While the act of brewing, inhaling, and enjoying the first sip of your cup of tea can be an experience, there are some teas that are also an experience to watch brew. Jasmine Pearl tea is one of those teas: when the pearls are placed in hot water, you can watch them unfurl and release the sweet, gentle scent that is jasmine. Although all jasmine tea is wonderfully aromatic and packed with plenty of antioxidants, jasmine pearl tea is especially unique because of how handcrafted it is. While other jasmine teas are typically made with cut-up jasmine flowers, jasmine pearls consist of two leaves and a jasmine flower bud that are rolled. They are typically blended with green tea, although black and white teas are sometimes used. One of the other unique things about jasmine pearls, also sometimes called dragon pearls, is that they can be steeped more than once, as they continue to expand a little more each time you brew them, allowing you to get more out of this special tea.
Jasmine pearl tea has a rich history. The jasmine plant is thought to have been introduced to China from India during the Han Dynasty, and jasmine pearl tea was a drink that was typically reserved for the emperors. In fact, it’s sometimes referred to as “Emperor’s Blend Tea” today. During the Qing dynasty, jasmine tea grew in popularity, especially as the Chinese started to export tea to the west, allowing the craft of rolling jasmine pearls to continue to grow.
Today, the same historical processes of creating jasmine pearls for tea exist. Making the tea itself is very dependent on timing, with fresh flowers being harvested in the Fujian province in China every spring, as only the fresh, new buds are used. The top bud and two leaves are used with jasmine pearls, with the lower leaves being discarded. These buds are then dried using a bamboo tray - either using the warmth of the sun or low heat to keep enough moisture in them so that they are easy to roll. The thumb and the index finger are then used to roll the bud into a pearl. Once the jasmine pearls are rolled, they are then typically combined with the tea itself to create the black and jasmine or green tea jasmine fusions that you enjoy. If you’re interested in giving jasmine pearl tea a try yourself, here are a couple of our favorites:
- teapigs Jasmine Pearls
- Wight Tea Co Jasmine Pearl Green Tea
- Churchill's Fine Teas White Peachberry Jasmine Pearls Tea
- DAVIDsTEA Buddha’s Blend
HOW TO BREW JASMINE PEARL TEA
Jasmine pearl tea is perfect for brewing in a clear glass tea pot or vessel, so you can watch the buds open and unfurl. Jasmine tea works great brewed at 175° F, steeped for 2-3 minutes, as hot water can scald this delicate tea. Because jasmine pearls are potent, you may find that you need less than one teaspoon per 8 ounces of water. Don’t forget that you can brew the tea multiple times, with most varieties of jasmine pearl typically being able to be brewed 3-5 times. Keep in mind that with the first infusion, the jasmine pearls may not open completely. You can experiment with brewing times with each cup as the flavor will be released easier once the pearls have unfurled, meaning that you may need less steeping time with the later brews.
About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate.