You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘jasmine’ tag.

© Ragne Kabanova | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Ragne Kabanova | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Earlier this month we presented our first tea of the month for January, Buckingham Palace Garden Party. Our other tea is the China Jasmine Green tea. The description on our website is very brief: “The China Jasmine tea blend from English Tea Store is a green tea with a surprising body with the captivating character of jasmine.” The ingredients are simply green tea and jasmine petals. But like all teas, this one too has a story.

Jasmine tea is said to be the oldest aromatic tea, and is used for soothing and relaxing. Green tea is typically used as the base for the flower addition, though black and white can also be used. There is an inherent, subtle sweetness to this tea brought by the jasmine. As early as 200BC, this tea blend traveled from Persia, through India, to China, where ours is still grown today. Vietnam also produces a bit of this tea.

© Arnon Ayal | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Arnon Ayal | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The jasmine flower is best grown in the higher elevations of the mountains. The tea leaf is picked and harvested when it is ready, and stored until the jasmine flowers are ready in late summer. The jasmine is picked early in the day, when the flowers are closed. Towards nightfall, they open and release their scent. It is at this time that the tea is flavored: the tea leaves are either layered with the harvested jasmine flowers, or mixed together. Over the course of four hours, the scent of the jasmine is absorbed into the tea. This process can be repeated a few times, depending on the tea, before the blend is dried and packaged.

tolstb_grncjs-25p_china-jasmineJasmine tea is a welcoming tea, often served to guests upon arrival. We welcome 2015 with this aromatic blend.

~Your Editor

© Phil Date | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Phil Date | Dreamstime Stock Photos

January brings fresh beginnings and with it, many new resolutions. There are the typical “lose ten pounds,” “make time for family” and other very worthwhile goals. But many of us choose to try new things, or master a hobby or skill. The English Tea Store brings you teas of the month, which is a featured selection offered at a discount. In January it is Buckingham Palace and China Jasmine Green teas. In the spirit of learning and trying new things, we will be exploring the monthly teas in depth here. Today we will look at the Buckingham Palace.

The Buckingham Palace Garden Party tea loose leaf blend is a delicate medium tea with a hint of Earl Grey and Jasmine. This is a lighter afternoon tea.

At least three times each summer, the Queen holds a garden party at Buckingham Palace, as well as one in Edinburgh. Queen Victoria began this tradition in 1860 with what was called “breakfast” but was actually served mid-day. Back then, she hosted two of these events a year; in the fifties the third was added. Originally a prestigious debutante rite of passage, they now include honorees recognized for service. From 4-6PM, the over-30,000 guests are invited to stroll the grounds while royalty mingles through a series of laned walking paths. Each royal family member takes a different path so guests never know whom they will run into. The beginning and end of the event is marked by the National Anthem. According to the British Monarchy website, even though the event lasts only two hours, a staggering number of sandwiches, slices of cake, and cups of tea are served by over 400 waitstaff. Over 27,000 cups of tea are served from long buffet tables.

tolsll_afnbpg_-01_buckingham-palace-garden-party-loose-leaf-teaThe tea that is served is a delicious Palace medley of five teas: Ceylon Early Grey, Jasmine, Assam, Dimbula Ceylon, and Ceylon East of Rift. The intriguing hints of high-grown pure Ceylon Earl Grey blend effortlessly with the soft jasmine from Fujian Province. Couple this with malty Assam (from the estate of Borengajuli), flavory Dimbula Ceylon (from Hatton), and golden cup East of Rift Kenya (from Kambaa and Kagwe); and you have one of the most flavorful teas to come from the British Isles. The flavours present themselves at separate times in the drinking of the tea so no two cups are ever the same.

Buckingham Palace Garden Party tea is available from ETS in either bag or loose leaf.

