You might have noticed that I didn’t post anything last week. Work’s been pretty hectic, so I was feeling swamped. However, I try not to let that happen too often — I normally have at least have some notes drafted in advance so I can post things at the last minute.
But what do you drink when you’re feeling stressed and super busy? (You get three guesses, and the first two don’t count.)
And what better way is there to unwind than with some jasmine teas? This week’s teas are another set that I bought from Amoda Tea last year at their Black Friday sale. However, as you’ll see, each tea has a twist.
Jestha Jasmine from Nepali Tea Traders
June, or “Jestha” in Nepal, is the month that marks the start of summer, a time when fragrant jasmines are in full bloom. Our premium full leaf green tea is blended with dried jasmine blossoms to create a smooth, sublime cup. Transport yourself to a serene Nepalese tea garden with every sip.
One thing the description above doesn’t mention is that this blend contains orange peel in addition to jasmine. I’ve imagined for a while that orange and jasmine would be a match made in heaven, so when I saw that this tea was part of the Amoda sale, I had to give it a try!
The thing that I was immediately struck by when I first opened the envelope was just how visible the jasmine was in the blend. Mixed in with the dark green strands of leaf and chunks of dried orange peel were whole flowers. Huge! Like this:
However, the leaf didn’t smell like the perfumed onslaught I was expecting. Instead, it smelled mild, slightly vegetal, and slightly floral.
This lightness and gentleness held up upon brewing. I took a big heaping spoonful and steeped it for 2 minutes in 70°C water, as directed on the package. I was worried that this would lead to a weak, nothing-flavoured tea, but I was mistaken — the resulting liquid was a pleasing orange-yellow colour that signalled good things.
And, yup, the taste was just like the dried leaf — mild, gently sweet, and with a texture and softness in the mouth that reminded me of baby powder (in a good way). The jasmine flavour here is wispy and feather-light. Surprisingly pleasant! I didn’t get any orange, but I’m still in love with how gentle the whole thing is.
Hawaiian Ginger Jasmine from Swan Sisters
We source our Ginger from an organic farm in beautiful Maui and add this to our already fantastic Jasmine Dragon Pearls. A touch of orange peel adds to the exotic flare. Hawaiian Ginger Jasmine also makes a delicious iced tea for Summer.
This is a tea I bought out of a mixture of curiosity and hope. Curiosity because jasmine and ginger are such contrasting flavours, the former cool and gentle and serene, the latter spicy and forceful. Hope because I have heard that ginger can be great for soothing upset stomachs, and I’ve got this weird stomach pain issue that I have yet to confirm a diagnosis for. Would having more ginger teas in my cupboard help?
The jury’s still out on that. However, I can say that combining ginger and jasmine together in a tea is just as unusual as I thought it would be. Here, small chunks of ginger root are mixed in wholesale with the dragon pearls. The description above says the tea also contains orange peel, but either I didn’t see any or I wasn’t able to tell the pieces of peel apart from the chunks of ginger.
How do I describe the smell of this tea? It’s obviously a combination of ginger and jasmine, but the interplay between the two is so odd. I don’t smell any harmony in this combination — there’s no sense of them being complementary flavours at all. Occasionally the jasmine wins out over the ginger, or vice versa, but overall the mix of sweet, slightly powdery florals and the assertiveness of ginger is, at best, idiosyncratic.
I took about 1.5 teaspoons of dry leaf and steeped it in 85°C water for 3 minutes. The resulting tea was similar in colour to the Jestha Jasmine above, though slightly paler. And like the tea above, the powdery-soft nature of the jasmine was apparent here. But the sweetness and strength of the ginger interfered in a way that’s hard to describe.
I know that there are people that will probably dig this flavour blend, but it turned out to be a hard sell for me.