Mo Li Hua Cha
Fujian Province, China
Season: Early Spring and Mid Summer
Availability: In Stock
- Tasting Notes
- Brewing Instructions
Jasmine Pearls are spring grown, green tea scented with fresh jasmine flowers over a series of nights and delicately hand rolled to achieve tight little pearls of tea.
In China scenting tea with flowers became popular during the Ming dynasty( 1368 - 1644). Jasmine was probably introduced to China as early as the 2nd century BC but did not become cultivated widely until the 1650's on wards. The area around Fuzhou city in Fujian Province became the centre of jasmine growing and by the beginning of the 20th century the region was famous for not only growing jasmine blossoms but producing enchanting jasmine teas as well.
Jasmine Pearls are not only exquisite in their appearance but also in their quality. The production of Jasmine Pearls is a two step process, starting in early spring and then being completed in mid to late summer according to the variety of jasmine used.
Green tea is plucked in early spring when the leaves are packed with flavour as they emerge from winter. The tea leaves are then processed and 2 or 3 tiny whole shoots are selected and carefully rolled by hand between the forefinger and thumb to create the small pearls of tea. The pearls are then wrapped in tissue paper to be stored and await the blossoming of the jasmine shrubs in the sweltering heat of summer. The picking of the blossoms takes place each afternoon as the blossoms are heat responsive and open in the evening to give up their fragrance due to the warmth of the day. Each blossom is carefully assessed before it is picked to make sure it is mature enough to release it's fragrant, floral oil.
The blossoms are transported to the factory where they are layered with the tea to create a heap which is left for 5-6 hours. The temperature of the heap is crucial and must be perfect for the transference of the fragrance. As the heap becomes warm in the early hours of the morning the heap is racked out and flattened to cool and then re-heaped again for approximately 5-6 hours. Through this process the moisture laden blossoms give up their fragrance into the moisture reduced, dried tea leaves resulting in an intensely floral tea.
At the end of the second heaping in the morning after approximately 12 hours the flowers are removed by hand and discarded, and the tea is gently dried.
The process is then repeated over several nights until the required scenting is achieved - anything up to 9 times! With each additional night of scenting the temperature of the heap is reduced and the time is slightly lessened. After the final scenting there is a last drying to stabilise the leaf.
This intricate and lengthy process is an example of the finest of hand made Chinese teas and beautifully represents the artisanal and incredible skills of the tea maker.
The beautiful rolled pearls of tea are marbled with flecks of pearly white and rich sage green leaves. The aroma is heady with rich floral notes. On steeping the pearls slowly open to reveal tippy buds and leaves and the tea takes on a delicate champagne colour. The aroma is intensely floral and the flavour is smooth, fresh and clean with a delicate honey sweetness and an enchanting floral jasmine taste that lingers long after the sip has been taken. Brew in glass ware so the beautiful visual spectacle of the pearls opening can be enjoyed.
Delicious drunk on its own but Jasmine Pearls would also pair beautifully with desserts.
3g/ 1 tsp in 200ml of water at 85c . Brew for 2-3 minutes. Infuse another 2 or 3 times.
Gaiwan or glass ware so as to be able to see the pearls unfurl.
Tea leaves and buds.