Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Whittard of Chelsea
The gently perfumed taste of Jasmine Tea makes it one of the most popular scented teas in China. It is a hugely elegant drink that fills your mind with oriental splendour every time you take a sip.
Believed to date back to the Song Dynasty, Jasmine tea was originally a tea for China’s elite, drunk only by members of the Imperial Court. It’s beautiful taste is achieved through its very precise preparation. The beautifully aromatic jasmine flowers are picked at dusk, just when their scent is headiest. At night-time they are layered with the long leaves of fine green tea, the petals infusing the tea with their perfume. The result is a sweet, aromatic tea that captivates the senses.
Jasmine tea is a naturally flavoured green tea with an unmistakable floral taste. It is a great-tasting and reviving tea to drink throughout the day.
Learn more about this tea here
Warm and spring-like weather, to me, is perfectly suited to Jasmine tea. Hence, today was the perfect opportunity to give these tea bags a try! I used 1 bag (which looks to contain maybe 1.5tsp of leaf), and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. While tea bags have the advantage of convenience, they can suffer in terms of the quality of the leaf. This looks to be the case here, as the bag contains primarily very fine-shred fannings. No variety is specified for the green tea, either, so I can only assume it to be a blend. The resulting liquor is a medium yellow, the scent lightly floral.
To taste, this one comes across as a very mild, light, jasmine flavoured green tea. The initial sip is a primarily a smooth, slightly buttery green. There’s a tiny bit of bite towards the end of the sip, almost verging on bitterness, but it’s actually quite pleasant in that it gives what is a very mild-tasting tea a little texture and depth. It doesn’t impact on the overall flavour, which is fairly sweet and floral, too much.
The jasmine emerges in the mid-sip, and adds a sweet, floral accord. It’s not a heavy, perfumey jasmine, and it’s by no means overpowering. It’s still possible to taste the green tea base underneath, and it really just gives a taster of what jasmine as a flavouring can add to a tea. It fades fairly quickly and doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression.
I think this would make a good introductory Jasmine tea for those who are uncertain or who are just beginning to explore this category. It would also be an excellent choice for someone who likes jasmine in principle, but who doesn’t like overly strong, overpowering jasmine that can be found in some varieties. As someone who falls into the latter category, I have to say that this one is a touch too mild for me, but it still gives the impression of jasmine without too much lingering floral. The green tea base is pleasant, if unremarkable, and the cup as a whole is eminently drinkable. It makes for a refreshing cup on a warm day, its only failing being that it’s a little lacking in flavour.