The Story Behind Silver Jasmine
We are so excited to add this gorgeous and skillfully crafted jasmine tea from Zhenghe, Fujian to our collection. Soft, sweet and aromatic with notes of honeydew melon and a cooling cucumber finish, one sip fills us with a sense of calm.
What's more, there is a beautiful story behind it. While modern jasmine teas are made using extracts of jasmine and a green tea base, our Silver Jasmine is made using real jasmine flowers in the traditional scenting method, with a Zhenghe twist: Fresh jasmine blossoms are hand-blended with the region's signature silver needle white tea. This process is repeated over a one month period until the sweet jasmine scent is absorbed into the tea leaves, resulting in a jasmine tea unlike any other.
We've made a short video to give you a glimpse into this natural scenting process. Read on below for a more detailed explanation.
We observed this process in person in July 2019. Here's how it's done:
1. Every summer, fresh jasmine blossoms are harvested at a local farm in Zhenghe and brought to Longhe for tea scenting. In the 1970's, many jasmine trees were planted in Zhenghe county (along with other nearby counties) to satisfy the increasing global demand for jasmine tea. Fast forward to today, their flowers are still incredibly high quality, and we were lucky to experience their heavenly aroma, which was soft, sweet and soothing.
2. Before being blended with tea, the jasmine blossoms are optimized for scenting. When they first come in, their petals are closed in bud form, meaning the aroma is kept inside. By turning them over every few hours, the flowers begin to naturally open, unlocking their fragrance. Wilted flowers are also removed by hand and sifted out through bamboo filters.
3. Silver needle tea is brought in to be blended with the flowers. This is a premium, bud-only grade of white tea. The tender, young buds are picked at the onset of spring each year, and protected by its hallmark layer of silvery down.
4. Now the two are brought together. Tea and flowers are blended together by hand in bamboo racks, and the top is layered with tea to shield the flower aroma. The two are kept together overnight for natural scent absorption.
5. The next morning, the tea and flowers are separated. This is done to avoid excess moisture from the flowers seeping into the tea, and also to avoid the mature flowers from giving the tea an undesirable aroma. The master patiently sifts the blend through bamboo filters. The scented tea is kept, and the flowers are disposed.
6. The final part is what really blows us away: This entire process must be repeated seven times over a one month period - each time using a new batch of fresh jasmine flowers! - until the sweet jasmine scent is fully intertwined into the tea leaves.
7. Finally, the scented tea is re-dried, ready for consumption.
The outcome of this lengthy and unique process is a truly exquisite jasmine tea.
Watch the needles stand on end in a glass vessel, and enjoy the alluring fragrance of fresh jasmine flowers that fills the air.
Try our Silver Jasmine here.
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