mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Jasmine Ball Tea

In Drinks, Eating Out, Low Fat, Tea Party on September 20, 2006 at 8:38 pm


tea shop
tea shop in HK

If conversations and tea go together then this is the grandmother of all teas. It can become the topic.

It has become fashionable to drink Chinese green tea here in India. Almost to the point of having snob value. But I like to drink it for its lightness (this may not be the ‘fashionable’ word). I realised that drinking lots of chai in the winter days was good up to a point. Too many cups and I would not be feeling very good. Tea is diuretic so, actually makes your body hungry for water. Not quite the thirst quencher. As it is, I drink way too little water in the winter.

tea service

Chinese tea was the perfect answer. No sugar, no milk. Just a fragrant warm brew, to rehydrate and refresh. I think that a hot cup-that-cheers in the hand makes me appreciate the Delhi winters that much more.

tea shoptea box
tea-tasting session, and the tea I bought

On a visit to HK last year I visited this quaint tea shop full of beautiful tea accessories and of course, varieties of tea. The tiny attendant spent the lunch hour with me explaining the process of brewing the tea and patiently served me a good many cups. While there were the usual floral jasmine and peony green teas, the one that was really exotic was this Jasmine ball tea.

As it brewed, it ‘flowered’! I had to have it. At HK$100 for 75gm, it was not cheap. I don’t get to use it often because one ‘ball’ can make up to 2l of tea! And even I cannot drink that much tea. Nobody in this house shares in any snobbish time-pass. TH doesn’t care for any kind of tea, for that matter.So, when his bunch of friends presented themselves, it was a great opportunity to show off this spectacular tea. And thankfully, they were all ‘up’ for it! A joke (at my cost) had them all awake at midnight. We could use a warm brew but not anything that might keep us up through the night.


Out came the cameras (who do you think was photographing now?!) as I brought in the carafe. And amazed, we watched the blooming of the tea.


Jasmine Ball is made by the method of ‘absorbing fragrance’ with white tea. It layers jasmine flowers on to a fresh peony sprout. Also inside is a flower called the ‘thousand red’. While brewing the sprout unfurls like a flower! It is a bright yellow tea with a lingering jasmine fragrance. This mild tea is believed to have a cooling effect on the body. Just what we needed after a day of shopping, cooking, and wild partying.


Method (similar to all Chinese green teas):
Rinse tea with a little hot water. Pour more hot water. Brew for 30 sec. Pour into cups. Each ball may be brewed 5-6 times, to get about 1.5-2l of tea!

Serve in dainty china.

tea service

  1. It actually ‘blossoms’ while brewing..!!! It wud have scared me a bit at first sight…but I guess the jasmine smell will draw everyone to the tea. Would love to have a cup of it.
    Chinese tea I think is an acquired taste…and not many Indians like the idea of calling it ‘tea’ either, cause’ for us tea has always been something that had milk in it !! 🙂

  2. The first time I had green tea after hearing about its health benefits, boosting metabolism etc…I had a hard time gulping it down…as Priya says, it is indeed an acquired taste ! Now I can sip it like wine and not twitch my nose.
    The jasmine ball indeed looks,sounds exotic. Unfolding of the ball and all! I’d like to try that sometime…Liked the HK tea party posts-befitting your blog title I must say…

  3. You blog about such wonderfully exotic things, Anita. There is always something new to learn in your posts. Thanks.

  4. I cannot believe you have Jasmine Ball tea on your website!!!!. I was searching the internet for the Romeo and juliet Jasmine ball teas. One of which has a long stalk that comes out upon steeping that has about 3 or 4 flowers on it. This is the closest thing I have seen so far and I would love to know if they sell them in the states or by mail from China. Please let me know if you can

  5. Where can I get them?

    Hi Lisa. I got mine from HK. Check the link in the post for more info. You can also contact the North America Customer Service for Sunsing Tea:

  6. […] a refreshing brew that keeps me hydrated in the dry winter months. Some Chinese teas, such as this jasmine ball tea, are total show […]

  7. I am loving your tea posts. Have a look at this post on white tea.

  8. PS I bought my jasmine tea balls in Hong Kong too, in Kowloon.

  9. If you’re not enjoying green tea try a few different varieties.

    I had green tea at a friend’s house for the first time and it was delicious, I then tried literally every single brand available in my local supermarket and they were all absolutely disgusting. Even the fair trade one, that was like drinking liquefied sawdust.

    I’ve settled on some nice jasmine balls now, they’re gorgeous. My mum had a similar thing, I offered her some jasmine ball tea and she told me she “hated green tea”. Then she tried it 🙂

    I was happy with the green teas I got from HK. I like green teas; but I like black teas more! My everyday tea is a blend of green Darjeeling and black!

  10. I wish I had some right now I never realized how exotic Chinese teas could be ive only had green tea and wu-long tea which I found to be quite and experience.

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