~Your Editor

Jasmine Dragon Tears green tea

Jasmine Dragon Tears green tea

The English Tea Store’s Jasmine Dragon Tears tea is a steamed, hand-rolled, jasmine-infused experience that is not to be rushed. Heated in water just shy of boiling, the pearls unfurl to reveal themselves and the top bud of the plant, still bearing soft hairs, so indicative of a gentle handling and masterful touch. The tea is designed to be sipped, savored, and enjoyed with a deep appreciation for its artful result.

Which is exactly my experience in reading Michael Williams’ magical realism novel, Trajan’s Arch. The reading of the book is not to be rushed. Just shy of literary, the language unfurls to reveal the memories of the main character, Gabriel, and the strange and magical influence throughout his lifetime of his mysterious neighbor, Trajan. Through Williams’ imagery, so indicative of gentle handling and a masterful touch, the novel is designed to be sipped, savored, and enjoyed with a deep appreciation for its artful result.

Trajan's Arch

Trajan's Arch

But the unique quality of Jasmine Dragon Tears tea really comes through with its flavor. The highest quality jasmine blooms are picked alongside the tea plants, in the Wuyi District of Fujian Province, China. The harvest is then layered—jasmine blooms, then tea leaves, jasmine blooms, then tea leaves—until jasmine essence infuses the overall character and outcome. The intensity of the high floral notes make this truly the best of what high quality jasmine tea can be.

As well, in Williams’ Trajan’s Arch, the novel is literally layered with stories, written by Trajan, to reveal how the character infuses Gabriel’s life and love (Gabriel’s estranged wife happens to be named Jasmine). Trajan affects those who know him with an intensity that lingers for generations.

With English Tea Store’s Jasmine Dragon Tears tea, you won’t be disappointed. There’s no need for sweetener, the rich blend of green tea and floral makes for a satisfying sip. And pairing it with Trajan’s Arch is a novel and tea companion that brings to the senses an experience of magic-come-true.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Trying a tea for the first time is a true adventure. There’s an excitement in the air that’s hard to describe, accompanied by a dozen questions running through your mind. How do you properly brew it? Is it good quality? Will you like it? It costs how much? They’re kidding, right? And so on. Thus was my mind whirling as I sat down to try, for the first time ever, an exotic flowering tea.

The first step, though, before embarking on this tea adventure, is to get an answer to the question: “What is flowering tea?” According to my research, it’s a bunch of hand-picked tea leaves and flower petals sewn together with delicate string (more like thick thread). Flowers commonly used in the designs are chrysanthemum, jasmine, globe amaranth, hibiscus, osmanthus, and lily. Teas used are fine whites, greens, and blacks, such as Lily Fairy Black, Jasmine Pu-Erh, and Lychee Nut flower.

The flower petals are an important part of the tea. They add scent and flavor — the tea flavor dances in your nose and on your palate along with the floral notes. But that’s not why it’s called flowering tea. The explanation is in the brewing, as my tea adventure was about to show.

Armed with at least this modicum of knowledge, I confidently headed out, hubby by my side, to a local restaurant with the goal of having a true tea adventure. My level of expectation was high and, once we were seated at our table, I focused on the task at hand.

Step one in the process of preparing a flowering tea is selecting one (okay, so that’s obvious!). Taking extra care in making this selection will make your tea adventure truly special. The best method to me seemed to be smelling the teaballs when they were still dry. The server was very understanding and brought the two I requested:

  • “Spirituality” — White Tea and Tea Tree Flower (on the left in the photo)
  • “Loyalty” — White Tea and Jasmine (on the right in the photo)
The Teaballs

The Teaballs

The first one was in the shape of a mushroom and the second one in the shape of a ball, the two typical shapes used. I chose “Loyalty” — jasmine is a flower that has always enthralled (but not overwhelmed) me with its intoxicating scent. The flavor of white tea was so delicate as to be a perfect accompaniment with that floral fragrance.

Step two is the actual steeping. An essential tool in this step is a glass teapot, for the experience is highly visual. The best method is to put the water, heated to the proper temperature, in the teapot first, and then add the teaball.

