Its scented tea month at The Naked Leaf and what better tea to highlight than the classic, flowery and aromatic jasmine tea. With a beautiful scent and delicate balance of flavour between the flower and the tea leaf, jasmine tea truly is one of a kind.
Making fine jasmine tea requires precision, expertise and a great deal time. The highest grade of jasmine teas come from the Fujian region of China. Jasmine and other scented teas have existed in China since the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The most crucial part of making jasmine tea is obtaining the best jasmine flowers as they bloom. During the Fujian provinces sweltering summer the jasmine flowers will begin to bud. During the night the flowers will open, and their aroma hits its peak potency near the middle of the evening. Experienced pickers will set out at night and choose only the best flowers based on their color. Getting the best flowers requires some serious dedication as pickers will have to stay out until 4:00 AM! The Jasmine will then be left in a heated room for four hours as their aroma evolves, and buds open further.
After the buds have opened fully, the flowers are ready to be mixed in with tea leaves, heated and monitored for up to twelve hours as the leaves absorb the aromas from the flowers. The process is not over yet as the jasmine leaves will need to be scented more than once to achieve the desired aroma and taste. The old jasmine flowers must be removed, and new flowers introduced, the leaves will be scented again and again until the scent master is satisfied with the teas’ aroma. For premium jasmine teas the leaves may be scented up to five times and the entire process can take up to a month to complete. A good sign of a high-quality jasmine tea is the lack of jasmine flowers mixed in with the tea as the jasmine flower loses its aroma only four hours after it is used to scent the tea. Lower grade Jasmine teas may leave the flowers in the blend to add bulk to the tea but will not add any benefit to the flavour.
At The Naked Leaf we are proud to serve high-quality jasmine teas and offer four varieties. The Jasmine Leaf is our classic jasmine that stands well above the average restaurant jasmine tea. If you’re looking for that classic jasmine taste this is certainly the tea for you. The Jasmine Pearls are a more premium tea and after the scenting process has been completed, the leaves of this tea are hand rolled into small pearls. The rolling process preserves the oils of the tea leaf that would normally evaporate if the leaf were left open. The result is a sweeter jasmine tea with a more textured and robust jasmine flavour. Our Premium Jasmine Oolong combines an extended jasmine scenting process with a premium oolong tea. This tea provides a complex and balanced flavour as the darker tones of the oolong counterpoint the sweet floral aroma of jasmine. For those looking for an exceptional treat, our Silver Needle Jasmine (pictured) is amazing. The leaves must be picked by expert hands to ensure the tea is composed entirely of the delicate downy buds of the tea plant. The beauty of this tea lies within the light, bright and smooth flavour provided by the tea-leaf that works in tandem with the jasmine scent to provide a velvety texture that coats the entire mouth. Try this tea if you are looking for an extremely refined jasmine experience.