Jasmine tea is a highly aromatic brew that is usually made with green tea. It can be made using any type of natural tea, such as oolong or green, black or white tea. The key is to flavor the tea with richly scented jasmine blossoms.
The aroma of jasmine flowers is measurably relaxing, and jasmine green tea is often used as a component of relaxing aromatherapy. Both inhaling and ingesting jasmine has a profound relaxing effect. Active compounds found in the blossoms help calm your nerves and settle your digestive system, which is why this tea is so often served alongside rich, spicy foods.
Can jasmine tea help you sleep?
The relaxation benefits of jasmine are undeniable; however, you must remember that the teas it accompanies usually contain caffeine. For this reason, the strength of your brew plays a big part in determining results.
If you drink a strong cup of jasmine green tea at bedtime, you are very likely to find yourself feeling calm yet energized. For the best relaxation benefits, a milder brew, enjoyed half an hour before bedtime, is preferable.
How does jasmine tea benefit your health?
In addition to its relaxing properties, jasmine green tea conveys a number of excellent health benefits. Among them are:
1. Prevention & treatment of cancer: A number of cancer drugs contain Jasmonate, which is derived from the jasmine plant. This substance helps protect against injury and is beneficial for people undergoing chemotherapy. Furthermore, this substance has been shown to slow cancer cell growth, especially breast cancer.
2. Relief of anxiety: In aromatherapy, jasmine works to calm the nerves because the scent of jasmine actually helps reduce the heart rate.
3. Reduced cholesterol levels: Jasmine green tea contains catechins, which are instrumental in reducing triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
4. Lowered risk of heart disease: Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels naturally lead to less chance of heart problems.
5. Bacteria fighting properties: Catechins in green jasmine tea also have powerful anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties to help reduce the growth of some food-borne bacteria and Streptococcus.
While many of the health benefits conveyed by jasmine green tea actually come from the green tea and not the jasmine flowers, it is important to note that relaxation and stress reduction are essential to every aspect of health and wellness.
Brewing the best jasmine tea in five steps
The traditional method of brewing jasmine green tea involves floating a layer of jasmine petals on the surface of green tea as it brews. This ancient practice originated in the Song Dynasty over five centuries ago. Today, most people purchase prepared jasmine tea combinations for quick and convenient preparation.
Here are five smart tips to help you brew the best cup of jasmine tea:
1. Use loose-leaf tea. Tea bags are usually made with the ends and pieces of tea after the leaves have been sorted through and scored. These leftovers are naturally inferior, and because they consist of broken leaves, fannings and dust they tend to release a lot more tannins than whole leaves. This can make your tea very bitter.
If you are not able to get loose tea, look for large, whole-leaf sachets made of cloth mesh with plenty of room for the leaves to move and expand as you brew. Here, the experts at Twining’s tea share tips on brewing jasmine tea with a tea bag:
2. Use fresh, pure filtered water. Avoid using bottled water or plain tap water. You want fresh water that has had chorine and other chemicals removed. Water with lower alkalinity is best. If you have only tap water, you can use an electric kettle for hard water area.
3. Brew at the right temperature. Jasmine green tea is a delicate tea and should not be brewed at scalding hot temperatures. Water that is too hot will result in bitter tea. The ideal brewing temperature is between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit (70 and 80 C).
Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, or use Chinese tradition to judge the temperature of the water. Boil your tea water in an open pot and keep an eye on it. After the first tiny bubbles appear, you will see a second set of bubbles. The Chinese refer to these as “fish eyes”. When you see these bubbles, your water is the right temperature.
4. Measure carefully. It only takes about a teaspoonful of loose tea to make a six-ounce cup. Don’t overdo it, or your tea will be bitter.
5. Time your steeping. Overdoing it on the steeping will also result in bitter tea. Experiment with steeping from one minute to a maximum of four minutes to find the length of steeping that is perfect for your taste.
The perfect cup of jasmine tea is the culmination of careful tea selection, the right kind of water, the correct temperature and mindful brewing. You may need to go through a bit of trial and error to get it just right, but once you have mastered the technique you are sure to find the end result well worth the effort.