Tea scented with the aroma of jasmine flowers has been a specialty in China since the Sung Dynasty ruled over 800 years ago. The jasmine plant was brought to China from Persia before the third century. These fragrant flowers first made their appearance in tea around the fifth century.
High mountain spring green tea (buds only) is used to make this jasmine pearl. The tea leaves come from the tea gardens located in the mountainous, an area of north Fujian province of China that is often fog-covered .
Unopened buds only are hand rolled into a small tea pearl, dried, and stored until summer when fresh jasmine blossoms are in bloom. Each worker produces around 3 ½ oz in one hour, so it will take more than 4 hrs. to roll 1 lb. of fine tea.
In the early summer, Jasmine flowers are picked early in the day when the small petals are tightly closed. The flowers are kept cool until nightfall. At least 360 lb. of flowers are needed to scent 100 lb. of pearls.
In the early evening when the flowers begin to open, the tea pearls and flowers are placed in alternate layers and stored overnight. The night blooming jasmine flower then opens and releases its fragrance into the tea.
It takes four or more hours for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavor of the Jasmine blossoms; this process may be repeated as many as six or seven times.
When hot water is added, the tea pearls unfold releasing their delicate slightly sweet jasmine scent and flavor.
Heat Water to 185-195 F, steep 3 minutes