Quick Recipes and Easy

Tea: Jasmine Tea: India’s Teas Vs. Ceylon Teas

The most well loved blend of flavored tea in the world is Jasmine tea. If you’ve never tried one of the many varieties of jasmine tea, you’ve missed a real treat. And, in fact, there are an endless variety of jasmine teas from which to choose. There are likely many more varieties of jasmine tea in the world than you’re even aware of.

What makes jasmine tea so special is its blend of high quality loose tea leaves with jasmine petals. The jasmine petals impart a delicate yet very aromatic fragrance to the tea. The jasmine petals also impart a slightly sweet flavor to the tea.

Jasmine has been produced in China for at least 700 years. The original production of jasmine tea included plucking the jasmine blossoms just as they were beginning to bloom and adding them to the tea leaves at night to ensure the best infusion of the aroma and fragrance. In most cases, the tea was scented twice – using two different sets of jasmine blossoms to ensure that the tea is properly infused.

Today, most of the jasmine tea in the world is still made in China, and many people assume that all jasmine tea is Chinese. But, jasmine tea is made in India and in Sri Lanka, too.

In addition, most people also assume that all jasmine tea is made with green tea. And, while it’s right that jasmine tea was historically made from green tea and that much of the jasmine tea made today is still made from green tea, you can find jasmine tea made with black, oolong and white teas. For this reason jasmine tea is likely offered in more varieties than any other tea.

Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka

Ceylon is the colonial name for Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the third largest tea producing area in the world, but produces primarily black teas. In fact, tea production is Sri Lanka’s largest employer, providing work for more than one million residents. Most Ceylon teas are black tea, but they are beginning to grow more and more white, green and oolong tea. Most Ceylon jasmine tea is made with green tea, as it is in China.

Ceylon green teas have a full body and are somewhat pungent with a nutty or malty flavor that is bright and bold. The addition of jasmine gives the tea a sweeter aroma and fragrance. You’ll find Ceylon green jasmine teas to be richer than many other jasmine teas.

White tea is gaining popularity quickly in the Western world, so it’s likely that we’ll see more white tea blends. It’s certainly possible that we’ll soon start to see white jasmine tea from Sri Lanka, as well.

You can also find Ceylon jasmine tea made with black tea leaves. Because black tea is stronger than other teas, the jasmine flavor is typically very subdued in black teas. But, because Ceylon black teas are milder than many other black teas, the jasmine takes more of a center stage in Ceylon black teas.

Darjeeling Tea from India

Darjeeling tea is one of the most well known tea varieties in the world. It is grown in the northeastern part of India, right in the foothills of the Himalayas between Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. When most people reckon of Darjeeling tea, they typically reckon of black teas. But, black, white, green and oolong teas are grown in the Darjeeling region of India. All Darjeeling teas have a noticeable muscatel flavor that is derived from the combination of the cool moist climate, the soil and the terrain.

Darjeeling is one of the largest tea growing regions in the world, producing a wide variety of teas. It was the British who first started tea gardens in this part of the world, in order to compete with Chinese tea growers. The area is perfect in climate for growing all sorts of tea – all of it with the distinct flavor that can only be produced in this part of the world.

Darjeeling produces lots of tea each year – some of it is jasmine flavored. Most of the jasmine Darjeeling tea that is produced is made with black tea leaves. This combination provides a very unique flavor. The distinct muscatel flavor of black Darjeeling tea is made much milder and sweeter when combined with the delicate flavor and aroma of the jasmine petals.

There are some tea farms in the Darjeeling region of India that produce jasmine tea from green tea, too. This tea will resemble Chinese jasmine tea a bit more, but will still carry the muscatel flavor and astringency that Darjeeling tea is known for.

The Possibilities are Endless

As you can see, the choices in jasmine tea are nearly endless. You can choose jasmine tea from China, Japan, India or Sri Lanka made from green, white, black or oolong tea varieties. The one common denominator is the tasty flavor and aroma imparted by infusing the tea with jasmine petals.

Each variety of jasmine tea will have its own unique quality and flavor. Rest assured, any tea that’s infused with jasmine will provide the sweet and soothing flavor and aroma that only this special flower can give.

Jon M. Stout is Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. For more information about goldenmoontea.com tea, goldenmoontea.com/wholesaletea wholesale tea and goldenmoontea.com/blacktea black tea go to goldenmoontea.com

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