Recipes

Scented Tea

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Bruce MacNaughton

Tea was reportedly discovered in China around 2737 B.C. by The Emperor Chen Nung when a tealeaf fell into his bowl of hot water. This tradition of tea drinking became an integral part of society and was the preferred beverage for all walks of life; from monks and mandarins to the nomadic tribesmen who traded horses for bricks of tea. The Japanese may have transformed

tea drinking into a sacred ceremony; however, the Chinese are credited with initiating the time honored ritual of offering a guest a cup of tea as a sign of hospitality.

Scented teas have been around for a long time and are produced according to ancestral recipes. Before the advent of essential oil extracts one of the easiest scents to duplicate was ‘Rose’. The plantations would literally cut the rose blossoms from the plants bordering fields and pathways and sprinkle these into the tea. The result was a delicate but finely flavored tea. Today the practice remains virtually the same, but essential oils are used to speed up the scenting process and freshly cut flowers are added to the tea for visual effects. The result is a delightfully attractive leaf accented with rose petals combined with the refreshing cleansing flavour of roses. 

People in North China prefer a scented tea, as do the Chinese living in Hong Kong and Macao. It is now a popular tea beverage in more than forty countries including Western Europe and North America. Notable jasmine teas include Chung Hao, Chung Feng and Monkey King - a name that is very familiar in North America. 

Scented tea is prepared by layering the green or minimally fermented tender tea leaves with fresh flowers and buds of the desired flower scent during the steaming process. This procedure infuses the fragrant scent of blossoms and petals into the tea leaves. Different flowers used in the process make the differently scented tea. Besides jasmine, the most popular scent, there are magnolia, pomel, chulan, dai-dai flower, mi lan, osmanthus, and rose, to name just a few. The souchong style, large, open leaves yield a pale brownish to gold liquor which is typically light bodied.

The next time a guest drops by; why not offer a truly special cup of hospitality accented with the smell of flowers. 

Our Scented Teas 

China Jasmine with Flowers

This lovely green tea is scented with the blossoms of Jasmine flowers. Freshly plucked tea and fresh picked jasmine blossoms are layered on racks where warm air is infused from beneath to aid in the scenting process which is often repeated several times in a month until the desired strength is achieved. The scented green tea is than decorated with jasmine petals making it a treat for both eyes and pallet.

China Rose Congou

A fragrant scented tea combining north China Congou black tea with the heavy scent of fresh rose petals.  Red rose petals are also added to the tea.  In the cup the tea has a typical “China character” a reddish brown liquor with the sweet aroma of heady roses.

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