Flowering Tea "Blooming" in Glass Teapot

Flowering Tea "Blooming" in Glass Teapot

Step three is the most important: enjoying the show! The teaball will start to open shortly after being put in the water. In a couple of minutes (three, at most), the “flower” will be blooming. The tugging of those tiny water molecules at the tea leaves and then the flower petals will be relentless until the goal is achieved. At this point, you can pour the tea and decide if you want to leave the “bloom” in the teapot and add more water, or remove it. If you don’t do one or the other, the tea could get overly strong, even bitter. I know this first hand, having chosen to leave the “bloom” in place. (The tea was still great. I just added some more warmed water to it.) To me, this is the one drawback. You lose that visual experience by having to remove the bloom once it has reached peak brewing.

Resulting Cup of Tea

Resulting Cup of Tea

Don’t forget the finger foods to go with your tea. Surprisingly, despite their size, they can be quite filling.

Having had a truly adventurous teatime, hubby and I sat back awhile, waiting for our meal to settle and enjoying the architectural splendor of our surroundings, luxurious yet comfortable and showing a strong Art Deco influence, especially in the furnishings. Finally, we roused ourselves and, with some reluctance, headed home.

Of course, now I must have a glass teapot and some flowering teaballs. Santa, are you listening? Enjoy your own tea adventure soon!

If you’re interested in going on the greatest “tea adventure” of them all – that of living what A.C. calls the “tea life” – make sure to visit her blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill, today!

There are those tea drinkers (myself among them) who believe that a good cup of tea needs nothing else, whether it be milk, cream, sweeteners, or lemon. But everyone likes what they like, and, of course, there are many people who could not even conceive of drinking a cup of tea without assorted and sundry additives. There are also many tea drinkers who are fond of various flavored teas and tisanes, the latter of which are sometimes referred to as herbal teas.

The practice of flavoring is probably as old as tea drinking itself and the number and variety of flavoring ingredients and combinations are probably only limited by the imagination. To paraphrase the catchphrase of one TV food show host, “If it tastes good, drink it.” And so many people do. But out of all the nearly limitless varieties of flavored teas there are a handful that have become more popular than the rest.

Earl Grey

Earl Grey

Earl Grey
Named for a relatively obscure British politician who may or may not have been the first one to devise this concoction, Earl Grey tea is typically made from a base of black tea and flavored with the highly aromatic oil of bergamot, a small citrus fruit. While many tea drinkers love it, for some it is an acquired taste.

Chai
In India Chai is synonymous with tea – literally. To keep things clear, the flavored tea that most of us know as Chai should more correctly be referred to as Masala Chai. Like Earl Grey it is most often prepared using a base of black tea and is flavored with a mix of spices that can include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds, peppercorn, and cloves.

Lapsang Souchong
Another flavored tea that can be an acquired taste for many, Lapsang Souchong is most often made with a base of Chinese black tea that has been “flavored” by curing it with the smoke from pine wood fires. The flavor is about what one would expect in this case and in some cases could even be likened to smoked sausage.

Jasmine
Another very popular flavored tea, Jasmine is made by flavoring tea with Jasmine flowers, which are left in the tea for a specified period of time and then removed, though a few flowers may be left for visual effect. Jasmine tea is usually made with lighter, more delicate varieties of tea that are not as likely to overpower the delicate flavor of the Jasmine. Green tea is probably the most common base for this type of tea.

Genmaicha
It may not be the most unusual ingredient used to flavor tea, but rice has to be right up there near the top of the list. Genamaicha is a type of flavored tea that probably originated in Japan. It consists of a base of Japanese green tea that has been flavored with roasted rice. The most common comparison for this offbeat taste sensation is to popcorn.

Make sure to stop by William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks!

