What is Jasmine (and Lotus) Tea?
“Jasmine” is one of our most popular teas. Everyone seems to like the distinctive floral aroma, but many people still aren’t exactly clear on what it is. A common mistake is that people think it consists of brewing jasmine flowers (like, say, chamomile).
Actually, jasmine tea is simply regular tea that has been scented with fragrant jasmine blossoms that bloom in the spring. Traditionally, the flowers are blended with green tea.
It works like this: Tea is very absorbent. (This is why you should always store it tightly, away from strong-smelling open foods, like in a refrigerator.) Tea’s absorbency makes it easy to scent with certain flowers—like jasmine blossoms. The process can be intricate, but generally speaking, dried green tea is laid out and jasmine blossoms are layered with it overnight. After ample time to absorb the scent of the flowers, most blossoms are removed and discarded (although you’ll see a few flower petals remaining). What’s left is a scented green tea—jasmine tea.
This is very similar to how lotus tea is made. One thing to remember, though, is that when you buy cheap jasmine tea (or lotus tea), you should be aware that it’s often artificially flavored. Using actual jasmine and lotus blossoms to complete the process is expensive, but most tea drinkers find it worth it. And that’s how we do it.
At Rakkasan Tea, we have two jasmine teas and a lotus tea. Our Hà Giang Jasmine is a traditional green jasmine tea produced from wild tea trees in far north Vietnam. The jasmine blossoms themselves come from Hanoi West Lake.
Our Black Jasmine we had specially made. It’s actually quite rare to find black tea scented with real jasmine flowers. But it’s great for people who like the jasmine scent but who prefer the boldness and kick of a strong black tea. It also comes from wild tea trees and we use Six Borders Black as the base tea.Preparing jasmine flowers to scent tea
Preparing jasmine flowers to scent tea
Finally, Lotus Tea is our most expensive tea. That’s because it takes 1,000 lotus flowers to make a single kilo of Lotus Tea. The tea is produced using lotus flowers from Quang Ba pond, one of a dwindling number of lotus ponds around the edges of Hanoi's West Lake. You can watch a video of our blending process here.
Hopefully this clears up any confusion about what jasmine and lotus teas are!