For a year unlike any in modern times, it’s hard to believe we’re already entering the final stretch. For now, we focus on maintaining good health for ourselves and each other and remain increasingly hopeful for healing and reconciliation within our nation and world in the months and years ahead. With that, we invite you to spend a few minutes with us on topics far outside of politics and pandemics as we share a few thoughts about our favorite subject, tea.
Share Some Tea Love & We'll Cover Shipping!
Lift the spirits of a friend or loved one with the gift of tea and we’ll cover shipping (no minimum purchase required). We’ll also include a personalized postcard. Here’s how…
Select your items and enter the shipping address of your friend or loved one outside of your household. Once shipped, we’ll apply a store credit to your Modern Steep online account equal to the applicable shipping rate for your gifted order. You can apply the credit to a future order of your own.
Of course, free shipping already applies to orders of $60 or more. For “gifted” orders of $60 or more, we’ll apply a credit of $5.00 to your account.
Either way, be sure to use the “Order Comments” field during checkout to write a note to your gift recipient and we’ll include your words on a postcard along with your gift of tea. Share some peace, love and healthful tea with someone special today. (Offer is valid through September 15, 2020. Not redeemable for cash.)
Tea Tip: When Size Matters
Once water hits the tightly wound leaves of Ti Kwan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) or similar style leaf, they can increase in size many times over. When steeping high quality loose leaf teas, be sure to use an infuser big enough for tea leaves to grow up to 10x their dry size. Allowing room for proper expansion and water circulation will ensure you get a full-flavored infusion. While traditional tea balls or clamp style tea “spoons” and novelty infusers (e.g., manatees, ducks or dolphins stuffed with tea) might be cute or nostalgic, they generally don’t allow room for an optimal infusion. Elevate your tea experience with a large, sturdy and extremely durable high quality stainless steel infuser.
The Making of a Pearl & Other Jasmine Teas
Assorted Jasmine Infused Teas
Jasmine tea has been a specialty of the northern Fujian Province for many centuries but rose in popularity following the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is in Fujian that jasmine flowers are cultivated in abundance with the rather fragrant aroma tempting the senses of passers-by during the summer blooming season. Jasmine blossoms offer a sweet and rather dreamy perfume, making it an exceptional floral addition to your cup of tea. Most commonly paired with green teas, jasmine is added with careful oversight by the experienced tea maker. From start to finish, it is both laborious and subsequently costly when speaking about the most desirable method of infusing jasmine into tea such as our beloved Jasmine Pearls or Jasmine Beauty. As we venture into the process of making these jasmine-infused wonders, it’s important to remember that dried tea leaves of any type are extremely susceptible to absorbing odors, affecting both smell and taste in the final brew. (hint: store tea in airtight containers) The process of intentionally infusing jasmine aroma and taste into these teas is called scenting. This differs from flavoring processes that rely on applying oils and flavorings using sprays and misters.
The process starts by creating the base tea to which jasmine will later be infused. The tea leaves are harvested during the spring plucking season, de-enzymed (to prevent oxidation), rolled and dried, some with jasmine buds wrapped inside the “pearl.” The prepped tea leaves are then carefully stored until jasmine flowers are at their aromatic peak during the mid- to late summer blooming season.
High quality jasmine flowers are picked early in the day and later co-mingled with the previously prepared tea leaves. The tea maker alternates layers of tea leaves and jasmine blossoms. In the layering approach, the blossoms will be replaced after several hours with fresh blossoms in order to intensify absorption by the tea leaves. This process takes place under light steam and is repeated over the course of multiple nights until the tea maker is satisfied with the result. Once complete, the leaves enter the final drying stage. While quite an involved and lengthy process, the results are delightfully priceless upon brewing up and sipping on a cup of premium jasmine tea.
Comparing the taste of our Jasmine Pearls with that of Jasmine Beauty, you’ll find the pearls to have a more intense, jasmine forward profile. Whereas, Jasmine Beauty, reveals a graceful balance between the notes derived from the jasmine and the warm and pleasing taste of the green tea base.
Finally, for those who enjoy a little fruit with their jasmine, our ever-popular Jasmine Blue includes the addition of elderberries along with the jasmine infused green tea leaves. The resulting brew features slight floral notes and a fruity sweetness akin to ripe blueberries.
Our "Old Bush Yunnan" on a Sunny Summer Morning
Thank you for reading along with us this month and thank you for your interest in healthful, organic tea. We wish you a lovely month of September and look forward to hearing from you soon whether you’re treating yourself or sharing the gift of tea with someone special.