茉莉花茶有多樣化造型。
熏花茶的香味花樣多
文/許玉蓮
 
熏花茶也是一種茶類嗎?是的,這是用初制後的原料茶,與真正新鮮花兒拌在一起,讓茶吸收花香,以便塑造另一種風格的茶葉。迷人的地方,是用真花,而非用香油或香精。

原料茶是指哪一種茶類?什麼花可以拿來熏花呢?大部分茶類如綠茶、烏龍茶、普洱茶、紅茶都可拌花。花的選擇也可以很多樣化,如茉莉、桂花、梔子花、薔薇、梅花、玉蘭花、玫瑰、蘭蕙、桔花,只要可以食用的都可入茶。熏花茶種類中最鼎鼎有名的要數茉莉花茶了,就是以綠茶與茉莉花燻製。

花茶的製作過程是怎麼一回事?首先要瞭解,茶葉疏鬆多細孔,彷彿毛細管的作用,容易吸收空氣中的水氣和氣體,花茶的技術,就是利用茶葉吸香和鮮花吐香兩個特性,一吸一吐,使茶味與花香合二而一。

製作過程即預備好綠茶原料茶,摘取含苞待放的新鮮花朵,在花兒半合半開時與茶一層層的堆放,經過幾個小時,花香就會完整的進入茶葉,成為茶葉內涵的一部份。這時就要將茶葉與花分開,花不要了,茶葉烘乾,整個過程即所說的「熏花。如要製作品質高的花茶,就需要準備更多的鮮花,根據要求熏多幾次。

熏時花與茶的比例要配合得宜,如花太多,花香太俗氣,便消弱茶的特性。如花朵太少,花香不足,茶味道也不會轉變得那麼美了。選用不同的茶,不同香氣的花兒,可以得到不同種類的花茶,除了茉莉花茶,也有烏龍桂花茶、普洱玫瑰花茶。茶與花的搭配、相容,讓茶的味道變成非常多樣面貌。


Scented tea with a myriad of aromas
By Hooi Yoke Lien
 
Is scented tea a type of tea? Yes. The base tea, after initial processing, is mixed with fresh flowers to take in the floral accent, yielding a kind of tea with a distinctly different style. The key to its irresistible appeal is the use of real flowers, instead of essential oil or floral essence.
 
Which tea can be used as the base tea? What flowers can be used for the natural scenting? Most teas, such as green tea, oolong tea, puer tea and black tea can be mixed with flowers. The choice of flowers is also very diverse; jasmine, osmanthus , gardenia, rosa, plum blossom, magnolia , roses, cymbidium, orange flower, and in fact, flowers that are edible can be can be used. Jasmine tea is by far the most popular scented tea; it is essentially green tea naturally scented with jasmine blossom.
 
How is the processing of the scented tea like? First, it is important to note that the tealeaves are porous. They readily absorb water vapour and gases in the air.  The tea scenting technique is developed on tealeaves’ absorptive properties and the scent-dispersing nature of flowers. This interaction of absorption and dispersion between tealeaves and flowers results in the perfect combination of the floral scent and tea aroma.
 
Prepared green tea is used as the base tea. Freshly-picked jasmine flowers, in their half-open state, are stacked with tealeaves. The floral aroma would have penetrated into the tealeaves and become a part of them after a few hours. It is then time to separate the tealeaves from the flowers – the flowers will be discarded while the tealeaves will be oven-dried. This is the ‘floral-scenting’ process. For scented tea of premium quality, a lot more fresh flowers will be used, and there will be more rounds of scenting.
 
Successful floral-scenting has a lot to do with the proportion between flowers and tea. Excessive use of flowers will overpower the tea aroma and make the floral accent unrefined. Conversely, an inadequate amount of flowers will make the floral accent indistinct, and defeat the purpose of floral-scenting. Pairing different types of tea and flower will yield different scented delights. Besides Jasmine tea, osmanthus oolong tea and puer rose tea are popular choices.  The integration and compatibility between teas and flowers have indeed given rise to a myriad of aroma and flavour
 
選用不同的茶,不同香氣的花兒,可以得到不同種類的花茶。