What is green tea?
Loose leaf green tea is one type among the six major types of tea in China. The main difference from other loose leaf teas such as loose leaf oolong tea and loose leaf black tea among the six major teas is that loose leaf green tea is non-fermented.
The production process of loose leaf green tea mainly includes Shaqing (killing green), Rounian (rolling), and drying. This processing method aims to preserve the green color of the tea leaves, hence the prominent quality characteristic of green tea is "clear soup and green leaves."
There is a wide variety of loose leaf green teas in China, with over a hundred different types. Famous green teas include Longjing tea, Biluochun, Huangshan Maofeng, and Liuan Guapian, among others.
What is jasmine tea?
Loose leaf jasmine tea is a special type of tea in China that cannot simply be classified as one of the six major teas.
Jasmine tea is made by blending and scenting tea leaves with fresh jasmine flowers, allowing the tea leaves to absorb the floral fragrance. The aroma of high-quality jasmine tea is fresh, lively, and long-lasting, earning it the title of the "first fragrance on earth."
So, what type of tea leaves are used to absorb the floral fragrance of jasmine flowers? In actual practice, various loose leaf teas are used, including loose leaf green tea, loose leaf black tea, loose leaf oolong tea, and loose leaf white tea, among others.
I'm confused, is jasmine tea considered green tea?
At this point, some may wonder whether jasmine tea is a type of green tea.
In reality, most of the time, the jasmine tea you encounter is also considered green tea.
The most common method involves using loose leaf green tea as the base to absorb the fragrance of jasmine flowers, making green tea. Therefore, the jasmine tea you purchase is likely to be jasmine green tea.
Common varieties of jasmine green tea include Jasmine Longjing, Jasmine Biluochun, and Jasmine Needle King, among others.
Differences in Taste and Aroma between Jasmine Tea and Green Tea
Generally speaking, loose leaf green tea has a refreshing taste with a slight bitterness. The aroma of loose leaf green tea tends to be clear and elegant, a fragrance that requires careful appreciation.
The taste of jasmine tea is determined by the base tea used in its production. For example, the taste of Jasmine Green Tea is very similar to that of loose leaf green tea, while Jasmine Black Tea has a taste resembling that of loose leaf black tea. In terms of aroma, jasmine tea is characterized by a strong floral scent accompanying the tea fragrance. If you brew a cup of jasmine tea, its aroma is something that cannot be ignored.
Differences in Production Regions between Jasmine Tea and Green Tea
The production regions for loose leaf green tea in China are extremely widespread, including provinces such as Henan, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Hunan, Hubei, Guangxi, and Fujian.
In comparison, the production areas for jasmine tea are much fewer. Jasmine tea originated in Fuzhou, Fujian, and currently, it is also produced in locations like Fuzhou in Fujian, Hengxian in Guangxi, and Suzhou in Jiangsu.
Jasmine Tea Recommendations
If you are trying jasmine tea for the first time, it is advisable to start with the most common jasmine green teas. Initially, names like Jasmine Longjing, Jasmine Biluochun, and Jasmine Needle King may seem perplexing. Another approach to selecting jasmine tea is based on the number of times it has been scented with jasmine. It is recommended to try different samples using a tea sampler to discover the jasmine tea that suits your taste.
1.Jasmine Tea of 3 scenting sessions
Jasmine Tea of 3 scenting sessions can be a beginner's choice for jasmine tea. It is relatively economical and easy on the wallet.
This type of jasmine tea achieves a balance between tea fragrance and floral aroma. Upon the first infusion, the aroma fills the room, but it gradually dissipates after multiple infusions.
2.Jasmine Tea of 7 scenting sessions
Jasmine Tea of 7 scenting sessions is a choice for those who seek a higher level of jasmine tea. Generally, the price of Jasmine Tea of 7 scenting sessions is relatively higher, but in terms of the experience it brings, it is considered worthwhile.
Jasmine Tea of 7 scenting sessions exhibits an integrated state of tea fragrance and water. As the floral aroma becomes fuller and fresher, the layers of flavor become more pronounced. The tea infusion reaches a harmonious state, and as you sip, the floral fragrance gradually spreads through the layers of your palate.
Green Tea Recommendations
If you are just starting to explore Chinese green tea, it's best to begin with a few well-known varieties, such as Longjing tea and Biluochun, which are considered among the best loose leaf tea. This can help you establish a good foundation for appreciating green tea. These green teas are also excellent choices to be included in tea gift sets for family and friends.
Longjing tea is a renowned Chinese green tea produced in the Longjing Village and surrounding areas in the West Lake district of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. It is one of the top ten famous loose leaf tea in China and is recognized as a geographical indication product.
The dry leaves of Longjing tea are flat, smooth, straight, and pointed, with a tender, fresh, and bright green color. Longjing tea has a lasting and clear fragrance, a mellow and refreshing taste, a tender green and bright clear soup, and the leaves are delicate and bright.
Biluochun is a traditional Chinese green tea and one of the top ten famous loose-leaf teas in China, with a history of over 1000 years. Biluochun is produced in the Dongting Mountain area near Lake Tai in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, and is also known as "Dongting Biluochun." It was designated as a tribute tea during the Tang Dynasty.
The most distinctive feature of Biluochun is its bright and vivid green color, tightly curled, with white down covering the leaves. After brewing, it exudes a long-lasting fragrance and has a mellow and sweet taste. Drinking it leaves a lingering aftertaste between the lips and teeth.
Jasmine tea and green tea are both beloved for their unique aspects, and there is also some overlap between the two. If you prefer a tea with a more aromatic profile, jasmine tea would be your first choice. On the other hand, if you appreciate a fresher taste, then it's time to explore the diverse world of green tea!