China is the birthplace of tea. They say that tea bushes in China were growing already 5,000 years ago. Jasmine tea is distinguished by its special aroma, acquired by adding fragrant petals of jasmine flowers. The taste of jasmine tea is sweetish with nutty notes of white and green tea. It is believed that it is especially healthy for nutrition. Jasmine in China is added to both white tea and black tea, but it is best combined with green tea.
Jasmine tea is produced in Hubei, Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, Fujian, and Sichuan provinces. Jasmine gardens are located near the tea plantations where plants are cultivated in such a way that the aroma of the flowers is the strongest.
Tea is usually harvested in early spring and stored until flowers blossom. Jasmine blooms roughly from May to October, peaking in late summer. Jasmine flowers are picked in the morning when the petals are tightly closed. At night, flowers open, releasing their aroma, so the scenting process begins. There are a few scent-blending methods. The most traditional and more expensive one is to place the jasmine petals underneath the tea leaves in two separate layers and let the aroma be absorbed in a warm room. The other is when the collected tea is sifted with jasmine petals. Thanks to this technology, tea absorbs jasmine flavor and forms a sweet bouquet of scents. Then the petals of jasmine and green tea are rolled together into tiny round balls, hence the name Jasmine Pearl. The most popular jasmine tea of high quality is made with hand-picked Da Bai leaves, and lower grades are made with machine-picked Oolongs.
Jasmine tea originated in Fuzhou, Fujian province. The video below demonstrates in detail the collecting and scenting process the goes through more than ten steps. All these details truly matter as this area produces the prime jasmine tea.