What do you think of when you think of loose tea? Do you think of piles of soft, dried leaves which pour out of jars and into pots? What if we told you that there were loose teas which are slightly less loose?
Blooming teas are carefully arranged bundles of delicate, young white tea needles and flowers. The leaves are curled into dense balls around careful arrangements of dried flowers, picked at exactly the fullest moment of their bloom. Then, the whole thing is carefully sewn into place, by hand, in order to ensure that, when it is immersed in hot water, it “blooms” in exactly the right way. They are then usually infused with the flavor of either jasmine or strawberry, and dried a few more times, to ensure that the flowers at their center are perfectly preserved. Those flowers are usually globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily, hibiscus, and osmanthus. We use jasmine, lily, and osmanthus is our carefully arranged three flower blooms. White tea is used, rather than green or black, because it would be impossible to taste the flowers over the heavier flavors of a stronger tea, and it would also be impossible to clearly see the arrangements of flowers through the darker teas.
The tradition of flowering teas comes from the Yunnan region of China, which you may also recognize as the birthplace of Yunnan Black Needles, Pu’ehr, and other particularly fine teas. The tradition of the flowering tea is at least several hundred years old, though there is no clear record of exactly when and how it began. Flower teas do not always necessarily contain flowers. They can occasionally be simple arrangements of hand-sewn tea leaves, which “bloom” in the shape of flowers. In the 1980’s, this tradition expanded into an extravagant trend, and traditional, more simple arrangements began to be replaced by large, elaborate bouquets which bloomed in phases. Now, a range between these two extremes is available, not just in China, but all over the world.
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These teas are traditionally brewed in a glass teapot, such as this very traditional one:
though a more modern, borosilicate one, like this:
or a borosilicate mug, such as this:
both also work. If all else fails, they look lovely blooming in a wine glass (though we must warn you that the sudden temperature change may damage the glass if you try this brewing technique in a particularly cold room):
They can be steeped up to three times without any notable bitterness or loss of flavor, because they are made of only extremely high-quality ingredients.
These teas symbolize love, prosperity, and happiness. This, combined with the fact that they’re just a little bit extravagant, and are something that you’ll use, and then be done with, rather than something which will just become clutter, make them excellent gifts, and excellent wedding gifts in particular. