What are blooming teas?
Blooming teas are meticulously crafted little tea balls that 'bloom' into a splendid flower display when hot water is added. Created to immitate the natural blossoming process of plants, we see flowers unfolding and expanding in a time-lapse fashion. It is fascinating to watch how, within a few minutes, the tea transforms from a rather inconspicuous bundle of shaped tea leaves into a magnificent bouquet of flowers. These artisan blossoming teas satisfy all senses with their visual aesthetics and delicious favour.
How to prepare display tea?
Since these teas are intended to be watched and admired, it is best to brew them in a (tempered) glass vessel. Ideal is either a glass teapot, a large wine glass or decanter. Place one tea ball in your brewing vessel and add hot water. For these teas it is better to use hotter water than you normally would for green tea and it is o.k. to use boiling water. Watch the tea flower unfold before your eyes and drink the tea when the tea has finished to blossom.
You can re-infuse the same leaves between 1 and 3 times, depending on your personal preference. When you are finished infusing the tea, you can transfer the tea ball carefully into a high glass and fill it with cold water. This way you can enjoy the beauty of the tea display for up to one week (exchanging the water when it gets too dark from the tea).
A little background on flowering tea
While the addition of flowers to tea has a long tradition in China and Taiwan, the hand-tied blooming or display teas are a modern invention.
Historically, flowers were often added to low grade green or white tea to enhance the flavour. A whole industry was built around this at the beginning of last century in Taiwan until advances in oolong farming and processing allowed for the creation of floral teas from the tea leaf itself.
Blooming teas, which are sometimes called artistic teas, follow a different approach. Tea leaves and dried flowers are carefully chosen and only the best quality is used for the manufacture. Since the teas are made for visual display, perfection of form and colour is key.
Chinese tea artisans hand-sew each tea ball into a small bundle of tea leaves and dried blossoms. Arrangements can be relatively plain teas with one flower to extremely intricate creations using a handfull of different flowers and colours. But the simplicity of an arrangement is no indicator of quality. While simple teas can be very well made, complex arrangements can also be poorly made. We are very particular when it comes to quality and our blooming teas (as well as all other teas and teaware we are offering) satisfy our high quality standards.