Grown at an especially high elevation, jasmine flowers are delicate, night-blooming botanicals that lend a fragrant perfume and flavor to many varieties of tea. These blossoms may be blended with black, green, or white tea leaves, but jasmine green tea is the most common pairing. While teas made with jasmine tend to have subtle floral flavor profile, their scent is especially potent. Black tea, on the other hand, commonly delivers a much stronger flavor and a more subtle scent. Read on to discover more of the commonalities and differences between these two beautiful types of tea.
The History of Jasmine & Black Tea
As one of the most famous drinks in China, jasmine tea is often given to guests to welcome them into a home or place of lodging. The beverage has been consumed in China since the fifth century, yet the drink did not become popular in Europe and in North America until the 17th century. Jasmine tea is produced through a methodical process of layering tea leaves with trays of fresh jasmine blooms in the evening, allowing the tea to absorb the jasmine’s aroma as the blossoms unleash their fragrance.
As for black tea, some researchers believe it was first created 2,700 years ago. The Chinese developed unique strategies for oxidizing tea leaves, which until that time had been processed in a similar fashion to the green tea varieties we’re familiar with today. Because of its deeper oxidation, black tea could withstand cold weather during transportation, and as a result, it was traded more often than any other type of drink.
One cup of jasmine green tea -- the most popular kind of jasmine tea -- has approximately 10 to 25 milligrams of caffeine, which is on the low side compared to a serving of black tea. A cup of black tea generally has 40 milligrams of caffeine, or around half that of a cup of coffee. Of course, a black tea blend made with jasmine will have around 40 milligrams as well, while an herbal tisane made with jasmine will contain no caffeine at all. Ultimately, it comes down to the variety of tea leaf found in any given blend, as jasmine itself is caffeine-free.
Jasmine Tea vs. Black Tea: Longevity
Under optimal conditions, most black teas can last for 10 years before they begin to lose their flavor. Some types of the black tea are purposely aged for as long as 35 years. Jasmine tea, on the other hand, is far more delicate and typically retains its flavor and fragrance for two years or so.
Antioxidants and Other Alkaloids
Black tea contains a high level of tannins, which are polyphenols that can counter inflammation. These natural compounds are also potent antioxidants thought to keep the skin supple and smooth.
Jasmine green tea contains flavonoids that may be able to decrease the amount of cholesterol in the body and aid in metabolic processes. Furthermore, jasmine green tea provides a large amount of catechins, which may protect the blood vessels, fight against cancer and have the ability to strengthen the immune system.