Everyone knows Chinese scented tea is not a new thing. It appears to date from many, many centuries ago. What everyone doesn’t know—or at least is not willing to agree on—is that there are many good reasons to drink scented tea.
Purists blanch, of course, at such a statement, being of the opinion that drinking tea straight is how God intended tea to be consumed. (Perhaps the real question, though, is whether God actually drinks tea at all.)
Anyway, scented tea is a fine habit to have. Here are 10 reasons why:
1) Tea and blossoms are a natural fit, so drinking the combination is not perverse. Flower blossoms give off delightful scents and dried tea absorbs it. Put the two together and it is as if God intended it that way. (Here we go with God again.)
2) Merging lesser grades of Chinese tea with jasmine or some other scenting agent makes them more palatable to more people. In this way, the healthful antioxidants of some rather ordinary teas are not wasted by going unconsumed.
3) Scenting Chinese tea broadens the overall market for tea, which bodes well for growers and distributors of tea. For this reason do automakers produce several models of cars—to promote auto-buying in general and their brands in particular.
4) Scented teas awaken old, tired noses that have forgotten how jasmine or osmanthus or gardenia blossoms smell. Unscented teas also have some delectable aromas, but they can be more subtle.
5) Chinese scented tea lovers tend to gravitate to Chinese blooming teas, once again helping expand the overall tea market. Blooming tea is as much a visual as a tasting pleasure, but flower-lovers drink tea for both reasons.
6) Tea knowledge grows. Jasmine tea buyers, for example, soon see there are several varieties of jasmine tea: Some employ young tea buds, others more mature buds, and the qualitative taste difference is real. Jasmine tea lovers soon figure that out.
7) Tea research is spurred. As Chinese scented tea grows in popularity, you can bet some growers and processors are looking for new scents to corner the market. Sunflower tea? Lady Slipper’s tea? Snapdragon tea?
8) New combinations of teas and flowers will be developed, for not every tea and blossom go well together. Sometimes they clash or offer a muddled scent. New dark scented teas may be in development as you read this.
9) New tea habits may be formed. Tea purists—and, God love ’em, they are wonderful advocates for camellia sinensis products—may be tempted to try a Chinese scented tea and actually find it rapturous. Such discovery is good for all.
10) __________ Fill in the name of your favorite Chinese scented tea. It is as good a reason as any to drink scented tea. (But don’t list two favorite scented teas, because then we would have 11 reasons and that would foul up everything!)