Making jasmine tea

Two major steps

Making a premium grade jasmine tea is more labor intensive than most of the jasmine tea consumers would have imagined, with high level of professional skills and experiences involved. 

jasmine teaTwo major components: 

  1. Preparation of the tea base. The tea base used for jasmine tea could be green tea, white tea or black tea. The teas are carefully selected and prepared during the spring tea harvest season, ready to undergo the fuming process later in the year - summer or autumn when jasmine blossoms are in season. The tea leaves can be loose or in various shapes, such as the rolled pearls to be used for making jasmine pearl tea. The premium grade tea base is often paired with the premium grade jasmine blossoms and lower grade tea base paired with lower grade jasmine.
  2. Processing the jasmine teas during the jasmine season is a labor intense and highly skillful process, mainly carried out at night. Jasmine flowers naturally start blooming at nigh and will only produce perfume for a window period of time. For the harvested jasmine flowers, the window period is about 12 hours. The ready to bloom buds are plucked in the afternoon and the process of the tea fuming follows throughout the night. It is a common knowledge the jasmine tea masters rarely sleep during the jasmine season.

Following the natural progression of the jasmine perfume release to make the jasmine tea

The release of jasmine perfume by jasmine flowers is a chemical and dynamic process. Various chemicals change and react to produce the pure and elegant jasmine perfume. This process is affected by various environmental factors, such as the time of the day, the temperature and humidity of the environment and the weather condition etc.

The classic bio-rhythm is as such that the ready to open jasmine buds start opening during the evening and open to their full extend at around 8-10pm, lasting for up to 48 hours after. The most intense release of the jasmine perfume however is during the first a few hours after the initial opening with a window period of about 12 hours for the jasmine flowers that have been plucked.

The process:

  • Harvesting: The ready to open buds are harvested between 1-5pm in the afternoon. Harvesting is strictly not carried out under the following conditions: 1/ not in the morning; 2/ not when the weather is overcast; 3/ Not within 3 days after a rain.
  • Spreading to release the pile heat: The natural breathing of the bud flowers after their harvesting can produce the heat to reach a temperature of 40℃ in a pile - enough to wither (kill) the blooming process and stop the consequent perfume release. The picked flowers are therefore immediately spread out upon their arrival at the factory to release the heat and reduce the temperature.
  • Flower development: Once the flowers are cooled down and the surface moisture evaporated, they are piled into 10-20cm thickness in summer and 20-40cm in autumn to reach a inter pile temperature of 32—35℃ with a 80% humidity - the ideal condition for the buds to bloom. The flowers are turned and shifted 3-4 times every 30 minutes to ensure the sufficient oxygen contact to facilitate the continuous blooming.
  • The jasmine flowers are sorted when about 90% of the buds have opened up, into various grades depending on the level of blooming, sizes and quality etc.

The fuming stage

The stage when the tea leaves are mixed the fresh jasmine flowers to allow the tea leaves to absorb the maximum amount of jasmine perfume. Following are the 6 components carefully monitored and adjusted:

  1. the tea leave flower ratio;
  2. the degree of opening of the jasmine flowers;
  3. the internal temperature of the mixture;
  4. the moisture level of the mixture;
  5. the thickness of the mixture
  6. the length of the fuming time.

After the tea has been mixed with the jasmine flowers for 4-5 hours, the mixture is turned thoroughly to release the heat produced again by the jasmine flowers’ natural breathing. Without this, the temperature in the piled mixture can exceed 50℃, which has the potential to not only stop the jasmine flowers producing the perfume, but also cause oxidation of the tea leaves being scented.

Once the temperature is reduced down to 32—35℃, the mixture is piled back again to continue the fuming process. The circled is repeated till about 8am in the morning. 


The jasmine blossoms have now final given out their best perfume and ready to be removed. At the same time, the moisture level of the tea leaves has increased from about 6% up to 18%, from the moisture released by the fresh jasmines flowers. The mixture is now sieved to remove all the jasmine flowers. The tea leaves then go through a re-dehydrating process. The re-dehydration is done with a delicate balance to preserve the maximum amount of jasmine perfume while removing the unwanted moisture.

Repeated circle

The teas leaves are left to cool for 3-4 days before another circle of above is repeated. It takes normally 6 circles to product a commercial grade jasmine tea and up to 9 times for an exclusive grade.

A premium jasmine tea has a bright yellow brew, with the pure jasmine perfume, sweet taste, smooth texture and refreshing aftertaste. 

jasmine teaPlease note: some jasmine tea products (eg. left image) include certain jasmine dry flowers. These flowers are for decoration purpose only. The perfume of jasmine tea is not from these dry flowers as the dry flowers as such have long lost their perfume producing properties.