There are three potential areas of any given store that capture my attention more than others – the nursery/florist areas, bulk herbs (duh), and the tea aisle. The first because, well, plants and flowers. The second because I am an herbalist and a home cook – I am always out of something. And finally, the tea aisle… While it is true that I make most of our teas – the allure of the array of teas in their sleek, quasi-vintage packaging is very real to me. Occasionally, I indulge in one of these selections. Jasmine Tea has been a particular favorite. But, lo and behold – jasmine tea can be replicated at home too.
And I have done just that. I guess I need to set my sights on a new tea “crush”.
Jasmine tea tastes of exoticness – something I am squarely not with my blue jeans and dishwater blonde hair. It is a tea that suggests sensual longing glances, and the tender brush of a secret lover’s skin (sexy mystery being not in the vocabulary of this dedicated farm wife in flannel shirts and rubber boots). It is just a tantalizing tea.
As exotic as I may have made it out to sound, jasmine tea is merely green or black tea (Camellia sinensis) that is fragranced with jasmine flowers. I am particularly fond of Assam black tea or Rooibos green tea from Mountain Rose Herbs as the base for this scented tea. This tea is easily achieved by layering tea and fresh jasmine flowers in a vessel, adding a weight of some kind, pressing, and allowing the aroma to perfume the tea for at least 24 hours, up to a few weeks.
When choosing the right “jasmine” to scent your tea, choose that specifically of the Jasminum species such as J. officinale, J. sambac, or J. polyanthum. These flowers should be plucked during the warmth of the day when the dew has dried, as buds or freshly opened flowers. I drop them directly onto a layer of tea in a large jar with a wide opening. This can be done indefinitely while jasmine is in bloom, always “sandwiching” the blossoms between layers of tea. It would be wise to pluck from plants established in your own garden that is free from spray and/or chemical fertilizers; avoid nursery stock as they are likely a contamination risk. NOTE: Do not use “star jasmine/confederate jasmine/jessamine” (Trachelospermum jasminoides) or “Carolina jessamine” (Gelsemium sempervirens) – which is toxic, not exotic.
This sweetly, sensually scented tea is a perfect complement to hours spent luxuriously reading a book or planning romantic trip. Or, if you’re like me, simply to celebrate the fact that you made it another day without face planting in the muddy pastures.
Jasmine Tea Recipe
Jasmine tea is an exotically scented, sensually delicious, but simple tea to make yourself at home. Save money & "tea" like royalty with this DIY preparation.
- black or green tea bulk
- fresh jasmine flowers
Using black or green tea, place a layer of tea in the bottom of a jar with a large opening. Place a layer of fresh jasmine flowers over tea. Add another layer of tea over top. Repeat as jasmine blooms, if desired. Note: I use 1/4 cup of tea, and just enough jasmine flowers to cover the tea, then add the second tea layer of 1/4 cup. Place a can or small weight on top of the tea. Cover tightly with lid.
Allow jasmine flowers to perfume the tea for at least 24 hours, up to several weeks. Remove weight. It is okay to leave dried jasmine flowers in the tea. Store in a cool dark place.
To prepare, steep a heaping teaspoon of jasmine tea in 8-10 oz for water just off the boil. Steep for 5-7 minutes, strain and serve.