There’s been a trend brewing in the last couple years for flowering tea and designer loose leaf tea. You may have noticed an increasing number of tea boxsets and related gifts, and this is because people are starting to realise that tea is a simple and great present. It’s far healthier than giving chocolate, and provides more pleasure than an unimaginative bouquet of flowers.
What is Flowering Tea?
Quite simply, flowering tea comes in bundles of tea leaves wrapped in flowers. The leaves have been carefully tied together and the surrounding flower protects the quality of the leaves from sunlight and air. In its unused form; a flowering tea pod can look like a small green golf ball – fairly hard on the outside and an object of mystery.
All you have to do is leave it for a couple of minutes in boiling water and the flower will slowly blossom releasing the tea leaves into the water. A beautiful display is created here as the tied leaves and flower create a centrepiece for your teapot or brewer. Flowering tea is best served in a glass teapot or cup (or even a large wine glass) so you can really appreciate the visual aspect of the tea before you drink it.
The actual leaves are usually varieties of green or white tea, with Jasmine leaves or ‘silver needle’ tips being used for more discerning palates. The flowers used also vary depending on the visual effect you want to achieve. The flowers can influence the taste and they infuse with the water for a light floral depth. Popular flowers for this type of tea include chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily and hibiscus which all have their own distinctive flavours.
It is thought that like most tea, flowering tea originates from China (supposedly the Yunnan district) but the age of this tradition is unknown. Some people speculate it started in the 1980s as a western novelty, but others claim it started in ancient times.
What are the Benefits of Flowering Tea?
Health – We all know that there are a number of health benefits associated with loose leaf tea including immune support, blood toxin regulation, improved mental capacity and even the ability to prevent serious diseases such as cancer. Drinking flowering tea can be part of a healthy lifestyle and contribute to overall wellbeing – something we all long for in our hectic lifestyles. Tea is relatively inexpensive too, so it’s a great habit to adopt.
Reusability – Flowering tea is different to most teas as you are actually encouraged to reuse the bulb more than once. You can use the same flower for up to three pots of tea before it starts going bitter meaning excellent value for money and those tea drinking sessions with your friends can continue for longer.
Taste & appearance – The aesthetic nature of flowering tea makes it very popular for a centre piece or even a talking point among friends. The taste is also fantastic as the quality of the tea leaves is usually very high as this is a premium product. The addition of the flower adds floral notes to the brew and creates an extra dimension when drinking.
You know now everything you need to know about flowering tea, so there’s no excuse not to try some. Have you ever tried flowering tea, and if so what do you love about it? Did you receive it as a gift or buy it for yourself as a treat?
About The Author
This post has been written by Steve who writes for Just-Eat and has a particular interest in Chinese food, traditions and history.