Osmanthus Tea - A Traditional Floral-Scented Chinese Tea
Osmanthus tea is a type of scented tea originating in China. Most tea drinkers are familiar with jasmine tea, a scented tea produced by repeatedly layering tea leaves with jasmine flowers so that the leaf absorbs the jasmine fragrance. Osmanthus tea is produced by a similar process, but uses osmanthus flowers instead of jasmine.
What exactly are osmanthus flowers?
Osmanthus is a genus of flowering plants in the olive family, mostly native to southeast Asia. The species of osmanthus used in scenting tea is called sweet osmanthus, and has the scientific name Osmanthus fragrans, named in reference to its pleasing fragrance.
Osmanthus flowers are used for a number of other purposes, and their scent is sometimes used as an ingredient in perfumes.
Osmanthus Tea:
Osmanthus tea is made with any number of different Chines teas as the base, including black, green, pouchong, oolong, and even sometimes white or Pu-erh. Green tea or greener oolongs such as pouchong (bao zhong) are common bases as they blend well with the osmanthus blossoms' fragrance.

The best osmanthus teas are produced by a time- and labor-intensive layering process, in which the flowers are placed in a tight area together with the leaves, which are allowed to absorb their fragrance. This process is then repeated several times.
Although the production process is similar to that used to produce jasmine tea, and both could be described as floral, the aroma of osmanthus, and thus osmanthus tea, is very different from jasmine.

One of the benefits of this distinct aroma is that people who strongly like or dislike one tea may have a very different reaction to the other.Enthusiasts who wish to explore and sample new teas may find osmanthus tea to offer a new and interesting aroma to explore.
Another "osmanthus teas" that is pure (unscented):
There is another type of tea, other than the scented one, that bears the name "osmanthus". This tea is called Huang jin gui, in Chinese, which can be translated as "golden osmanthus". Huang jin gui is an oolong, a se chung oolong to be specific, meaning that it originates in Anxi county of China's Fujian province, and comes from a different cultivar from Tie Guan Yin oolong, one of the most well-known varieties of Chinese oolong.
Huang jin gui is a pure tea, made only from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) and containing no scenting or flavoring or other ingredients. Astonishingly, the aroma of huang jin gui is strongly floral and closely resembles that of osmanthus flowers, leading some to confuse or mistake it for osmanthus-scented tea.

The similarity in aroma is a result of years of careful selective breeding, and a specially-developed production process that brings out certain qualities in the aroma. The affinity of the aromas of green se chung oolongs and osmanthus flowers have led some tea producers to use osmanthus flowers to scent these green oolongs, resulting in a seamless blend of fragrance in which it is impossible to tell where the floral scent ends and the tea's aroma begins.
Where can one buy or obtain osmanthus tea?
Osmanthus tea, unfortunately, is not as well-known in western countries as jasmine tea or any number of other pure or flavored teas. However, it is available online through a number of specialty tea companies and online retailers. Occasionally, it can even be found in stores, especially those that specialize in Chinese teas. With a little effort, osmanthus tea is not difficult to locate.
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