The custom of blending flowers with green tea has existed for over a thousand years as far back as the Song Dynasty (960 AD to 1279 AD.) The most widely used flower was jasmine, used for it's incredible scent, but other flowers have also been used over the centuries. Chrysanthemums, globe amaranth, roses & lilies are also popular flowers used. It is believed that Jasmine tea was first produced during the great cultural flowering of the Song Dynasty. The Dynasty, which flourished from 960 to 1279, gave rise to a Chinese renaissance that saw the growth of great cities fuelled by advancements in governance and the arts. In the same way that the European Renaissance gave birth to the idea of the Renaissance man, the ideals of the Song Dynasty gave rise to the Universal man. The Universal man personified the cultural blossoming of the time and combined the qualities of scholar, painter, poet, statesman, writer, calligrapher, and philosopher. Along the way, one such man, perhaps contemplating life under a sweetly smelling Jasmine tree, hit upon the idea of scenting freshly made tea with the delicate blossoms.
Over the centuries since then, artisans from nearly every tea-growing region in the country have rolled, tied and twisted hand plucked green leaf with flowers and herbs to create what can only be described as drinkable works of art. The level of care that went, and still goes into, producing these wonderful teas meant that only the finest ingredients could be used – the best tea shoots available and additional ingredients that commanded the same respect as the tea itself . The artisan chooses his ingredients both for flavor profile and texture, but also for color and impression. The blooms must be the brightest and fullest. The tea must be harvested meticulously and processed masterfully. Mid-way through the processing stage, when the leaves are still damp, the blossoms are tied by hand, woven into the tea and pressed into their unique forms. The tea dries and all the colors and flavors are concealed just waiting to reappear in a burst of frantic tea energy.