If you are new to teas but know that you love flowers with a strong aroma, then look no further than the classic jasmine tea. Jasmine flowers themselves smell beautiful, so imagine that light and refreshing scent in a gloriously steaming mug.
The taste is going to vary based on the tea base that is paired with the jasmine, which ranges from green to black to white, but unlike Chamomile Tea or Milk Tea, Jasmine Tea will always have a lightly sweet floral flavor that will balance out that true tea base.
The tea base will also determine whether it will be caffeinated, so you really can think of this as a customizable tea that you can enjoy in many ways. The real question is who looked at the jasmine flower and decided to add it to their tea? Did they know the health benefits of jasmine and want to see if it worked as a tea, or were they just curious about how it would taste? Did they just really like the smell? Were there religious reasons that they started using jasmine in tea?
These questions and more are what we will be getting into during the course of this article. Here are some of the topics we will be covering:
- What is jasmine and where did it come from?
- What are the health benefits of jasmine tea?
- How should you make the perfect cup of jasmine tea?
- Where is the best place to find good jasmine tea?
- Commonly asked questions about jasmine and jasmine tea.
As a start, we will let you in on a secret: premium jasmine tea doesn’t actually contain any jasmine as a part of the tea mix. They use the jasmine blossoms to add to the leaves as a scenting process! Neat, right?
We’ll talk about that more in-depth later. Whether you are looking for something exotic with historical significance or just looking to try a new variety of tea, jasmine tea could be exactly what you should try next. Let’s get going!
What Is Jasmine?
Let’s start from the beginning: what exactly is jasmine? Jasmine is a little white flowering plant with a delicate and delightful scent. This climbing plant is native to the warm regions of what is called the “Old World,” specifically Asia.
It was first introduced into China’s history during the Han Dynasty and is actually considered a holy flower in Buddhism. It’s even used in a meditative tea preparation ritual called the Gongfu Tea Ceremony. This flower is (excuse our pun) steeped in religious and cultural significance, and not just in China.
In Indonesia, jasmine symbolizes purity and nobility and is a part of wedding ceremonies. In Thailand, jasmine symbolizes the mother. The jasmine flower is also important to Hinduism, and is used as a part of various religious ceremonies.
As far as how jasmine has been used for the last thousand or so years, jasmine has long been used in aromatherapy to calm and relax the mind. Ancient herbalists have been known to have used it to aid in curing digestive issues, as an aphrodisiac, as a sedative, to soothe the mind, and as a part of reproductive healthcare.
That last one is pretty unique, as it is beneficial for several different cycles of reproductive health. Jasmine essential oil is how so many of these benefits were achieved originally, and still are today! Of course, we can’t forget them adding jasmine petals to teas to digest much in the same way they do it today.
Benefits of Jasmine Tea
Jasmine tea has a host of health benefits, mental and physical. Much of it stems from which type of tea is used as the base for this tea, as will the level of caffeine. Each tea adds its own health benefits to the ones that come from jasmine, creating some incredibly useful teas. Let’s take a look at what jasmine tea has to offer:
- Antioxidant boosting: Jasmine tea is sky-high in antioxidants, which come from the polyphenols in the jasmine, and even more if it’s made with green tea. Antioxidants are important for protecting your cells from free radicals, which do so much for your body. Free radicals have been linked by research to heart disease, cancer growth, and even aging. These same antioxidants also have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it helps your heart health. Polyphenols are also good for aiding in the prevention of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Antioxidants, in short, are key to keeping your cells healthy for a long time, so drink up!
- Gastrointestinal protection: Jasmine helps to improve the digestion of nutrients and helps the gastrointestinal system function smoothly. A recent study showed that jasmine extract helps to fight various bacteria that cause many tummy bugs that cause vomiting and other issues, and it has antispasmodic qualities that soothe things like cramps and indigestion.
- Anxiety and depression fighting: Jasmine tea has a calming effect, making it perfect for fighting anxiety and depression. Jasmine on its own has a gently uplifting scent, and when you add it to the l-theanine in the tea you get a drink that will reduce stress and stimulate the mind and body to mellow your depression and anxiety.
- Fighting Insomnia: As mentioned above, jasmine has a sedative quality to it when inhaled. This is largely attributed to the linalool it contains, which lowers your heart rate gently to relax your body. If paired with a decaffeinated tea base, this makes it a perfect way to close out your night and soothe you to sleep.
Now, a few words of caution:
- The catechins in jasmine tea pose a slight risk to how your body processes iron, so if you have anaemia or another condition that puts you at a low-iron risk…maybe limit to one cup a day at most.
- Women who are pregnant may want to choose a different tea. Jasmine, as we mentioned earlier, has been used for a variety of reproductive health phases. One of these was giving birth. Jasmine would help induce contractions to speed along the labor process.
