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Jasmine Tea

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Francesca Nov 28, 2006 04:31 AM

Jasmine tea - loose or in teabags no where to be found in Los Angeles these days. Trader Joe's has a jasmine/green tea blend in tea bags, but just looking for jasmine. Twinings used to sell it in all the grocery stores.

Looking to avoid high-end Bev Hills tea stores.

Any thoughts much appreciated. Thanks.

  1. m
    mellycooks Nov 28, 2006 04:36 AM

    I feel your pain, I searched endlessly and finally found a great brand, in a pink and purple box, YamaMotoYama jasmine tea, I found it at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Little Tokyo, but it may be sold in other asian markets.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mellycooks
      f
      Francesca Nov 28, 2006 05:27 AM

      I really like the YamaMotoYama green and brown rice teas. I will track it down. Thanks so much for the info.

    2. amyleechen Nov 28, 2006 04:40 AM

      Jasmine tea is a blend -- it's jasmine blossoms blended in with a green or black tea base. A pure jasmine would be just the blossoms would be quite expensive and something I have not seen widely sold in available retailers. As a general rule of thumb, higher quality jasmine teas have the blossoms filtered out of the tea base and just the infused black or green tea leaves are sold with the essence of the jasmine blossoms flavoring the tea.

      Haven't had the Trader Joe's blend -- but don't be put off by the word "blend" when it comes to jasmine tea. They're being informational by telling you which kind of tea base is used.

      1. Das Ubergeek Nov 28, 2006 05:22 AM

        Having just posted a very similar query, Ten Ren is your place to go. Bear in mind that jasmine alone by itself is almost unheard of and is VERY expensive, despite the fact that jasmine is practically a weed.

        Almost all jasmine tea -- including, I can almost guarantee, every "jasmine" tea you've had in a Chinese restaurant, is jasmine with green tea.

        If you end up in a Chinese store, ask for "mò lì huā chá" in Mandarin. The characters are 茉莉花茶 (Jerome, correct me if I'm wrong please).

        1. f
          Francesca Nov 28, 2006 05:26 AM

          It's interesting b/c the TJ's blend is green - hence the green tea part of it - but does have a strong jasmine taste. The "just jasmine" that I have had in the past was not green at all.

          I appreciate the info., however. I love jasmine tea and am trying to locate some to give as a gift - someone else who can no longer find it. I will look for the brand mellycooks suggested.

          Thanks again for your input.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Francesca
            m
            mellycooks Nov 28, 2006 06:12 AM

            hmmm, just looked closer at my box and indeed in very fine print it says under ingredients "jasmine sented green tea, jasmine flower" So it seems the other posters have a point...However..I first had Jasmine tea with a squeeze of lemon years ago at my soon to be mother-in-law's home (in a far-away country), and I simply could not get the taste out of my mind. I kept trying "jasmine-green tea" blends back in the U.S. from every place I could find it and it just was not the same intense dark taste I remembered. The brand I recommended is the first one that ever came close. I have been addicted ever since! Best served in my opinion with a squeeze of lemon and lightly sweetened.

            Heaven!

            1. re: mellycooks
              amyleechen Nov 28, 2006 07:32 AM

              It's possible that you had an jasmine scented oolong which would be rather rare, but oolongs are generally more pronounced than a green tea because of the semi-fermentation. It could even have been a jasmine scented black tea which would have even more body as it's fully fermented.

              I may not know the best place to find the perfect BBQ in Atlanta, but I'm a tea purveyor -- so tea I know.

              Best wishes finding the jasmine tea that suits you!

              1. re: mellycooks
                Das Ubergeek Nov 28, 2006 03:10 PM

                Certain kinds are more fragrant than others -- many places sell Dragon Well Jasmine Tea (Mandarin: long jing hua cha, Cantonese: lung tsing faa chaa). It's new tea leaves wrapped with highest-quality jasmine flowers into little balls... it is surprisingly affordable here, on the order of $100 a pound (bear in mind that a pound is a LOT of tea).