There’s a bouquet in your teapot, with teas having flowers added in (explored in Part I). Then, there are infusions made entirely of flowers. They bring fragrances, exotic tastes, and health benefits to your teatime — oops…I mean “infusion time.”

There’s a lot of information online about the health benefits of floral infusions, also called “tisanes” (and also misnamed “teas” by many vendors trying to cash in on tea’s growing popularity). One of the key benefits that most have in common is the lack of caffeine.

Keep in mind when steeping an infusion, or even when steeping a tea containing a lot of floral or herbal matter, that it’s best to use boiling water and give it more time (usually between 4 and 8 minutes) to fully steep. Also, many of these infusions cannot take milk. It curdles or otherwise interacts with the ingredients in a not-so-good way (have experienced this first hand).

Some popular floral infusions:

  • Roses — Infusions made of rosebuds, rose petals, and rose hips, each having its own qualities, have been around for quite awhile. Health claims include balancing hormones, laxative effects, and antidepressant qualities. Full of vitamin C, rose petals and hips are good for relieving congestion, improving digestion, and protecting against toxins. Unfortunately, some people get heartburn from drinking these infusions. Try: Rosebud Infusion (made from red roses, with the aroma of roses and a gentle sweet taste).
  • Egyptian Chamomile

    Chamomile — One of the most popular flowers in your teapot and beneficial. The list of conditions it relieves is long: toothaches, nervousness, muscle spasms, headaches, insomnia, etc. If you have hayfever, though, check with your physician before imbibing. Sweeten with sugar or honey, but avoid adding milk. You could also add lemon, lime, cinnamon, or other enhancers. Try: Egyptian Chamomile Caffeine Free Herbal Tea, Harney & Sons Historic Royal Palace Herbal Chamomile Tea (with a hint of green apples), Revolution Tea Golden Chamomile (peppermint leaves and fresh flowers), and Taylors of Harrogate Chamomile (soothing, naturally caffeine-free, delicate aroma, pure flavor).

  • Lavender: Becoming increasingly popular, especially French lavender from Provence with its particularly attractive floral scent and taste, it soothes nerves, relieves migraines, helps digestion and respiratory problems, and acts as a local anesthetic. Many say it’s calming and relieves headaches, tension, insomnia, and stress. Try: Lavender Herbal (floral flavor with a strong yet pleasant aroma).
  • Jasmine: Often added to teas, especially green tea, but can also be made into an infusion on its own that protects you against high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Also destroys bacteria like e-coli (responsible for food poisoning), relieves stress, and calms panicky feelings.
  • Chrysanthemum: Tricky to spell but refreshing in flavor and popular in warmer weather. Steep the dried petals in hot water and add sugar or honey for a taste treat. It’s also a healthy drink, good for circulation, reducing fever, improving vision, and more.
  • Hibiscus: A daily cup can help reduce high blood pressure and is caffeine free. It is drunk in many countries around the world and is included as filler in cheaper tisanes in the U.S. and Britain.
  • Tutti Fruity

    Mostly Floral Blends: Often, a floral infusion will be a blend of several of the above and other ingredients (not to be confused with actual teas made from Camellia Sinensis and mixed with flowers, fruits, spices, etc., as described in Part I). These blends also combine the health benefits of the various flowers used. Try: Tutti Fruity (caffeine-free, great for children hot or cold, naturally sweet from fructose; contains Hibiscus petals, rosehip chips and dried rose petals, calendula petals, cornflower petals, dried apple pieces and sweet orange peel, raisins, dried currants, and natural flavors).

That should get you started. Try each one chilled as well as hot. Feel free to experiment with enhancers (citrus, sweeteners) but avoid milk. Enjoy!

Don’t miss Part III, Teas with Floral Aroma and Flavor.

This party isn’t over yet, folks; stay tuned for Part III of A.C.’s “Bouquet in Your Teapot” series. And while you’re waiting, make sure to check out A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!

