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The Magical Chinese Flowering Tea

18 July 2017

Regular tea drinkers, who are searching for an alternative brew, can stop their quest. If you haven’t seen or heard of flowering teas then it’s time to try this romantic, novel and impressive drink. Flowering teas are also referred to as blooming teas, hand-dried teas, display teas or flower craft teas. They are not only a drink, but an impressive form of art.

Taste

Depending on which variety of tea you choose to try, it will dictate the taste. The dominating flavour in flowering teas will be the tea leaves. As many of the flowers used to make them have a rather subtle essence, they bring a gentle, aromatic and refreshing taste to the brew. Due to the mild flavours, they are the perfect drink to go with your indulgent choco pie.

The flowers used in flowering teas are all safe for consumption and bring a floral taste to your drink. Some of the popular flowers used are hibiscus, chrysanthemum, jasmine, osmanthus and lily.

Flowering teas can brew for much longer than other teas which can go bitter after too long in the water, the delicate flavour only improves and strengthens the longer they are left steeping. Flowering teas can also be used for more than one cup, the high-quality balls will go on for at least two to three.

Art

Flowering teas are a new drinking experience, they aren’t to be rushed, they are to be appreciated as you let the art form captivate you. The warm water slowly reveals the hidden treasures that are inside. Craftsmanship goes into producing each bud, from the harvest of the leaves, to the drying, to the sewing together. The creativeness, attraction and delicate flavour balance is incredible.

Some flowering teas, before they are brewed are ball shaped, while others conceal a much larger flower and for this, take another form. You may find them in a variety of shapes from bells and hearts to mushrooms and teardrops.

Some flowering teas contain more than one flower, the more elaborate creations can have a small bunch with a variety of types. Once the tea ball is dropped into the hot water, it opens as though a flower would, revealing the beautiful blossom inside.

Blooming teas reveal themselves in rather different ways, depending on the variety you have. Some, will simply be one flower, which petals slowly open. Others are more elaborate, with the flowers uncurling much faster or popping out of the bunch, they can be a mix of colours, shapes and sizes all within one ball.

These teas are not only a pleasure to drink, but allow you to truly slow down and enjoy what you’re doing in the moment, as they enchant you into admiring their beauty. It’s not something you would grab while you’re on your way to work in a rush, the ritual encourages you to sit down and appreciate the spectacle.

To appreciate these teas for all their glory, they should be served in either a glass teapot or a tall glass mug or tumbler, so that you get to view all the magic as is unveils.

How they are made

Authentic and genuine flowering teas are handmade by skilful artisans in China and the process is as much an art form as the tea itself. The fresh and fragrant flowers are naturally dehydrated, along with the tea leaves. They are then delicately arranged and masterfully sewn together in a way that ensures an elegant opening when hot water is added. The method of sewing will depend on how the creator wants the arrangement to unfold.

The ball unfolds due to the small pockets that are left between the flower and the tea leaves. As the air trapped inside the ball heats up, it expands and pushes the bouquet open.

Have you had the pleasure of drinking one of these delightful brews? Which was your favourite or most elaborate?! Share your pictures with us via our social media channels!

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