User avatar
Mar 31st, '15, 22:14
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 19th, '15, 20:53
Location: New York, Eastern Roman Empire

Silver Tip Jasmine Pearls-How should I brew?

by ByzanTeaum » Mar 31st, '15, 22:14

Good Evening everyone,

I received some free samples of an unmarked pouch of jasmine pearls from Firsdtea's table at the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival two weeks ago. I looked up the product on their site:

http://www.firsdtea.com/#!product/prd1/ ... ine-pearls

'Silver Tip Jasmine Pearls.'

Would anyone happen to know how best to brew these pearls gong-fu style, or rather, how many pearls to use? Would standard white/green rules apply (e.g., glass gaiwan, 175-80 degree fahrenheit water, etc.)?

Thanks for your help,

-Peter

User avatar
Mar 31st, '15, 22:43
Posts: 21654
Joined: Apr 22nd, '06, 20:52
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Silver Tip Jasmine Pearls-How should I brew?

by Chip » Mar 31st, '15, 22:43

Jasmine teas are best approached more ... casually IMHO. Gong fu style brewing would be a bit overpowering on the jasmine side.

A teaspoon per 4ish ounce cup, 170-180* for a minute or so. A lot may depend on the strength of the jasmine since some are more jasmine potent than others.

Jun 4th, '15, 13:55
Posts: 49
Joined: May 26th, '15, 16:18

Re: Silver Tip Jasmine Pearls-How should I brew?

by teagenesis » Jun 4th, '15, 13:55

ByzanTeaum wrote:Good Evening everyone,

I received some free samples of an unmarked pouch of jasmine pearls from Firsdtea's table at the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival two weeks ago. I looked up the product on their site:

http://www.firsdtea.com/#!product/prd1/ ... ine-pearls

'Silver Tip Jasmine Pearls.'

Would anyone happen to know how best to brew these pearls gong-fu style, or rather, how many pearls to use? Would standard white/green rules apply (e.g., glass gaiwan, 175-80 degree fahrenheit water, etc.)?
Your temperature is right, maybe closer to 170-5, for sweetness and quality. You shouldn't go above 180--it will damage the leaves and flavor, and increase astringency.

As for the amount, you want to use much less than other teas, as each pearl has hidden within a bud or several buds and a leaf or leaves, unfurling into an intense, fresh flavor. As Chip said, it also depends on the intensity of the jasmine, which varies, and brewing cautiously is the best advice! It should not be a problem though since your first brew of the tea should be on the lighter side--to demonstrate a good sense of the tea to you.

Many people don't like gongfu brewing pearls or jasmine pearls because they are intense, but they behave like other teas when steeping, and can be used for 3 brews or closer to 10, before the flavor begins fading. It completely depends on how many pearls you're using. Too many will create a very strong, very bitter-prone infusion if you aren't prepared for it. The strong brews are good, but they tinge on bitter and require many steeps.

Start with very few at first, beginning by just merely covering the bottom of the gaiwan or cup. Avoid using too many pearls, don't pile them or anything. It might seem like too little, but they contain very flavorful leaf. If you use more, you'll end up with many, many steeps and it can be tricky to reduce the steep time and then increase it while avoiding the bitterness each time. Even with the very little amount, which is about or less than 1/5 of the gaiwan, you can easily get 4 or 5 infusions.

I wouldn't rinse pearls, and for the first time I would insist not rinsing. The water should be brought to a very gentle heat, when the tiny "shrimp eye" bubbles start to appear, and a friendly steam rises and drifts from the water. Fill the gaiwan or cup to warm it, and then warm any other cups with the water. You can use hotter water to warm the gaiwan, but do not let the hot water touch the pearls. Also, you can leave a tiny drop in if you need more moisture.

Add your small amount of pearls, barely covering the bottom, then shake and roll them some with the lid on to expose them to the beneficial moisture. Let them warm up and soften for about a minute in there, awakening in the dampness. This is my favorite part of jasmine brewing, when you may open the lid after one minute to smell the most heavenly floral moisture ever. Don't let the cup get cold.

The water for the first infusion must not be too hot, or you will lose the sweetness and delicate taste of the green tea. Don't poor directly onto the pearls at any time, maybe on the last steeping. Gently poor along the rim of the gaiwan or cup, so that the water pools on them and stirs them around the cup. This dance is ensuring they will begin to open and release their flavor without being "forced" or "harmed." Don't cover the gaiwan or cup, steeping or not steeping, at any time during your brew. The hot steam will effect the delicate green leaves.

This first steep will show the pearls gently opening, amongst a few tiny bubbles (if there is oxygen in your water, which is crucial for taste). As they float about, unfurling slowly, you can scoop them away from the rim to help them along if they need. It will last 40 seconds to under a minute, a little more time for more flavor and a little less for even more jasmine. The pearls will not completely unfurl at all during the first steep--don't wait that long! It will take less than a minute and the light green, fresh smelling soup will be ready. Outwell gently and swiftly, directly into the cup(s) or into a hot fair-cup/pitcher. Leave the last few tiny drops inside, and keep the lid off.

The second steep will take much less time, now that the pearls have opened and began releasing their true flavor! This infusion, after about 20 seconds, will taste even better and sweeter than the first. It depends on how long your first steep lasted, but chances are you won't want to exceed 20 seconds. Next, about twice that much will do--40 to 50 seconds. If you are ever concerned that the tea might be ready, use the lid to stir up a little tea from the bottom and quickly sip it. If the flavor is nice and not watery or astringent, pour out to avoid bitterness. It's easy to test green tea because it isn't too hot.

These longer-than-normal steeping times are for the minimal amount here. The infusions should be light but with obvious taste. Should be sweet, grassy, and with the jasmine scent. The fourth steep should be twice as long as the third, at 80 to 95 seconds, or thereabout. From here, for fifth and or sixth steeps, you will have to go with how strong/fresh/light you want the infusion to taste, based on what you've experienced beforehand. You will sometimes hear that you should increase the temperature later on. I would only maybe barely increase the temperature, if I'm on the fourth steep and I know these later steeps will take some time. But never above 180. Somewhat hotter tea is not worth the loss of delicate flavor and leaf quality. Green tea is simply less warm than other teas. 180 degrees should usually be enough to bring out the flavor later on.

Even with very few pearls, in the gongfu cup it is likely you might end up with five or six steeps. But I must defer to Chip again to say that some jasmine is more intense than others. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with this particular jasmine pearl. Since you can always see the pearls, how much they've opened and their behavior are good indicators and can tell you a lot about how your brewing is going. Pay attention to them.

P.S.
For more tea, I use only slightly more pearls, only covering the bottom but generously, and 2nd and so forth steeps are shorter to guard against bitterness. Careful, though, using anything more than a small cluster of pearls will bring you a stronger, longer-lasting brew.

Good luck! :P

Jul 11th, '15, 19:20
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 7th, '15, 19:09

Re: Silver Tip Jasmine Pearls-How should I brew?

by Curtis » Jul 11th, '15, 19:20

Cold brewing would be nice :D

+ Post Reply