JASMINE DRAGON TEARS
(China Green Tea)
Country of Origin: China
Region: Fujian Province
Shipping Port: Fuzhou
Grade: Tea pearls with delicate jasmine scent
Altitude: 1500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Steamed green tea and hand rolled
Cup Characteristics: Smooth with delicate and pleasing flavour and a heavenly jasmine character
Infusion: Pale green liquor.
Ingredients: Luxury green tea, Jasmine petals
Jasmine Dragon Tears are a green tea and are made from the top two leaves and the bud of new season growth (Late March /early April). These delicate leaves are then hand rolled into the small pearls. When you infuse these pearls in your tea cup, you will see the top two leaves and the bud come to life. In fact you will see some small ‘hairy down’ on the bud of the leaves - this denotes superb quality and very careful and delicate handling.
The extraordinary flavour of these Jasmine Dragon Tears is due to the time of plucking, manufacture and the fresh spring jasmine blooms. The new tea season starts in China in late March/early April (dependent on weather patterns) and it is during the first 4 weeks that the best teas are manufactured. After this initial period the quality of the teas and green leaf start to deteriorate rapidly and the teas become quite plain. Dragon Pearls are only made from tea plucked in the first 3 weeks of the new season. Coinciding with the new tea growth, the jasmine bushes are in spring bloom. Only the most fragrant blossoms are used (from bushes that are known to produce the most fragrant flowers). These fresh flowers are layered between the tea and before long the intense and uplifting fragrance of the new jasmine blooms is passed on to the tea. An extraordinary taste experience!
Hot tea brewing method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is
to use water that is about 180’F or 80’C. Place 6-8 pearls in your cup, let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked. [The traditional Chinese method of drinking this tea would be to use the leaves 3-5 times and discuss philosophy with a close friend]
Alternatively as with all top quality teas, scoop 2-4 teaspoons of tea into the teapot, pour in boiling water that has been freshly drawn (previously boiled water has lost most of its oxygen and therefore tends to be flat tasting), steep for 2-4 minutes (to taste), stir (virtually all the leaves will sink), pour into your cup but do not add milk or sugar since green tea is enjoyed ‘straight-up’.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart) : Place 25-30 pearls into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]
Another brewing method for hot tea is to use one pearl per ounce of water. No infuser, required. Use freshly boiled water 180’F and steep for about 3 minuets. The pearls will open into large tea leaves that stay at the bottom of your cup. When your cup is half full, refill it with hot water and it will be the right temperature to drink right away. You can refill your cup over and over again.