Foodjoy – Jasmine

After a week of being pummeled by a nasty rhinovirus, I return with today’s fragrant cuppa: Foodjoy Tea Company’s Jasmine Tea.

Foodjoy Jasmine TeaThis is a loose jasmine in a cute yellow tin with a lot of Chinese writing on it, and I picked it up at the big Japanese market in Seattle’s International District. The tin has a rubber stopper inside the lid to keep things fresh.

I don’t usually like florals, but this one is a great standard green tea leaf infused with jasmine essence. It has a very fragrant and full with a sweet note to the taste. (I often add a splash of agave to bring that out.)

It has been pointed out that this probably isn’t a quality jasmine-green tea, and I’m inclined to agree based on the price alone. As far as premium jasmine is concerned, Wikipedia has a succinct explanation of how the flower is combined with the tea:

The delicate Jasmine flower opens only at night and is plucked in the morning when the tiny petals are tightly closed. They are then stored in a cool place until night. Between six and eight in the evening, as the temperature cools, the petals begin to open. Flowers and tea are “mated” in machines that control temperature and humidity. It takes four hours or so for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavour of the Jasmine blossoms, and for the highest grades, this process may be repeated as many as seven times. Because the tea has absorbed moisture from the flowers, it must be refired to prevent spoilage. The spent flowers may or may not be removed from the final product, as the flowers are completely dry and contain no aroma. They simply add visual appeal and are no indication of the quality of the tea.

Of course, the taste of jasmine is incredibly dependent upon how you brew it. Jasmine shouldn’t be brewed with boiling water. Let the kettle sit for a few minutes to bring the temperature down. After you add the water, keep an eye on the clock. Two minutes is the maximum. If you prefer stronger tea, I suggest adding more leaves. Brewing it with boiling water or brewing for too long will give you a very bitter and undrinkable tea, and I really think that’s what spoils it for most.

I’ll confess that I got caught up in conversation while mine was brewing this morning, and I had to toss it and make a fresh pot. It really is that delicate.

With some attention to your method, you’ll have an aroma and taste that send your spirits soaring. Good for all seasons.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Gongfu girl, hope you are feeling better.

    If I remember correctly, the tea in this tin is actually jasmine scented black tea, which is of not so good quality. The romanticized Wikipedia description is accurate when it comes to high quality white spring buds that are rolled with jasmine petals during processing. 7-times rolled jasmine tea is going to cost you very pretty money.

    The cheaper versions of supermarket jasmine teas such as this yellow-canned FooJoy are most likely low quality black tea that have been spritzed with concentrated jasmine scent spray.

  2. Thanks for the comment – all good information to take into consideration. It’s hard to tell when most of the information is written in another language. 🙂

    The leaves weren’t whole, but they were definitely green, and cut a lot larger than the usual supermarket teas, but you’re probably correct about the jasmine being sprayed on at the end. I’ll be looking for a higher quality jasmine now that I’m venturing out to some specialty stores. I’m venturing into a whole new world…