The Tea Detective
Uncovering and Exploring the Facts About Tea
The Sweet Flavor of Scented Tea
The Chinese have been working to perfect the art of scented teas since jasmine
first came on the scene in about the third century.  Since then hundreds of diff-
erent scent combinations have been added, with
China setting the worldwide
standard of excellence for scented teas.
Scented teas are among the most
popular of teas, right up there with
flavored teas, with little different-
iation between the two, other then the mode of  
flavor.

Both can make either hot or
cold drinks that are
naturally low in
caffeine, healthy, relaxing, and
refreshing, day or night.

Scented teas are made using a base of black,
green, white, or oolong teas that have been
processed and
blended with flower petals to create
their own unique flavors.

Some scented  teas from China you might like trying
are magnolia, chrysanthemum, lily, marigold, and
rose.  Vietnam's lotus tea is also a lovely, delicate blend, still made today by hand in the ancient
traditional method, using natural flower blossoms to scent the tea.  

Using a base of green tea, together with fresh
jasmine blooms, traditional
jasmine tea is made by layering tea and flowers, with fresh blooms added
periodically.  Over the course of hours or days, depending on the grade, the
tea and flowers are married, producing a sweet, delicate drink that's a
delight to the senses.

Mint tea is one of my favorite scented teas, either
hot or cold.  Nothing soothes quite like a cup    
of hot mint tea on a cold winter night.  And in summer, served over ice and garnished with a         
fresh sprig of mint (possibly from your own herb garden) is not only refreshing, but a great           
thirst quencher as well.  It makes the perfect addition to outdoor barbecues, picnics, and              
parties.
Litchi - China's Favorite Fruit
Litchi Hongcha is a black tea scented with juices from litchis, one of China's most popular fruits,  
which has a sharp, sort of citric flavor.  Also sometimes called Lychee, it's a satisfying,                   
refreshing drink, both day and night.
Modern Scented Teas
With an enormous variety of scented teas available today, it's fun to try
new flavors. Some of the most popular scented teas available today are:
black currant, cherry, citrus fruits, ginger, lemon with lemon peel, mango,
minted green tea, orange with orange peel, passion flower, and red
fruits.

Some other popular scented teas from China include:

  • Orchid-made with high grade green tea from Guangdon Province,
          scented with flowers of the Chloranthus spicatus.  The liquid is a bright red and good
          day or night.
  • Rose Congou-Meigui Hongcha is a large leafed black tea scented with rose petals.  It
    produces liquid that is light gold and has a gentle, sweet, perfumed aroma.  It can be
    served with sweet foods.  Do not add milk to this tea, though.  It's a sweet, refreshing
    brew that holds its own day and night.
Chinese Gradings for Scented Teas
Extra fancy is better than Standard - one of the best is Yin Hao (Silver Down).  Other fine
examples are Cheng Feng (Spring Wind), and Chung Hao (Spring Down).

The
Japanese also produce scented teas, although these are not always readily available as
exports to the
United States, or U.K..  But if you happen upon some,
these are recommended:  Japanese Rose
Sencha, and Sakura, as well
as Japanese Cherry Flavored Sencha.

Some other popular scented teas you might enjoy:
  • Chamomile - a light bittersweet apple flavor
  • Clover - a light, fresh tea
  • Hibiscus - a refreshing, lemony flavor
  • Lavender - a lovely, sweet aroma
  • Orchid - naturally scented from the wild orchids grown among
          the tea bushes on plantations.

Enjoy!
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