Blooming Teas

I decided to do something a little different this time, and that is to talk about just one tea. 


 

Blooming Tea or Flowering Tea is the Cleopatra of tea blends – flirty, exotic and a little magical.

 It comes in balls made from beautiful aromatic flowers woven by hand from the finest green or white tea to form compact shapes about the size of chestnuts. Add hot water and the result is mesmerizing – you’ll gasp if you haven’t seen this spectacle before. The flower literally opens up before your eyes, like a beautiful rose blooming at high speed, displaying a riot of colorful petals.

How is flowering tea made?

These teas are usually made in the Yunnan or Fujian provinces of China. The edible sweet-tasting flowers, which could also be fuchsias, roses, lilies and many others varieties, are sewn together into a ball. Flattened strips of white or green tea leaves are then sewn round the ball, creating the outer layer, and the flowering ball is baked for 20-30 minutes on low heat. The whole process can take a whole day.

Flowering tea – brewing, serving and tasting

Because they are made with white or green tea, it is very important not to scald the artisan flowering balls with boiling water as this could leave it tasting bitter. In fact, 170 degrees is about right. Just as important is to use a glass teapot so that you can view the incredible blooming process. After 3-5 minutes of this magnificent show, the flower will be fully unfurled – so pour the infused liquid into a cup or glass and enjoy the delectable but mild herbaceous taste with its slight honey note.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers

After picking, fresh flowers should be dehydrated (by natural air-dried and machine air-dried) before the next process. The flower must be picked with integrity, and at the best picking time.

Tea buds, mostly from premium green tea, are handpicked in early spring, in the morning, before buds have a chance to open. 

The leaves are then hand sewn with cotton thread and tied to flowers like jasmine, hibiscus, chrysanthemum or rose by skillful Chinese artisans in order to make rosettes.

 

While the leaves are still moist, they can be shaped into balls, mushrooms, cones or other shapes and then undergo drying, oxidation and firing.

Some of these flowering tea shapes can take a minute to sew while others may take up to 10 minutes, depending on the design the artisan wishes to create.

 

 

 


The secret of blossomy flowers

During the producing process, some tiny spaces are specially made between the petals and between tea buds and flowers. Therefore when brewing, air in those spaces will expand because of the heat, then flowers will open by themselves.


 

Wouldn’t it be fun to plan a tea around the very concept of ‘flowers’

 

 

 

You did know there are a LOT of edible flowers out there didn’t you?  I found about 60.

Just look at this gorgeous salad… doesn’t it just make you feel like you are eating a bit of Spring itself?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh boy… You know me, I just can’t stop ‘going there’.  March part TWO will have a ton of Edible Flower recipes.

 

 

 


                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012