                Ten Ren has it; even some Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores have it though having had theirs, it's not as high quality as elsewhere.

              2. re: Francesca
                PseudoNerd Nov 28, 2006 05:57 PM

                Even a green tea blend wouldn't have quite the green color of something like a sencha, gyokuro, etc.

                What you might've had, though, is a jasmine-scented black, which I think might be more common than jasmine greens.

              3. f
                Francesca Nov 28, 2006 06:49 AM

                This has really been a learning experience. I agree with you about the taste, though I prefer it straight up - can't wait to stock up. Thanks again for the tip. All the best w/nuptials.

                1. i
                  igj Nov 28, 2006 03:51 PM

                  One place where I have had good luck with high end teas (including some of the nice clamshell Jasmines) is Le Sanctuaire on Main Street in Santa Monica. Not cheap by any means, but those blossoming clamshells make tea a more visual experience and that can be fun sometimes.

                  1. t
                    torty Nov 28, 2006 04:15 PM

                    I get mine from the 99 Ranch Market (all over town). Nothing fancy, just from their tea aisle. Loose tea from China- tin indicates green tea & jasmine flowers. It brews up darker than a standard green tea but is definately floral.

                    1. Pei Nov 28, 2006 05:04 PM

                      This might not be exactly what you're looking for, but Stassen makes a jasmine green tea that is VERY strong in jasmine flavor. I personally love the smell but the jasmine taste is a bit too strong for me.

                      It's sold in a pale green box at most Asian supermarkets. It's only a few dollars so you might want to try it.

                      Caveat: while it is jasmine green tea, it tastes nothing like what I've had in any Chinese market.

                      1. modernist Nov 28, 2006 07:48 PM

                        there is a high end looking tea shop near the ranch 99 in the focus plaza on del mar and valley. i've never shopped there but it may be a good place to look. also the big store near capital seafood and ranch 99 near atlantic and garvey has lots of fancy teas. i didnt see the glass jars of moli hua cha curled flowers like you see in china, but they might know where to score some.

                        incidentally they also have a temperature controlled case of expensive petrus pomerol and other wines for the nouveau riche chinese to chug like cuervo shots... ok that was mean, but funny...

                        1. l
                          laonion Nov 28, 2006 08:15 PM

                          you can get the twinning jasmine tea at amazon's grocery store.
                          http://amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1/103-6...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: laonion
                            Das Ubergeek Nov 28, 2006 08:17 PM

                            Worth noting that that, too, is green tea and jasmine, not just jasmine itself.

                          2. c
                            cpanagakis Nov 28, 2006 09:42 PM

                            You can pick up the whole leaf jasmine tea 365 days a year at Wing Hop Fung in Chinatown. It's on Broadway (west side) between Alpine and College and is a two-story anchor for one of the larger shopping complexes in Chinatown. For those feeling peckish, Ocean Seafood (upstairs) has decent dim sum for the price, though stick as close to noon as you can for the freshest plates. http://www.winghopfung.com/about.html

                            I also HIGHLY recommend the ginseng oolong (it's fairly cheap), especially during the winter months.

                            1. o
                              OCchowman Nov 29, 2006 03:06 AM

                              cpanagakis beat me to it... I was about to reccommend Wing Hop Fung. They have a good selection of teas loose in canasters, which they will let you smell to help you select. They have a couple types of jasmine teas: I think the best comes in little pearls. They sell more than one grade of pearls, so be sure you get the good stuff.

                              1. f
                                Francesca Dec 1, 2006 04:00 AM

                                Thanks so much everyone for your input.

                                1. Eat_Nopal Dec 1, 2006 04:07 AM

                                  You might want to try some of the markets in East L.A.... Jasmine Blossoms are fairly commonly available (& not particularly expensive) in Mexico & they sometimes make their way here in bulk... I used to go to a fabulous spice store on Cesar Chavez near Soto that carried them next to the Jamaica, Orange Blossoms & other dried blossoms (its probably still there).

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