Tea instead of flowers. Maybe some of us have happened upon this fancy tea specialty while looking for a very special present. Blooming Teas or Tea Flowers are a sophisticated form of Chinese handcraft, which requires much patience and a sure instinct. Blooming teas have a long tradition in Oriental culture and are often presented as a sign of esteem. They are often used on formal occasions as small gifts or offered when particularly important guests are present. The small, decorative bundles are made principally with carefully selected fresh leaf tips of white or green tea. Before production, the leaf tips are humidified so that they can be bent without being damaged. An expert flower binder then ties the leaves using a thin cotton thread and transforms them into small works of art. Pretty flowers are often placed in the heart of the wreath of tea leaves. The creation of one ball of tea can take up to fifteen minutes. Blooming tea is available in several shapes, eg. balls, hearts or bouquets. The tying process is followed by drying.
Real beauty comes from the inside. Once hot (no longer boiling) water is poured onto the blooming tea, it slowly opens and reveals its whole glory. Enjoy the magnificent spectacle of the flower slowly emerging from its leafy bed. The performance can take from 5 to 10 minutes according to the shape and size of the tea flower. It is best to use a glass teapot as the glass’ magnifying effect amplifies this particularly attractive sight. You can infuse blooming teas up to four times successively. During the first infusion, the leaves soak up a lot of water and do not release their full flavour. The second infusion is probably the best and should be left to infuse for 5 to 6 minutes