Beautiful Blooming Teas
Flowering tea, or blooming tea, is unique in that it is more a style of preparing the tea leaves, than a specific type of tea. It’s quite a novelty to see the tea flower take shape in your cup as the water is slowly absorbed by the leaves. It adds a whole new dimension to the taking of tea – it’s like slow-moving fireworks in your cup!
Building the bloomer
Blooming tea balls are created by hand, which adds to the whole experience of watching them unfold. The basic blooming tea ball is created by selecting one or more dried flower heads for the middle of the “bloom” — clover and jasmine are perennial favourites. Leaves are then cut and arranged in various patterns around the central flower, and tied tightly with either silk or cotton thread, in order to hold the entire package together. Otherwise, the tea leaves would float free as they absorbed water.
Once the leaves have been arranged around the central flower, they are tightly bound with a natural fabric, either silk or cotton, and then placed into a drying oven, where the tea balls will assume their final shape, and stay in a compact form until they are ready to be brewed.
Unleash the bloom
The presentation of the brewed blooming tea is critical — if you’re using a small one-cup bloom, then find a wide, clear glass mug so that you can watch the brewing process. If you have a larger bloom, or want to combine several blooms in one pot, use a large glass pot. If using more than one bloom, try to find a pot that is wider than it is tall, so that the multiple balls will have room to spread out. Simply add hot water to the pot, add the blooms, and sit and watch.
The entire process will take about three to five minutes, depending on the size and composition of the bloom, but when done, you’ll be able to experience a wonderful brewed pot of tea that has also taken on the subtle aroma of the flower blossom used in the center of the bloom. Marvelous.