There’s a bouquet in your teapot — especially if you are steeping a tea containing, or processed with, flowers. With Spring in the air, the time is right to try one of these fragrant and exotic tea sensations. And the choices are bountiful.

Flowers seem to play a big part in tea in several ways: some teas have flower parts in them, then there are herbals (often called “teas”) made from flowers, and finally some teas have floral aromas and flavors without having any flower parts in them. Let’s start by taking a look at some teas with flower parts in them.

Usually the parts of flowers used in teas are the petals. Sometimes, they are layered with the tea leaves and left for a few hours to infuse their fragrance with the tea. Sometimes, they are dried and mixed in with the tea. Often, though, the flower part is an “essence” or “attar,” like those used in perfumes, and are sprinkled on the dried tea leaves.

Jasmine is a common flower added to teas, mostly green teas. The heady fragrance adds its aesthetic tune to the health benefits in that green tea. Roses and lavender are common, too.

Some Teas with Jasmine:

  • Buckingham Palace Garden Party tea — An unusual and tasty blend of Ceylonese Earl Grey with Jasmine, plus some Assam and Kenyan teas.
  • French Blend — Rich Assam, saucy but sprightly Nilgiri and Ceylon, golden Kenyan, Chinese Jasmine, and rose petals. Provençal lavender makes this a tea that can transport you to Le Quartier Latin en Paris.
  • China Jasmine Green Tea — Green tea from China with essence of Jasmine.
  • Jasmine Dragon Tears Green Tea — Another green tea from China made from tea leaves plucked in the first 3 weeks of a new season when the jasmine bushes are blooming. The most fragrant blossoms are layered between the tea, giving it that distinctly uplifting fragrance.
  • Jasmine #1, also simply known as Jasmine With Flowers Green Tea — Again, green tea processed between layers of jasmine blossoms so the tea leaves absorb that wonderful fragrance.
  • Shanghai Lichee Jasmine Tea — Lichee fruit combines with jasmine to make this Chinese green tea a true delight.
  • Oolong Orange Blossom Estate Tea — Despite the name, this is another Oolong tea with jasmine. A candidate for your next pitcher of iced tea.
  • Taylors of Harrogate Jasmine Blossom Green Tea — Chinese green tea infused with the fragrance from jasmine blooms and then dried and sealed. A cupful with your next order of Chinese take-out would be a perfect combo.

Kyoto Cherry

Some Teas with Roses:

  • French Blend — see description above.
  • Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival Green Tea — Cherry joins with rose petals and Japanese Sencha green tea to give your tastebuds a thrill.
  • Cinnamon Sibu Green Tea — Green tea with cinnamon and the surprise of roses.
  • Golden Moon Rose Tea — Black tea with rose petals, a combination that results in a rich, floral-scented tea. Light tasting and perfect for a cool pitcher full of pleasure or a hot cup of delight.
  • Oolong Rose Tea — A semi-fermented tea with rose buds.
  • Pu-erh Rose Tea — Strong pu-erh with the taste and fragrance of rose buds.
  • Rose Green Tea — Green tea with rose petals and a surprising fragrance of pineapple.
  • Rose White Tea — More rose buds, this time with white tea.

Some Teas with Lavender:

  • French Blend — see description above.
  • Lavender Butterfly Green Tea — French lavender (Oo la la!) blended with Chinese green tea. Relax and de-stress with this wonderful smelling and tasting tea.
  • Golden Moon  Tippy Earl Grey Tea — Oil of bergamot dances with lavender in this black tea in a soothing rhythm. Enjoy it as part of your wake-up ritual.

Don’t miss Part II, Herbals Made from Flowers.

While you wait for Part II of this three-part series on Floral Teas to hit the streets, head over to A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill, and say hello.

There is a lot to be said for Valentine’s Day – a day that the collective conscious of the world will focus on love. As this is a tea blog, I’ve extended the talk about love to include the things that we love to focus on all the time – like tea. All this talk about love is fine, but what’s love without a little romance? Can you be romanced by a cup of tea? Oh, I think you can and I don’t doubt that you have already been romanced.

