How to Brew and Enjoy Blooming or Flowering Tea
Do you like flowers? What about in your tea?
Flowering teas (also known as blooming teas) are hand-crafted bundles of green or white tea leaves bunched artfully into clusters that, when placed into hot water, unfurl their leaves and allow the drinker to not only revel in the taste of the tea, but its visual beauty as well.
TeaVivre makes a number of different flowering teas, and I tried their True Love flavor. They combine their tasty Silver Needle green tea with marigold, jasmine, and amaranth flowers. Two amaranths are strung so they bloom upward in a “lovers’ dance” as they bob gently and appealingly in the heated water.
California Tea House is another company with absolutely gorgeous products. They have created their newest tea, Violet Moon Blooming Tea, with Silver Needle green tea as a base, but they add a beautiful violet flower to charm us. Contrary to popular belief, violets do not need to be, well, violet in color. The company uses pinkish flowers (that are on the larger side to show their beauty) in this tea.
Instructions for Brewing
- Boil water to fill your glass teapot or tall glass mug. (My teapot holds 32 ounces, but some pots hold 40 ounces or more.) I boil water in my electric kettle and pour it into the clear pot.
- Drop in the tea ball and let it do its thing! It should take about 5 minutes for the bottom of the tea ball to drop out and for the special design to show itself.
- Pour into your cup, sip, and enjoy!
Drinking Your Tea
After brewing, True Love tea turns a beautiful light yellow-green color, which is delightful to look at. The smell is slightly grassy and very fresh. The flavor is mild due to the long and lovely green tea leaves, and I personally found that it settled my stomach. It even seemed to freshen up my breath while cooling my throat, which I was not expecting but was extremely pleasant nevertheless. It tastes smooth and refreshing, without any hints of stick-like or twiggy flavors.
Violet Moon tea, on the other hand, turns a very pale peach, which was a wonderful surprise. (The inside of my mug is painted light green, so that is why the color appears a bit greenish.) The flavor is subtle, and it reminded me of summer. I especially enjoyed this one because it minded its own business... and made it very enjoyable to drink.
Of course tea balls are not sentient, but I find myself transfixed as they expand and show their secrets. I just love the way the flowers appear to dance, and the green tea leaves are especially compelling as they unfold themselves from their tight grip.
Be sure to brew flowering tea in a glass mug or even better, in a glass teapot or heat-safe pitcher to let it really expand.
Why not enjoy flowering tea as iced tea? Wouldn’t a flowering drink be a pleasant addition to a picnic or outdoor meal on a hot summer day? To avoid cracking your glass pitcher, brew the tea in something heat-safe the night before, then remove the flower and set it aside overnight. Add the cooled liquid to the glass pitcher (i.e. a martini pitcher) when you are ready to serve, then drop the tea flower in, so your company can all appreciate the blooming as well. Just don't even think of adding sugar!
Have you ever enjoyed flower tea?
Reusing Flower Tea Balls
How’s this for earth-friendly recycling? Flower tea can be reused!
The tea ball can be re-brewed twice more within a period of 24 hours, so don’t throw it away after a single brewing. The second and third brewings taste much more delicate, but are still worthy of enjoying.
Things to Remember
When I brewed the batch of True Love, I placed the tea ball into the pot first, which is not the correct way. The pot should really be filled with hot water first, then add the tea ball. But I wanted to see what would happen… the only unusual happenstance was that the tea ball bounced around ungracefully before its reveal.
The only disconcerting thing I’ve discovered while enjoying flowering tea balls is that I typically receive a few petals in my mouth, especially toward the end of each cup. While not entirely unpleasant, it still makes for an uncomfortable moment if you are sharing the tea with someone you are trying to impress... and need to remove petals from your mouth!