The scenting of tea leaves – typically green tea, white tea or lightly oxidized Oolong teas – with Jasmine flowers is an old Chinese tradition. In order to achieve a high quality, natural scenting with Jasmine flowers, not only appropriate skills in the processing of the used base tea, but also specific knowledge of the aroma donor plant, namely the Jasmine flower, are needed. For a genuine traditional Jasmine tea, the Jasmine flowers must be freshly collected in proper time with the picking of tea leaves. They will have to be processed along with the freshly picked tea leaves on the very evening of the same day, as this is when the aroma buds of the flowers will open and release their aromatic essences to be absorbed by the tea leaves. While the jasmine flowers bestow a sweet and floral scent and taste on the tea leaves, their own taste is rather bitter, when physically present in the infusion. Hence, it is a general feature of any really good Jasmine tea that Jasmine flowers used for scenting will be sorted out again at the end of the process, so that they are not contained anymore in the final Jasmine tea. One of the most noble forms of tea scented with Jasmine is the use of white ‘Silver Needle’ as a basis tea. Home of the Jasmine Silver Needle variant is therefore Fuding County in the Chinese province of Fujian, which is the natural place of origin of the world’s most famous traditional white teas, ‘White Silver Needle’ und ‘White Peony’.
White Silver Needle (also: White Hair Silver Needle, Baihao Yinzhen 白 毫 银 针), consisting of pure spring buds only, is not just one the most famous, but also the most elegant and luxury type of white tea. Like its close relative, Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) (picking standard 1+1 or 1+2), it originally comes from the northeastern part of Fujian. There, the ‘Da Bai’ tea variety, from which genuine Silver Needle and Bai Mu Dan teas are picked, is mainly prevalent in the Fuding und Zhenghe counties, where the special white tea processing method as we know it today was developed during the second half of the 19th century only. This makes white tea the youngest of the 6 classical Chinese tea categories. Read more details about the basis tea used for this exclusive local tea specialty, Imperial Fuding Silver Needle White Tea, here.
In Fuding, also the Jasmine flowers needed for the scenting of Fuding White Jasmine Silver Needle Tea grow locally, which shines light on the possible origin of the idea for this processing variant. In order to achieve the desirable presence of the sweet and floral notes transferred to the tea leaves by the jasmine flowers and ensure their persistence across a range of infusions, the scenting process is at least five times repeated for this tea, every time with new jasmine flowers. Then, the jasmine flowers are carefully sorted out from the leaf material again.
The lovely sweet scent exuded by resulting scented tea leaves already anticipates a good part of both the fragrance and the taste of the ready prepared tea. However, the high quality of the Fuding White Silver Needle basis tea gives the latter additional depth and a sheer wealth of subtle notes and flavor facets. Ever new taste profiles appear across several infusions, with the jasmine flower prevailing at times and the pure buds white tea at others. At this, Imperial Fuding White Jasmine Silver Needle always remains sensual, elegant and unobtrusive, making it the perfect tea for very special moments or events. As with your guests – whether private or business, whether tea-savvy or not – this tea is a reliable guarantor for a lasting fair impression.
As a friend of high grade, naturally scented jasmine teas, please also try our Spring Imperial Jasmine Dragon Pearls Tea, also originating from Fuding county (Spring Imperial Fuding White Silver Needle).
In our recommendation for the preparation of this luxurious white jasmine tea, we follow our recommendation for the underlying basis tea, Imperial Fuding White Silver Needle:
Pour 250-350ml water of a temperature of 80-85°C over 4-5g Imperial Fuding White Jasmine Silver Needle leaves and let infuse for 2-3 minutes. Adding an additional half minute for each subsequent infusion, this precious jasmine tea will produce at least 3-4 full value, delicious infusions.