Though most teas are made from only the leaves of herbs, jasmine green tea is different. It is made by adding the jasmine flower to the tea Cultivated widely for its beautiful flowers, jasmine is any of more than 200 species with fragrant white, yellow or red flowers.
The jasmine plant was brought to China from Persia sometime in the third century AD but never became popular there until about 1000 years ago. Yin Hao is considered the finest jasmine tea Other popular versions are Xiang Pian, Dragon Phoenix Pearl, and Mo Li Hua Cha, the latter being possibly the most popular scented tea worldwide.
Jasmine green tea is made by starting with a Chinese green tea for a base. Some will use pouchong/oolong or black tea but green is more common. The tea leaves are plucked and processed in April and May and then kept dry until the jasmine flowers bloom in August and September.
The flowers are gathered when they are fully open, either at midnight or early in the morning. Then they are placed with the tea so that the scent of the flower can be absorbed over the next four hours. The flowers are then removed. This will be repeated from two to seven times over a month’s processing before the tea is ready for sale. Grading of the tea is determined by how many scentings the tea has gotten over a month. Low grade is 2-3 scentings. Higher grades will use seven scentings over the month.
Most green teas with jasmine contain a significant amount of polyphenols, plant-based substances that have proven to have anticancer, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. This helps prevent certain cancers and slows aging by eliminating free radicals. Jasmine is good for diabetes prevention and reducing high blood pressure. It is believed to prevent strokes, heart attacks, thrombosis, and arterial sclerosis.
Other jasmine tea health benefits include the ability to reduce the risk of blood clot, prevent allergy and flu, reduce blood sugar, keep fluid balance, boost the immune system and provide oral care and fluoride that helps protect against cavities and prevent tooth decay. One of the jasmine tea health benefits is to improve intestine conditions by blocking development and growth of bad bacteria and strengthening good bacteria.
In addition, jasmine tea fights food poisoning, including cholera, dysentery, and piccoli causing gastric ulcers. Gargling with jasmine green tea is believed to be one of the most effective ways to protect oneself from influenza, as the tea performs anti-viral functions.
Today, jasmine is known in alternative health care as an effective anti-depressant, including post-natal depression, and menopause problems. Along with raspberry leaf tea it has been used to help childbirth and milk production. It can help relieve muscle and joint pain, including chronic back pain and is considered a romantic enhancer.
Recent studies show that drinking jasmine tea may fight fat. People who consumed tea with jasmine tea extract during the period of three months lost more fat than those who consumed regular oolong tea It seems substances found in jasmine tea known as catechins, trigger weight loss by decreasing body fat and stimulating the body to burn calories.
To prepare a cup of tea simply steep about one half teaspoon of tea in water from 170ºF to 190ºF for two minutes. You can repeat the steeping up to two times. You should consume at least four cups a day. This tea is served with strongly flavored foods or served alone. It is good with curries, chicken and fish, and vegetarian dishes. A good quality jasmine green tea will work beautifully with fruit and flower salads, or desserts made with flowers, or soft cheeses with pressed flowers.