Delicate and Delicious, Exotic Flowering Teas
Flowering, or blooming, teas are composed of thin strips of white or green tea wrapped around sweet edible flowers, and worked into delicate bulb-like balls before before being baked at low temperatures to dry. These handmade tea flowers are created by skilled artisans in the main tea-growing regions of China. Flowers with wonderful floral notes, such as jasmine, amaranth, chrysanthemum, hibiscus, osmanthus, marigold and lavender, are used in this unique process.
Flowering teas are simple to prepare. A medium to large sized glass teapot is best used to display the beauty of the tea flower as it comes to life. Firstly, heat some water; the delicate nature of white and green teas require water heated to lower temperatures than other teas - between 66°C-85°C (150ºF-185ºF) for green teas and 80ºC-85ºC (176ºF-185ºF) for white teas. Filtered or spring water is preferable, especially in hard water areas. Four cups of water to one blooming tea ball should be adequate. Place the flowering tea ball in the teapot and carefully cover it with the water. Within a few minutes you will see the tea flower transform; it's a sight to behold as the leaves gently unfurl and expand to reveal the beautiful bloom within. How long you leave the tea flower to steep depends on how you like your tea. It may require a little experimentation with steeping times to achieve the depth of flavour you require. Pour into cups and sweeten if desired. Tea flowers can be re-steeped once or twice again after the first infusion.