January 04, 2021
by Cynthia Fazekas
When we think of winter teas, most tea aficionados speak of enjoying rich roasted oolongs, toasty hojicha, and deep, lingering Keemun black teas for their tea sustenance. On a snowy morning in Connecticut, I’ve gone in a much different direction and have paired the weather (post snow storm), with an exquisite jasmine tea: Bi Tan Piao Xue Delicate – also called “Snow Drop Jasmine in Emerald Pond.”
Sure, jasmine teas are not necessarily sought by connoisseurs, and perhaps perceived as more ‘mundane’ than some less ubiquitous styles, but alas, in the right hands and with the most lovely of pluckings, a well-made jasmine can be a delight for even the most jaded palate. In this case, the leaves are tippy with lots of unopened leaf buds.
Grown in Chendu, Sichuan, China, by tea master Wang Chun, the light bodied cup is gently sweet with fruity notes that occur naturally in the leaves. This fruitiness compliments the soft floral notes of the jasmine blossoms that have scented this tea. This ‘delicate’ version is lighter on the jasmine notes (than the Bi Tan Piao Xue Strong) for those who prefer a dabbling jasmine essence. Floral but not perfumy, this gorgeous tea brings back memories of summers past, when night blooming jasmine typically blooms, and the wonders of nature are at their warm weather peak.
Although it is winter here in the northern hemisphere, the long blue and pink shadows of a snowy morning seem to pair perfectly well with the jasmine blossoms floating like snow flakes in my teacup. Tea leaves, jasmine, and snow all speak of the wonders of nature and remind us of the beauty that is all around us if we seek it. Wishing all a year of wonder, good healthy, and nature’s beauty in 2021.