Has a tea more relaxing than Jasmine ever been invented? That blissful aroma of mild leaves and sweet tropical flowers? Probably not. So it’s ironic, then – no, it’s poetic – that the blending of jasmine tea is actually quite a fraught experience.
Jasmine plants grow in hot climates and the flowers have to be picked under the baking afternoon sun in summer. It may not be much fun for humans but the flowers love it, opening and releasing their scent in the early evening. A skilled tea maker then blends the tea leaves and jasmine flowers together, in sauna-like conditions (albeit a fragrant sauna), all through the night.
So whenever you drink jasmine tea, raise a toast to the uncelebrated alchemists of this thousand-year old tradition.