My latest ritual comes from having a series of lunchtime appointments about half a mile from work. I’ve been stopping at Cafe On The Ave on my return trip. They serve Caffe Vita, which is a popular local coffee roaster. It took me a long time to find any good information on the tea they sell, but I finally found it on their retail site:
Organic Jasmine Pearl
The most tender green tea leaves and buds are hand rolled into small pearls and infused with the essence of fresh jasmine blossoms. The fragrant blossoms are mixed with reserve Dragon Pearl green tea according to a traditional tea scenting process that dates back more than 9 centuries. The tea absorbs the fragrant essence of the fresh jasmine flowers, making the pearls sweet and very aromatic. The blossoms are then removed by hand after the scenting process, leaving only the jasmine-infused tea pearls.
Jasmine tea is said to ease nervous tension, break down saturated fat, reduce cholesterol and increase circulation.
Origin: Fujian, China
Net Weight: 3oz
Recommend: 1 teaspoon per 12oz water
The tea is akin in size and shape to the Numi flowering jasmine I’ve had before, and they put the loose pearls into a nice non-bleached teabag for me. The pearls unfurl into long, slender, whole leaves. I’m always careful to get rid of the bag as soon as I hit my bus stop, so I’ve never had a bitter cup.
They mention the traditional way of infusing the jasmine with green tea, and the experience is certainly superior to any jasmine-green I’ve had before, both in taste and smell: rich, earthy green accompanied by a confident bouquet of jasmine scent and floral flavor. I have always been utterly enchanted with jasmine tea, but this may be my first experience with the real thing.
The Teacup sells three varieties of jasmine-green, and I think I can get some of Vita’s brand at the store on Pike, so I could soon be in jasmine heaven!