How to Make Jasmine Tea
Premium jasmine tea is a very particular tea to make. Chinese tea growers only have a small window of time in which they can craft proper jasmine tea, only for the few months of the year when the jasmine is in bloom. Every day through June, July, and August these growers will hand pick the blossoms that are just about to bloom.
They will then take those blossoms and layer them in alternating trays with tea leaves in a “scenting house” to let the two marry together into a beautifully scented bouquet, and they will repeat this process as many times as it takes to reach that perfect quality.
The tea leaves will gradually absorb the scent and essence of the jasmine and then they are dried, creating a uniquely flavored tea that is sure to enchant. Some other types of jasmine tea are created by adding the petals into the tea and then sifting the petals out before packaging, but the ones made this way are typically considered to be lower quality.
Making the perfect cup of jasmine tea will fully depend on which true tea base it’s made with, as each type of tea has a different need for brewing.
- Jasmine green tea: For jasmine green teas, you will need to use one teaspoon per six ounces of water. You will need to heat the water until it’s steaming but not boiling (aim for between 175-180 degrees). Let the tea leaves infuse for about a minute or two, but no longer! When green tea is over-steeped, it goes bitter. This type of jasmine tea will pair really well with honey if you want to sweeten it up a little.
- Jasmine black tea: The ratio for this type of jasmine tea will be one small teaspoon per six ounces of water. You will heat your water to a nice boil and then allow your tea leaves to infuse for anywhere from three to five minutes depending on how strong you like your tea. You can drink it as is or add a bit of milk and sugar to dress it up, your choice!
- Jasmine white tea: For jasmine white tea, you should use a heaping teaspoon per six ounces of water. Heat your water up to about 180 degrees (so not quite boiling). Pop your tea leaves in to infuse for two to three minutes and enjoy. Even better, most white teas can be re-used a second time to get a mellow second cup. This type will also pair well with honey as a sweetener.
- Jasmine oolong tea: In easy news, this variety of jasmine tea is made pretty much the same way as jasmine black tea. Brew away!
You can also mix your jasmine tea with various alcohols to create some neat cocktails! You could make a Jasmine Blossom cocktail, a jasmine tea mojito, or a raspberry jasmine green tea paloma.
You can turn your jasmine tea into a jasmine milk tea for a creamy beverage. You could make a refreshing jasmine tea lemonade. You could even create a jasmine tea orange juice! If you can dream it up, you can probably make it with jasmine tea.
Best Places to Find Jasmine Tea
After learning all about the history of jasmine tea and all of its benefits, are you ready to get in on this sip? Well, we will give you a few of our favorite brands, most of which are in your local grocery store.
- Harney & Sons Dragon Pearl Jasmine Tea
- Twining’s Jasmine Green Tea
- Bigelow Jasmine Green Tea
- Ahmad Jasmine Black Tea
You can always poke around online to find more, but these are some very popular options. No matter what kind of jasmine tea you are looking for, you are sure to be able to find it!
Now that you know jasmine tea’s rich history going back thousands of years, from across various Chinese dynasties to nearby Asian countries that also revered the jasmine flower as a religious and cultural item of importance, you can more fully appreciate just how impressive jasmine tea is.
You now also know just how much skill and patience is required to make this tea, and how little of a time window there is to do so! You’ve read all about the health benefits, mental and physical, that come with jasmine tea…especially one with a green tea base.
With all of this new knowledge, you can go forth and browse the many jasmine teas out there to find the one that you will enjoy the most.
Where did jasmine tea come from?
The origins of jasmine tea can be traced back to China over 1,000 years ago! This would have been during the South-Song Dynasty, and it was then perfected during the Ming Dynasty. China remains to this day the biggest exporter of jasmine tea. Additional fun fact: jasmine itself dates back even further as an important part of China’s history, back to the Han Dynasty!
What kind of jasmine flower is used to make jasmine tea?
Typically, the types of jasmine used to make tea would be Common Jasmine or Sampaguita Jasmine.
How long should jasmine tea steep?
This depends wholly on that kind of tea is the base of your jasmine tea. 1-2 minutes for a green tea base, 2-3 for a white tea, and 3-5 for a black tea!
Can you drink too much jasmine tea?
Like with anything, the answer is yes…you can have too much of a good thing. The limit for most people is up to 8 cups, but there are some risks if it’s a green tea base. Green tea comes with risks of kidney stones, liver damage, and insomnia when consumed in excess. Try to stick with 2-3 cups at most to be on the safe side.
Can anyone drink jasmine tea?
Actually, no. Jasmine tea is not recommended for pregnancy, as it could induce labor in excess. Chat with your doctor ahead of time.
About the Author
This article was written by Jordan O'Hara, Founder of Windansea Coffee.
You can learn more about him here.