Sourcing Jasmine Flower Tea
Posted on March 06 2020
Let’s talk about jasmine, the ingredient behind one of the world’s best floral teas.
If jasmine tea were to compete in a popularity contest, it would leave with the blue ribbon. After all, it’s one of the world’s most commonly enjoyed flavored teas. This floral tea is wildly popular in China, where most of the world’s jasmine flowers are grown.
About Jasmine Green Tea
The most common jasmine tea is a green tea variety of tea leaves that are scented with jasmine flowers. And as you can probably guess, since it is one of the world’s most popular teas, getting high-quality jasmine tea is not a simple process. It actually requires some meticulous work on the part of farmers, shippers and processors.
It's no surprise, then, that shortcuts can happen and some jasmine teas are merely scented with a spray. If not sprayed, oftentimes other methods are used to lower the cost of jasmine tea, like bulking up a blend with additional ingredients. Stash Tea is not about that life. We only scent our jasmine tea using tried-and-true traditional methods. Read on to learn how.
Credit: The Yulong River Valley where the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat is located, taken by Ben Hodgson (in a hot air balloon!)
Growing Jasmine Green Tea
Stash Tea sources jasmine from China, in the Guangxi province. This location has been described as having a Dr. Seuss-like landscape. The rounded yet jagged hills sprout up, seemingly out of nowhere. It makes for a unique, picturesque landscape that immediately landed Guangxi onto our ever-growing bucket list.
Over three-quarters of the country’s jasmine is grown in Guangxi. The flowers start to bloom in early summer and aren’t ready for picking until late June. Unlike other farming styles, jasmine growers don’t require seasonal help, as the same farmers who grow the jasmine also harvest the flower. Since jasmine has to be picked at a very specific point of maturity, and at a specific time of day, the growers don’t trust others to know the most optimal moment to pick the buds.
Picking Jasmine Flowers
Jasmine flowers are always hand-picked, meaning that machinery isn’t used to help with the process of making this flower tea. There is no better way to ensure that jasmine blossoms retain their aromatic qualities, which is used later to flavor jasmine tea.
The workers start picking the flowers in late June and continue through August. As mentioned, the blossom picking is extremely time-sensitive. Jasmine flowers bloom at night, so pickers harvest between noon and early afternoon when the blossoms are shut tight. The shut blossoms keep all of the scent inside the flower while they are transported to buyers.
Once the flowers are picked, they’re loaded up and trucked to auction houses, where buyers come from around the world to buy their jasmine blossoms.
Buying Jasmine Blossoms
The jasmine blossoms have to travel a long way to get to the location where they’ll actually be purchased.
Once they are grown, plucked and shipped away from the farm, they end up at large auction houses. In these houses, huge piles of jasmine flowers from various farmers are piled high and available for sale. Buyers visit the auction house and look over the batches, feeling and smelling for the best quality, and then negotiating for the best price.
Scenting Jasmine Tea
Creating high-quality jasmine green tea is a lengthy process, and quite the sight. First, piles of green tea leaves are topped with layers of jasmine blossoms, but only at night, when the flowers open up and bloom. Over time, the aromatic oils are absorbed by the dry tea leaves. This is the first step in the process known as scenting and can take up to 12 hours. It requires dedicated workers to move the tea around every 1-2 hours in the middle of the night to make sure the tea leaves are scented properly.
Before the flowers close, they are removed from the tea leaves and thrown away. Then the tea is dried to remove extra moisture. Depending on the quality of the flowers and the desired quality of the tea, workers have to repeat this process up to four times. It requires a lot of jasmine, as the process uses new flowers in each round of scenting.
The final scenting process is when the most premium flowers are used. Surprisingly, for this last scenting, fewer flowers are required. That way the tea can be finished with as minimal heating as possible.
We at Stash Tea love high-quality jasmine tea, and we’re happy to put in the work to make sure we get it. Just think of all the ways you can end up with a sub-par jasmine tea; if the flowers used for scenting are picked too soon or too late, the tea won’t be as good quality. If the flowers are left mixing with the tea too long, it can ruin the tea. The same goes if the tea is not dried properly after mixing. And if the scenting process isn’t repeated enough times, it’ll leave you with a jasmine tea that makes you go “meh.”
Ain’t nobody want tea like that.
We use both high-quality jasmine, and the high-quality producers to create our Jasmine Blossom Green Tea. It’s how we stay true to our commitment to bring you bolder and brighter teas that brew up true-to-name.
Our Jasmine Blossom Green Tea is liquid delight in a teacup on its own. But here at Stash, we like to break the rules. Have you ever tried mixing two teas together? Click here to learn more!
Jasmine Blossom Green Tea
Our Jasmine Blossom blend has downy silver tips and most of the spent jasmine blossoms have been removed. It has an intoxicating aroma and a balanced and delicate flavor. This romantic tea may be enjoyed any time of the day.
SHOP | TEA BAG or LOOSE LEAF
Organic Jasmine Green Tea
An organic choice for those who savor the delicate yet distinctive flavor of jasmine tea. Nearly translucent in the cup, this tea is an excellent introduction to jasmine teas, known for their appealing aroma.
SHOP | LOOSE LEAF
Dragon Phoenix Pearl Jasmine Tea
Finest downy green leaves are hand-rolled into small spheres and scented with fragrant jasmine blossoms. It brews up an exquisite cup with an alluring aroma and delicate sweet floral taste.
SHOP | LOOSE LEAF