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A step-by-step guide to producing Jasmine Tea

This was posted on 25 Aug 2012 by Chris West | Filed under: tea growing, Jasmine

As Jasmine tea-makers in Fuzhou work hard into the night, sit back with a cup and enjoy this guide to how Jasmine tea is made!

Are you looking for a guide to brewing Jasmine tea? Or if you're looking to buy great Jasmine tea direct from the farm, you can buy our fresh Jasmine White 'King of Teas' by Lao Fu.

Firstly, Jasmine flowers are picked from the fields. Pickers are normally looking for unopened flower buds, and must pick at the hottest time of the day (2-5pm)

The flowers then sit for around 2-4 hours - as they sit, they heat up to around 40 degrees, and the buds open up.

Tea farmers now shake out the unopened buds and throw them away. It's important to do this, so that the tea is exposed to maximum fragrance from fully opened flower buds.

Sorting the open and unopened flower buds is time-consuming work, occupying most of the tea farmer's time.

A standard green tea is now mixed into the flowers by hand. Skilled workers gently turn and toss the leaves and the flowers, ensuring an even distribution.

Each batch of tea and leaves is then left to infuse overnight. The flowers will be removed the next day, and the tea will then be very gently dried over a charcoal stove.

The process of making Jasmine tea is one of the lengthiest for any tea available - it can take up to two months to make a single batch. What's more, it happens at the hottest time of the year, meaning it's one of the most arduous teas to make.

The magic happens when the wet Jasmine flowers pass their oils and fragrance to the dry tea leaves by osmosis. There are actually lots of ways to infuse the tea leaves (a method called 'pressing' is used for cheaper teas), but usually, for high quality teas, the flowers and leaves are left to gently melt together overnight.

But, because the tea must be dried before it's stored, and the drying process kills the Jasmine fragrance, this whole process is repeated up to 9 times to ensure a deep and long-lasting Jasmine taste.

Another reason Jasmine Tea is so difficult to make is that you must rely on exactly the right weather - good tea needs great flowers, so if the farmer has a run of bad luck with rainy days and poor quality Jasmine, he simply can't make tea. Because each batch is infused 9 times, the farmer needs about two months of great luck in order to make a single batch of great, aromatic Jasmine.

Are your tastebuds salivating yet? Check out our incredible Jasmine Pearls tea now!

This was written by Chris West

Tea for me is all about that "aha" moment when you try a truly great tea for the first time. I live in Fuzhou, China and enjoy anything that helps me appreciate Chinese culture more (currently tea, martial arts and history books!). Contact me on chris@minrivertea.com