Tuesday, January 28, 2014



An age-old Chinese art form in existence since the Song Dynasty when tea leaves were tied up with flowers for the Emperor’s entertainment, these specialty types of teas are also known as display, artisan or flowering teas.    Basically, the tea leaves are hand sewn and formed into various shapes, usually a ball, which slowly and delicately unfurl revealing a delicate flower and are meant to enhance the tea experience as well as provide entertainment.  Unlike the Emperor who never drank the tea however, today these specialty teas are meant not only to delight your eyes but also your taste buds.  The tea liquor releases a myriad of flavors from the white, green and black leaves combined with the unique taste of the bouquet of edible flowers producing sweet and subtle or rich and bold flavors.

Created by skilled artists in China, blooming teas can be created with white, green or black teas.  First, the artist picks out lovely natural flowers and high-quality long tea leaves in the early morning.  While still damp, the leaves are flattened and sewn together with the flowers with silk or cotton thread and tightly packed into shapes.  Simple shapes take only a minute, but more elaborate designs and combinations may take up to 20 minutes. Finally, the teas are processed as usual for their type including withering, oxidizing and drying.

In general, these teas can be brewed longer since it is best to use a water temperature just below the boiling point.   Steep in a glass pot or mug by simply pouring the water over the tea shape and watch them twist, turn, move and appear to bloom right before your eyes.  Allow to steep at least 2-3 minutes but they can be brewed longer without becoming bitter, plus after enjoying the first pot, you can re-steep by adding fresh hot water up to 3 times.  These teas not only have the bright and refreshing flavor of their traditional counterparts, they also contain all the benefits of traditional teas plus their complementary flowers with properties including antioxidants, vitamins C and E plus fluoride.  Once done steeping and drinking, you can place your “bloom” in a clear glass container with clean cold water and enjoy it as a centerpiece for an extra day or two!

Some of the most popular edible flowers
used for blooming teas are
jasmine, hibiscus, lavender,
calendula and carnation

Do not forget to entertain strangers,
for by so doing some people have entertained angels
without knowing it
I Corinthians 10:31 

1 comment:

California Tea House said...

Great Tip. Thanks for sharing. We are actually starting a crazy big project here in a few weeks and will take all the advice we can get. Let us know at Thanks again.

Blooming Tea
California Tea House