This rare speciality green tea all the way from China (via theuklooseleafteacompany), has leaves hand picked and rolled into small balls resembling pearls; hence the name. Rolled without breaking the veins and flavoured with jasmine flowers which produce a fragrant aroma and subtly sweetish flavour; this tea certainly is a pearl. The leaves are picked in the spring and stored until the jasmine flowers blossom. The jasmine is then picked as early in the day as possible whilst tightly budded. The buds are then kept at a low temperature until nightfall; the jasmine will then bloom releasing their heady fragrance, this is the time for scenting the tea. It is reported that the two main scenting methods are: tea and flowers are alternately layered, or, blend the tea with the flowers and store through the night. It takes approximately 4 hours to absorb the fragrance and flavour. It is reported that the scenting process could be repeated six or seven times for the highest grade teas. The tea will absorb moisture so must be dried again to avoid spoiling the batch. In northern China the jasmine flower is grown high in the mountains and is the municiple flower of Fuzhou where jasmine tea is the local beverage; also, It is customery to serve jasmine tea to welcome visitors. The jasmine is reported to have been introduced to China from Persia via India during the Han Dynasty circa 206 BC, but was not widely used until the Quing Dynasty circa 1644, when tea started to be exported en mass. With a brewing time of 2-3 minutes this tasty fragrant imbibe is truly a pearl amongst swine.
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