I bought this tea as a gift to my family members and sadly nobody claimed it. So, I found it unopened after a year and gave it a try.
I remember that I loved this tea when I tried it which led me to purchase it. However, since then my taste and perception in tea changed significantly and I almost felt heart-broken when I could not taste any subtle flavours that would be there had this tea not been heavily scented with jasmine. Anyway, this does not change the fact that this tea is the ultimate jasmine tea and it comes
from Fujian which is famous for Yinzhen white tea production.
My sourcebook 'Tea and Tea Set' by Li Hong calls the process of producing scented tea "fumigation". I am not sure if I have seen this terminology elsewhere, but I will stick with it. Li Hong describes the process of fumigation as follows:
1- Process the fresh jasmine (that blooms in the evening) and tea separately
2- Put the jasmine and tea together for the first fumigation
3- Sieve the flowers and dry the tea
4- Fumigate the tea with fresh jasmine (second fumigation) and third time
The author says that the high-quality jasmine tea normally undergoes through three to five fumigations while the low-quality ones are fumigated once or twice and mostly with used flowers. When the fumigation is over the tea is packaged directly without drying along with a small number of fresh flowers. This is called tihua (enhancing flavour). The existence of jasmine leaves is indeed visible on the first photo above which is a good sign.
Overall, yes it was a great tea. Possibly, the best jasmine tea I have ever had. I am not here to criticise a long history of jasmine tea that goes back to the Song Dynasty and understand why this tea is so popular. But I could not help but thinking, poor buds, you deserve better!
Harvest time: 2019
Leave colour: Uniform buds with silvery fuzz with occasional jasmine petals
Liquor colour: Yellow
Tea aroma: Strong jasmine scent
Tea taste: Mellow with strong floral notes
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 85°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 1 year (the fresher the better)