I am not a fan of jasmine, or at least that’s what I thought. But me being the quizzical type, have wondered if I truly didn’t like jasmine tea or if the jasmine tea that I have had has just been low quality. When I saw that Jeff at UNYTea was selling a jasmine scented black tea, I was intrigued but still thought I didn’t like it. But I have seen Jeff and several other teaheads whose opinion I respect greatly all rave about the jasmine black from UNYTea, so I decided to test my theory and ordered a 10 gram pack. Jeff’s teas are always top notch and I knew if I truly didn’t like this tea then I can say for sure that I just don’t like jasmine.
I followed the brewing instructions on the packet and used 5 grams of leaf for 100ml of water. It said to use 95 C water, which for us freedom lovers is about 203 degrees, for 20 seconds plus 5.
The dry leaf and the dry leaf in a heated gaiwan and the rinsed leaves all smelled very strongly of jasmine. I can’t say that I love that scent but I am pushing on. Weirdly the smell of jasmine reminded me of sunscreen.
The first and second infusions tasted mainly of… well… jasmine. The leaves are black tea from Fujian province, which is generally my favorite kind of tea. I could taste that the tea was of high quality but the jasmine scent was quite strong. If you like jasmine, I think you would like this a lot.
On the third infusion, I happened to let the liquor sit in the cup for a few minutes and it cooled considerably. When that happened, I noticed that the jasmine flavor was much weaker and I could taste the underlying tea more, which was nice. I then thought about the science of it and how aromatics will escape with the steam rising off of the cup. The longer you wait to drink it, the less aromatic it will be. The fourth infusion was similar to all of the others. I will say that this tea was very consistent and I really didn’t notice much difference between infusions.
So what’s the verdict? I didn’t dislike it. I would have preferred just the tea without the jasmine, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like jasmine just because I don’t always prefer it. Therefore, I must say that my mind was changed. I could see this as a good change of pace tea to have once in a while, or even better to give to guests who are new to tea.
The price on this is $8 for 25 grams. That’s 5 infusions per pack, which is $1.60 per session. You can see from the picture above, the leaves had a lot to give after 4 infusions. I have never had a Fujian black that couldn’t go at least rounds. At 8 infusions per session, that comes to $.20per infusion (100 ml). That’s right there in the sweet spot and is a good price.
I like to think I am open minded about trying both new teas and teas that I thought I wouldn’t like. I’m sure there is room for improvement on that front, but if I have any advice it would be to just keep trying things. I will put this away and try the rest of it again in the future, and who knows I may even like it more next time. Cheers!