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How to Brew and Enjoy Blooming or Flowering Tea

Of course, tea balls are not sentient, but I find myself transfixed as they expand and show their secrets.

Sharing flowering tea is a very romantic way to show someone you care about them.

Sharing flowering tea is a very romantic way to show someone you care about them.

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.

This aerial view demonstrates the ribbonlike elegance of the California Tea House's Violet Moon tea.

This aerial view demonstrates the ribbonlike elegance of the California Tea House's Violet Moon tea.

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.

Behold! The not-so-humble, labor-intensive TeaVivre tea ball! Tea leaves and flowers are dried, then strung together in different patterns.

Behold! The not-so-humble, labor-intensive TeaVivre tea ball! Tea leaves and flowers are dried, then strung together in different patterns.

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

6 min

11 min

32 ounces of deliciously flowery, healthful tea

Tea balls tend to be approximately an inch in diameter, and the ones from California Tea House are right on the money.

Tea balls tend to be approximately an inch in diameter, and the ones from California Tea House are right on the money.

Instructions for Brewing

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour into your cup, sip, and enjoy!
Just take a look at the violet in Violet Moon tea! It's like the prettiest anemone.

Just take a look at the violet in Violet Moon tea! It's like the prettiest anemone.

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.

Adorable mug aside, Violet Moon tea makes for excellent, soothing sipping.

Adorable mug aside, Violet Moon tea makes for excellent, soothing sipping.

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!

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.

True Love tea -- the second brewing is almost as pretty as the first.

True Love tea -- the second brewing is almost as pretty as the first.

True Love tea, third brewing (the next morning). It does lose some of its visual appeal, but remains tasty.

True Love tea, third brewing (the next morning). It does lose some of its visual appeal, but remains tasty.

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!

Post-Bloom

The underside of the flower ball. It is tied together with string and resembles a hat after brewing.

The underside of the flower ball. It is tied together with string and resembles a hat after brewing.

Pinkish amaranth flowers, post-brewing.

Pinkish amaranth flowers, post-brewing.

Violet Moon tea ball, post-brew.

Violet Moon tea ball, post-brew.

The aftermath... empty tea cup.

The aftermath... empty tea cup.

Comments

Tania on March 11, 2019:

Do you drink the blooming tea ball from the cup while it is still in the cup?

Glenda Mudge on February 03, 2018:

Can you save the flower either dry it or keep in fresh water for its beauty

Abi on January 24, 2018:

Where do u buy the tea ball flower bomb booming thing

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on January 02, 2013:

Wonderful, teaches! Do you brew in a glass cup, or do you brew the whole thing in a teapot? I think drinking it from a cup with the flower in would be sooo luxurious.

Dianna Mendez on January 01, 2013:

A friend of mine started me on these beautiful teas a few years back. I must say that the tea is much more enjoyable when served in this fashion. Thanks for the read and lovely photo examples.

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on January 01, 2013:

Thanks Brian for the follow and the lovely comment. I appreciate it! Happy new year!

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on December 31, 2012:

It's always a pleasure to learn of something both useful and beautiful.

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on December 31, 2012:

Hi, Jamie! Thanks so much for the compliment! I hope your daughter enjoys the tea and teapot. :)

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on December 31, 2012:

Thank so much, Ish! I had a wonderful time putting together this video, and I really appreciate the votes, pins, and shares. I'm soo glad you enjoyed it! Happy New Year to you!!!

Jamie Brock from Texas on December 31, 2012:

Thank you for this awesome hub.. I have been wanting to get my daughter one of these! You have explained everything quite well. I think these tea pots are gorgeous.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on December 30, 2012:

An amazing hub with an incredible video, clear instructions and attractive photos! This is indeed unique and I enjoyed the wonderful video! Rated it 5 stars! Way to go!

Happy New Year 2013!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up, pinned & shared both on HubPages & Facebook

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on December 30, 2012:

Thanks, Brainy Bunny! That was really just a happy accident. :)

Brainy Bunny from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on December 30, 2012:

Your video is so beautiful. I love the way you got the music to match so perfectly with the unfolding tea blossom!

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on December 30, 2012:

Thanks, billybuc! I'm glad you like the idea. Happy New Year back at you!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 30, 2012:

How very "clever." I've never heard of this but now I will give it a try. Happy New Year to you!

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on December 30, 2012:

Thanks, North Wind! Yes, I have drank these flowering teas on my own and it's perfectly enjoyable... especially with a book and a cookie! :) But it does go the extra mile to put something so pretty yet drinkable out on the table and share with someone you care about.

North Wind from The World (for now) on December 30, 2012:

I love tea and blooming tea has always been something I wanted to try. If I can, I will definitely be trying it and I don't need to have a special guest - I can exclaim about it all by myself. But you are right when you say that it is one of the perfect ways to show guests that you are going all out for them.