China Plucking Season: Late Summer
Jasmine Pearls are a fine representative of the art of handcrafted tea, requiring careful, skilled plucking and processing to achieve beautiful pearls with smooth green tea flavor and rich jasmine aroma.
Jasmine Pearls— The process for making Jasmine Pearls begins by plucking only the newly sprouted spring season leaves of the tea plant.
Although the top bud and two leaves are plucked along with the stem, the lower leaves are discarded and only the bud and long stem are retained.
Using traditional bamboo trays, the buds are ‘withered’ in direct sun or over low heat to reduce moisture and make them supple and conducive to rolling.
Once adequate suppleness is achieved, top bud and stem are gently twisted in-between the thumb and index finger to bring the shape into that of a ‘pearl’.
It takes at least 2000 pearls to make one pound of tea.
The rolled pearls are then heat infused with jasmine flowers and the process repeated several times to achieve the desired strength of aroma.
High grade Jasmine Pearls undergoes this process at least five times.
Although green teas are made at different times during the year, the most flavorful are typically spring plucked. Yet the most fragrant jasmine flowers blossom in summer. A lot of skill is therefore needed by Jasmine Pearl tea makers to strike a good balance between the leaf and the flowers.
The very fragrant, sweet and smooth Jasmine Pearls pair well with slightly spicy, savory and oily foods. It is an ideal tea for use in dessert recipes.
Water Temp: 170°F (77°C)
Quality of Water: Best with Spring Water/Filtered Water
Quantity of Leaf (tsp/8oz water): 1
Steep Time: 4-5 minutes
Brew one level teaspoon of pearls in eight ounces of pure water at 170F- 175F for four minutes. Can be infused at least three times.