I feel that the avid tea drinker is a more sensual person, in that they are more perceptive to and appreciative of the subtle changes and differences that affect the senses. Drinking tea is sensory experience. Each tea, each cup even, is evaluated and enjoyed by the way in which it pleases our senses.

Fragrance and taste are the two senses that come immediately into play. But it doesn’t stop there. There is the way tea can make you feel. Some awaken you while others relax you. Either way, tea will warm your body from the inside. I like to think of it as a liquid massage. Drinking tea always makes me feel good. Visually, we take in the sight of the dried blend, the near-artistic ballet of the water being infused with color which deepens as it steeps, and then, the sight of the steam curling lithely from tea cup. It’s all there. The senses are heightened and if we have chosen well then we fall madly in love with the tea and the steamy romance begins.

Not all teas have the same sensual elements. Some are more aromatic than others, while others will please our tongues more so than others. So my number one choice for a romantic cup of tea is Jasmine Tea. Everything about Jasmine tea can be seen with the rosy-glasses of romance. From the way it is created to the final moment of taste sensation, jasmine tea speaks the language of love.

Consider that the initial tea season comes in the Spring – a time that the world breaks forth with new life, a time marked by the blossoming of new love and flowers. It is in the first few weeks of the first flush that the buds and leaves must be plucked and the fresh blossoms of the jasmine flower chosen and then are layered within the tea leaves. Then the two leaves are curled up together in a tight union. Upon completion the two are now one and the scent of the jasmine have infused the tea.

The soft flowery fragrance of the jasmine tea is the very essence of romance.
And the taste of a quality jasmine tea is nothing short of divine.

So if you want to show someone your love, don’t just say it with flowers – say it with flowers and pearls, by sharing the gift of pearled jasmine tea! May I recommend the Jasmine Dragon Tears.

Madam Potts’ blog, Mad Pots of Tea!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

We just hosted our second annual cookie exchange tea, and it was a smashing success. The halls were decked and “fa la las” played quietly on the background while we sipped our cups of cheer. In this case the cups of cheer were a spicy cinnamon black tea and a blooming jasmine tea. The cinnamon tea went far in creating a warm holiday mood, and several pots were consumed. The menu included three types of tea sandwiches, two types of scones, and of course, cookies brought for exchange.

For sandwiches, I made a traditional cucumber sandwich, and discovered the joys of a mandolin slicer for those paper-thin slices. I also made salmon salad sandwiches on thin whole wheat bread. The salmon salad was very simple, and they were quite a hit. I just took a can of salmon, drained it and mixed it with enough mayo to moisten it and hold it together, and threw in dill until it smelled yummy enough. My five year-old niece may or may not have been responsible for the disappearance of several of these sandwiches. The third sandwich was a granny smith and brie sandwich on brown sugar cinnamon bread.

Our scones were pumpkin, from 1001 Cookie Recipes and saucer scones from The New Book of Tea. The pumpkin scones were a huge hit. They were wonderfully fluffy. The traditional scones were good, but the yield was quite small, only seven scones. So it’s great for a small family of two or three, but needs to be doubled for a party.

The lemon bars. Oh, the lemon bars. Lemon may not be the most wintry of flavors, but I couldn’t resist the recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens cookie magazine from a couple of years ago, The 100 Best Cookies. It was a fabulously easy recipe, with a press-in crust.

All in all, it was a great way to spend an afternoon with family.

By Stephanie Hanson

Categories

Explore our content:

Find us on these sites:


Follow Us!     Like Us!     Follow Us!     Follow Us!     Plus 1 Us!
Follow Tea Blog on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Tweet This!    add to del.icio.us    add to furl    digg this    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit     post to facebook    technorati faves

Copyright Notice:

© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blog Affiliates

blogged
Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory

Networked Blogs

%d bloggers like this: