Flowering tea – history, culture and how it is made

flowering tea

Flowering tea

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 into finest green or white tea to form compact shapes about the size of chestnuts. Our flowering tea is made from jasmine blossoms, amaranth and marigolds.

Add hot water and the result is mesmerising – 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 colourful petals.

It really is something to behold.

How is flowering tea made?

Flowering tea – also known as blooming tea – is handmade by skilled artisans, usually 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 in one of mdtea's glass teapots

Flowering tea in one of mdtea’s glass teapots

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, 80 degrees centigrade 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.

And finally…

Once you have finished your glass, you can cover the tea ball with cold water and display it in a glass or vase, making a beautiful organic decoration.

Please visit the specialty tea section of our online tea shop to buy your artisan flowering tea balls.

About Michael Taggart

Michael Taggart is married to mdtea and Metrodeco co-owner Helen. He advises mdtea on marketing and because of a personal love of tea, writes the occasional post himself.
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