Drinking 茉莉花茶(mò lì huā chá) - jasmine tea is truly a treat for the senses. If you need to relax, just sit back and let the soothing fragrance and taste of jasmine fill your teacup.
Jasmine tea is infused green tea leaves with the scent of jasmine and other flowers. Do you know how to make it? Let's follow Matthew to have a journey in the jasmine tea's birthplace - Fuzhou.
"As I walked through a field of jasmine with Fu Tianlong, provincial-level inheritor of the Fuzhou jasmine tea-making craft, the fragrance was unmistakable. I followed Fu as he showed me one of the sources of local tea producer Chunlun Tea Group's jasmine, pointing out which buds were ready to be picked, and which ones needed more.
But picking the flowers is just one step in an intricate process that has been honed over the course of centuries.
At the company's headquarters, Fu showed me the scenting process, the most important step in the many used to create the finest jasmine tea.
Tea leaves, which are picked before Qingming Festival, are filtered for their weight, size and shape. From June to August, the flowers are picked during the afternoon and stored until nightfall when they finally bloom.
The two are mixed and left overnight. During the 12-hour period, the leaves absorb the oils and fragrance of the flowers. Later, the leaves are baked. According to Fu, the highest grade of jasmine tea goes through this process nine times, and each time fresh flowers are added to the mix. It can take six months and more than 100 procedures before the final product is ready to be sold to buyers all over the world."