Victoria's favorite evening slow down is a great cup of Jasmine tea. On every trip to China I have to buy some Jasmine Pearls to bring back.
However the last few month I had no trips scheduled and the supply started to dry up. I am headed out again in September, but I did bring up my challenge to one of my friends in Shanghai, who usually comes with me to buy tea.
To my surprise I received a pckage from FEDEX yesterday, origin China. Another brochure or sample fabrics was my first thought, until I saw the sender.....my friend took it upon herself to ensure a continued supply of Jasmine tea for Victoria.
To be exact, I received 2kg of top quality Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls Scented Green Tea. Even in most hotel gift shops they usually sell OK quality only. I have never seen this grade of tea.Here is what one website is saying about this tea:
Organic Dragon Phoenix Pearl Jasmine tea gets its name from the visual characteristics of the tea bushes climbing the hillsides like a Dragon coming out of the water. The women pickers, chosen specifically to pluck this type of tea, give the appearance of dancing phoenixes next to the Dragon's long slender body. The tea is grown in an area in Fuding City near the border of the Fujian and Jiangxi provinces.
The area is mountainous and is often shrouded in clouds or fog. The tea is picked in April and May and held until August and September when the finest jasmine blossoms are in bloom. The jasmine flowers are picked before noon and set aside until evening when the petals begin to open in the cool night air. Once open, the "marrying" of the jasmine to the tea happens in two applications after which the jasmine petals are removed. When the petals are removed, women begin rolling each leaf and a bud into tiny pearl-sized balls.
Once rolled, the tea is wrapped in silk mesh and dried by fire to set the form. According to analysis done by Chinese researchers, Organic Dragon Phoenix Pearl has a higher concentration of Vitamin C and amino acids than other teas. Use spring water at a temperature of 80° to 90° C. (180° to 195° F.) and multiple short steepings.
My friend went straight to the exporter in Xiamen, a major tea trading city and procured these leafs. They can be used up to 5 times and make the most flavorful Jasmine tea.
Guess who is really happy??