Chinese jasmine tea is made by mixing green tea and jasmine flowers, and finally, the green tea absorbs the fragrance of jasmine flowers, so it is also called jasmine green tea. The finished jasmine tea contains the flavor of green tea and the fragrance of jasmine flowers. It is more expensive and beneficial than the jasmine tea made from 100% of jasmine flowers.
A small part of jasmine tea is made with black tea, oolong tea, or white tea not the green tea, so it is called jasmine black tea, jasmine oolong tea or jasmine white tea. But the green tea is the best tea base for making jasmine tea because green tea is a kind of unfermented tea that is closest to nature than other kinds of traditional Chinese teas.
Jasmine tea is a staple product of flower tea, with a wide production area, high output and rich varieties due to its strong fragrance and health care function.
1. History of Chinese jasmine tea
Chinese jasmine tea has a history of more than 1,000 years, originated in Fuzhou City of Fujian Province. The innovation of traditional Chinese medicine promoted the birth of Fuzhou jasmine tea.
Jasmine originated in the ancient Roman Empire and later spread to ancient Persia and India through the maritime Silk Road. It became the holy flower of Buddhism in India and then spread to Fuzhou with Indian Buddhism.
In the Tang Dynasty (618-907), jasmine was regarded as a symbol of indifference to fame and wealth, representing the integrity of the scholar-officials. It is believed that when the jasmine flower comes out, the other flowers are not fragrant. Since then, the jasmine has become the “Tian Xiang” (Natural Fragrance).
In the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279), many people have a craze for adding fragrance to tea, because they think fragrance is a special kind of health care substance. There were dozens of fragrant teas at that time. After the changes of time, many kinds of flowers as fragrance were eliminated, only five or six kinds retained, and jasmine is one of them. From then on, jasmine started to become famous.
Afterward, jasmine tea started to be commercialized in the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and commercialized greatly in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912).
During the Qing Dynasty, Empress Dowager Cixi had a special preference for jasmine. Cixi thought that her skin is like snow, so she stipulated that no one can hold jasmine flower. When foreign envoys and their ladies came to China, Cixi often gave jasmine tea as a gift to these people. So during the decades when Cixi took power, jasmine was once considered a “national flower”.
In 1866, jasmine tea began to be exported to Europe in large quantities from Fujian Province.
Nowadays, the main production areas of Chinese jasmine tea are the Fuzhou City of Fujian Province, Heng County of Guangxi Province, Suzhou City of Jiangsu Province, and other provinces.
2. Producing process of Chinese jasmine tea
The producing process of jasmine tea is very complex. Its main principle is to let the jasmine flower produce biochemical changes and release the fragrance under the appropriate temperature, humidity, and oxygen so that the tea base such as green tea leaves can absorb it.
The pretreatment of tea base (green tea) and fresh flower (jasmine) and the proportion of tea base and flower must go through a very strict process. If not, it will affect its taste and quality.
3. Famous varieties of Chinese jasmine tea
- Guangxi jasmine tea produced in Heng County of Guangxi Province. Heng County is the largest production area of jasmine in China.
- Longtuan jasmine tea produced in Fuzhou City of Fujian Province. It is a local famous traditional product.
- Jinhua jasmine tea produced in Jinhua City of Zhejiang Province. Its varieties include jasmine Maofeng tea, jasmine roasted green tea, jasmine fried tea, etc., among which the quality of jasmine Maofeng tea is the best.
- Suzhou jasmine tea produced in Suzhou Cit of Jiangsu Province. It has a long history and began to be produced in the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). It is a traditional famous flower tea in China.
- Sichuan jasmine tea produced in Sichuan Province. It is made from Sichuan green tea from Emeishan (Mount Emei), Mengshan, etc. It has a unique scenting technology, and its representative varieties are Bitan snow, Linhu snow, with a unique style.
4. Health Benefits of Chinese jasmine tea
Jasmine tea is a flower tea made from green tea and the blooming jasmine flowers in the spring. It has the fragrance of spring flowers and the fresh aroma of green tea with a sweet taste.
Drinking jasmine tea is not only good for skin care and anti-aging, but also can clear stomach and intestine, lower blood pressure and blood lipid, and has a great effect of resisting bacteria and viruses.
- The volatile oil contained in jasmine has the functions of promoting Qi, relieving pain, chest and abdominal distension and diarrhea, etc., which is a good food therapy for pain relief.
- Jasmine has an inhibitory effect on many kinds of bacteria. It can be used for internal and external use and can treat inflammatory diseases such as red eyes, sores, and skin ulcers.
- Jasmine tea has the functions of detoxification, refreshing, clearing internal heat, promoting digestion, diuresis, etc.
On the other hand, jasmine tea has all the health benefits of green tea such as anti-cancer, protecting teeth and eyesight, preventing and treating radiation damage, etc.
In the north of China, there was no running water before. Ordinary people do not have good conditions to drink high-quality mountain spring water, so their water is mostly bitter, astringent, hard and salty.
Then they add jasmine to the boiling water to dilute these defects in water quality. And every winter, there are a lot of meat in the North, which is greasy. Drinking jasmine tea can remove the greasy sense. Years later, drinking jasmine tea has formed a tradition in the North.
5. Precautions of drinking Chinese jasmine tea
Some people who are not in good health should not drink jasmine tea frequently.
- People with insomnia should not drink jasmine tea frequently, especially before going to bed, because the caffeine in jasmine tea (in fact, in green tea) can make people more energetic, making the brain more excited and unable to fall asleep.
- People with anemia should not often drink jasmine tea, because some elements in jasmine tea can reduce the body’s absorption of iron.
- Jasmine tea is not suitable for patients with severe diseases because it may make people feel chilly and weak, which is not conducive to treating diseases.