There are so many floral teas available to the tea drinker today. Chamomile, rose petal, hibiscus, the list is endless. They each bring with them a complex flavor profile and list of health benefits. But there is one tea and flower combination that continues to be a favorite of most tea drinkers: Jasmine Tea. A mixture of tea leaves and jasmine flower buds, this tea has been enjoyed as both as a soothing drink and a calming elixir. Never tried it? Here’s everything you need to know about jasmine tea.
Where did it come from?
There are two types of Jasmine that we enjoy today: common jasmine, and sampaguita. They are similar in taste and aroma, and are both in the same family as olives, Oleaceae. It is unsure where the exact origin of common jasmine is, but it is speculated to be in the middle East, near Pakistan, the country whose national flower is jasmine. Although ancient Chinese texts seem to have evidence of jasmine tea, it is believed to have been imported from Persia. Over the last few centuries, it has come to be grown in various temperate zones, such as Portugal, France, the West indies, and Italy. Likewise, Sampaguita, which originated near the Himalayas, is now grown in places such as Central America and Madagascar. Sampaguita is prominent in the Philippines, where it is the national flower. It is made into leis and given out on weddings, funerals, graduations, and other celebratory events. While it buds all year long, the most sought-after buds full of fragrance are plucked in the early summer. (1)
How is jasmine tea made?
Jasmine tea is most often an amalgamation of green or black tea with jasmine flowers infused; they complement each other stupendously. However, it is possible to mix with white teas, oolongs, or in an herbal mix. Tea leaves by nature are very absorbent in terms of odors and aromas, and jasmine has a potent scent, so it isn’t difficult to blend these two flowers together. Once the jasmine is ripe for plucking, (before the buds have opened), it is hurried to wherever the base tea is being grown and the two are mixed for the tea leaves to fully absorb the jasmine scent. There is also a style of rolled jasmine pearls, which is better for preserving the oils that give off the delicate scent. There isn’t a big window for rolling the jasmine leaves as they are prone to breakage, but expert hands result in beautiful jasmine pearls.
How to determine a high quality jasmine tea
Jasmine tea is the most popular flavored tea in the entire world. Part of knowing how to determine a higher quality jasmine is knowing how to determine regular loose leaf teas’ quality as well. You can ask the manufacturer when the teas leaves were married with the jasmine petals, as jasmine tends to be more fragrant during the night, and is the best time for fusing the two.
Try to figure out where the tea was grown, when it was harvested, what kind of processing it went through, etc. The more information the seller has available, the better informed you can be about determining and choosing the qualities of the tea.
If you’re new to jasmine tea, it is highly recommended to start with a chinese green tea with jasmine, as this is the tea in its most basic form. It is a good starting point, and light yet bold flavors of chinese greens will bring to life the sweet velvety jasmine notes. Once you’ve found a good grade jasmine from a seller, make a note of it and try to keep them on your list of reputable vendors.
How to make your own jasmine tea
To begin, place 6 grams of loose-leaf tea evenly on the bottom of a mason jar. Top it with a small handful of jasmine flowers and spread them evenly. Add another light layer of tea leaf on top of the jasmine. You’ll want to compress the layers with a small can or weight to apply pressure. Cover the jar with a lid and let sit for 24 hours. The longer the leaves are compressed, the better the leaves will be perfumed. When ready to consume, you may remove the jasmine leaves or leave them in for a stronger brew.
Health benefits of Jasmine Tea
Aches and pains are common in life, and we’re always told that a pill or medicine will solve all our problems. While just taking medicinal pills is helpful, tea has also been known as a natural medicine for generations. Jasmine is an anti-inflammatory, making it great for pains like arthritis or chronic joint pain. Certain organic elements in the tea can halt the inflammation by stopping cellular oxygenation. It also aids in fighting off pain from cirrhosis, abdominal pains, and hepatitis. (2)
Helps alleviate stress
Tea is naturally calming, even high caffeine stimulating teas. There’s a reason this flower is so popular: it’s distinct aroma. Jasmine is used in potpourri, air fresheners, perfumes, and many other scent-based products due to it’s intoxicating smell. Test subjects in a study showed reduced levels of cortisol during exposure to jasmine. This in turn caused a positive mood swing.
Jasmine makes a great antibiotic. If you don’t have jasmine tea, it’s possible to add jasmine essential oil to your tea or hot water to reap the benefits. In a certain study, jasmine has even shown potential to eliminate the effects of E. coli on a few subjects. It is also used in tandem with honey for helping soothe coughs and sore throats. We are exposed to thousands of different bacterias everyday, so having a good line of defense against harmful ones can be as easy as having a hot mugful of jasmine tea. (3)
Helps maintain a healthy Gastrointestinal Tract
Green tea, which jasmine is most often mixed with, is known for being full of the polyphenols called catechins. When jasmine mixes with these catechins, the natural antioxidants that both possess interact and help keep the intestines strong. These antioxidants interact with the gastrointestinal enzymes to help sustain a healthy bowel environment. Regular jasmine consumption improves stomach health, eases digestion, and helps protect your gastrointestinal tract from becoming susceptible to illness.
Helps Build A Strong Immune System
It is easier to prevent maladies than to cure them. Jasmine tea boasts many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, making it the perfect line of defense for a healthy immune system. It helps fight against carcinogens and eradicate unwanted pathogens that enter the body. (4)
There is a warming and calming effect that jasmine tea tends to have on people. The floral notes, the enchanting fragrance, and the warmth of the liquid, all blend together seamlessly to make a tea worth keeping in your cupboard.