known for the world over. The correct method for how to brew jasmine tea is hotly contested in the Far East as well as the Western world. This article will take a closer look at a few of the most popular methods used to brew the perfect cup of jasmine tea.
How to brew jasmine tea leaves
Jasmine tea is commonly made from loose leaf tea leaves that have been flavored with the scent of jasmine. If the tea leaves are high grade, they will have been flavored with fresh jasmine blossoms layered on top of the preserved tea leaves. However, if the leaves are of lesser quality and a cheaper variety, the jasmine scent may be infused with artificial fragrance, jasmine oil or even an extract from the flower. Although the method of infusion does not impact or diminish the incredible health benefits of jasmine tea, it will certainly affect the depth of the flavor and balance of the brew.
The process for how to brew jasmine tea leaves is actually fairly simple. After choosing a particular variety of jasmine tea from a supermarket or tea merchant, turn on the stove or plug in an electric tea kettle. While the water is heating up, carefully measure out about a teaspoon of tea leaves; this amount will yield approximately one full teacup. Experts are divided on how much water should be used to brew jasmine tea, but estimates generally range between 6 and 8 ounces of water for every teaspoon of dried tea leaves.
When the water is boiling, use another container (such as a glass measuring cup) to transfer it to a different pot or kettle. This technique allows the water to cool slightly and prevents the leaves from burning upon their insertion into the water. Burnt or scalded tea leaves often create an extremely bitter cup of tea.
How to brew jasmine tea balls
The method for how to brew jasmine tea balls is very similar to the method for brewing tea leaves infused with jasmine. The main difference is that jasmine ball tea creates a ready-made portion controlled tea experience.
Most average sized tea balls can be brewed 5 to 6 times, and can generate up to 1.5-2 liters of tea.
Simply rinse the tea balls in a bit of hot water, fill the kettle up with even more hot water, and let the tea balls steep for anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. A shorter steep time usually translates to a more subtle, mellow taste, whereas a longer steep time exceeding two minutes generally results in a more intense, bitter flavor.
Playing around with the temperature of the water and the steep time is the best way to test exactly how you like your jasmine tea. Here is a handy photo essay detailing one woman’s experience with jasmine tea balls.
How to brew jasmine tea pearls
Jasmine tea pearls are utilized by tea makers as handy single-cup all-in-one tea kits. Packaging jasmine-infused tea leaves into Dragon Phoenix Pearl tea, or other similar variations, is the way that many traditional manufacturers in China’s Fujian province prepare their tea.
The process by which jasmine tea pearls are brewed is fairly straightforward and similar to the above explanations, but tea makers should keep in mind that although green tea is often used as the base in jasmine tea, different types of tea including black and white can also be used.
When using different types of base tea, different rules of thumb apply: typically, the lighter the tea, the cooler the steeping water must be. For example, people learning how to brew jasmine tea pearls in white tea must remove the water from the heat before it has reached a steady rolling boil.
How to prepare jasmine tea leaves
Most jasmine tea leaves that have been purchased from retailers require very little preparation, mainly because they have already been infused, dried and readied for consumption at the factory or workshop.
Most tea makers suggest gently rinsing the tea leaves before steeping them, or even throwing the first steep away as it may be unfit for consumption. Just like any other step in how to brew jasmine tea, the preparation can help dictate the taste and consistency of the final product.
Learning how to prepare jasmine tea leaves like the professionals, however, takes a great deal of work and attention to detail. Most tea makers follow traditional rules that call for the harvest of tea leaves during the spring, and their storage in dry conditions until the summer, when jasmine flowers typically bloom. These jasmine flowers are harvested and stored until the night, when they are layered over the tea leaves just after they bloom, releasing their intoxicating scent into the leaves. Usually, the tea and flowers are either blended together in a large container, or they are placed in alternating layers on a table in a cool, dark room. Various pressing procedures are used to ensure steady contact between the flowers and the tea leaves.
The best way to brew jasmine tea
Connoisseurs of jasmine tea recognize that every producer and brewer of tea has his or her own method for how to brew jasmine tea, with the goal being the creation of the perfect cup.
Some value a strong jasmine scent, whereas others strive to make a warm, inviting cup of tea that doesn’t contain the bitter notes of strong oolong or green tea.
Learning how to brew jasmine tea that you are proud of is a process of trial and error, and involves experimentation with different leaf varieties, steeping times and containers, and water-to-leaf ratios. Learning the best way to brew jasmine tea is a lifelong pursuit full of detailed adjustments—just make sure you don’t lose sight of the forest through the tea(s)!