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Tea Learnings whilst in pursuit of exceptional examples of Jasmine Dragon Pearls

By Kym Cooper. Posted
The Steepery Tea Co. - cupping Jasmine Dragon Pearls

Jasmine Dragon Pearls (also known as Buddha's Tears or Mo Li Hua Long Zhu) is a seemingly straight forward scented green tea. But it has become clear to me that it is so much more. 

I have considered removing it from my tea catalogue many times. But people love this tea, for me personally it offers a familiar happiness around those rare Chinese restaurant visits I had as a child. Plus when you understand the effort and care that goes into creating a traditionally scented tea I can not abandon it. 

For anyone that hasn't experienced a Jasmine scented green tea the style is represented like this...clean and fresh, a floral (Jasmine) sweetness, a lasting honey-like finish and a wonderful creamy texture in the mouth. 

Without a doubt the most challenging for me to source year on year because of the variability that exists. The care and attention taken throughout the whole tea making process is so important to the end result. I am not here to share the processing technique as this can be found in my tea catalogue. Instead the intention here is to give you an insight into the considerations as a buyer I am gaining each year to source exceptional Jasmine Dragon Pearls for you to enjoy. 

Lessons learned this year.

  • the growing region for the green tea pearls is fundamental in the final flavour profile. 
  • the time the Jasmine is harvested is equally if not more important to the final flavour profile
  • good sorting (removal of jasmine flowers) and consistency in the small size of the pearls is of high important for a flavour that extends beyond 2 infusions 
  • when the green tea or jasmine flowers are not at their best it results in an off-balanced candy-like aroma and flavour in your tea.

A couple of tips when buying this tea.

1. be aware that traditional scenting is time consuming. Many shortcuts are taken in the tea industry. Adding synthesised jasmine flavour is quite common and can also result in an off-putting sickly sweet aroma and flavour in the cup. Always check your ingredients for flavours, natural or otherwise, or ask your tea supplier.

2. try not to avoid occasional drinking of your traditionally scented teas. Indulge yourself, drink them fresh as the scenting does dissipate over time and is best enjoyed shortly after it is completed. 

I have 2 regional examples of Jasmine Dragon Pearls for you

The Steepery Tea Co. - Jasmine Dragon Pearls scenting process

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