Jasmine, Scented, & Smoked Tea
Flower-scented tea (hua cha) is a Chinese specialty first made during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). These fragrant teas later reached a pinnacle of excellence in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644.) The most famous of these teas are sweet-scented jasmine, rose, lychee and osmanthus-scented teas.
The early Chinese tea masters first experimented with and then excelled at producing scented teas from a variety of aromatic fresh flower blossoms. But the culmination of the fine art of tea scenting came with the creation of traditionally crafted Jasmine tea: a complicated process involving careful leaf tea preparation during the height of the spring tea season, and the later addition of the most aromatic of autumn's freshly-harvested jasmine flowers to that carefully held leaf.
Here at Tea Trekker we are justifiably proud of our heady, scented Earl Grey tea, which we blend in-house and scent with all-natural Italian Bergamot oil. Our loyal Earl Grey tea customers tell us it is the best Earl Grey they have ever tasted, and from the prodigious quantity that we sell, we believe them!
Lapsang Souchong is classified as a scented black tea due to the fact that it is smoked over pine wood charcoal embers during a certain stage of its leaf manufacture. It is made in the Wu Yi Shan, a mountainous region of rocky cliffs and bamboo and pine forests located in northern Fujian Province, China. The original and authentic Lapsang Souchong is called Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, and is made from fresh leaf plucked from tea gardens on Tong Mu, a mountain located within the protected nature preserve that surrounds the smoking sheds.
We describe the production steps required for making traditional fresh-flower scented Jasmine tea, and relate our visit to a Jasmine tea manufacturer in our book: The Story of Tea or you can view Mary Lou’s article on Jasmine Tea manufacture here.