The Sampaguita Tea

Honestly, I never thought it’s edible. There was very little information about its edibility around the web. I only got the idea from the author of frannywanny.com – a restaurant experience. They were served with Sampaguita Ice Cream. The ice cream had a strong Sampaguita aroma and tasted like real flower.

sampaguita jasmineLater on, I learned that its scientific name is Jasminum sambac. English common name is Arabian Jasmine, the Maid of Orleans Cultivar. The tagalog name is Sampaguita. I compared it to many pictures available on net and they looked the same.

I read from bpi.gov.ph medicinal plants database that its roots are poisonous. Though they never mentioned the chemical name, potency, symptoms and the lethal dose. I found no similar data somewhere.

Flowers are used for making jasmine tea with other tea as based ingredient, e.g. oolong tea. Flowers are fermented together with oolong to transfer the fragrant aroma.

Essential oil is extracted from flower for fragrant and flavoring purposes – like the ice cream eaten on frannywanny.com

The leaves is used in tea preparations. The idea was mentioned by wisegeek and detailed by ehow. About 1 tsp loose leaves is steep for one to five minutes in 77ºC water. Longer time allow extraction of more flavors but not recommended due to too much infusion of polyphenols.

Time to have a taste of Sampaguita tea.

Custom method one. Bring 500 ml water to running boil. Let cool for three minutes. Cut five fresh leaves with scissors and add to hot water. Get ten Sampaguita flowers, five fully open and five buds. Again, add it to hot water, cover, and let stand for five minutes.

cut sampaguita leaves and flowerssampaguita tea with flower 1Custom method two. Same as method one but pound the leaves for few seconds in a mortar and pestle.

crushed sampaguita leavessampaguita tea  leaf and flowerAfter steeping, I discarded the leaves and let the flowers stay in tea. It was a nice ornament. I drank the tea but throw away the flower after.

The two preparations exhibited mild astringent and grassy taste with a fragrant soothing aroma. Very relaxing. Method two resulted to slightly stronger taste and more prominent green color and had few crushed leaves sediments.

Sampaguita was the previous Philippine National Flower.


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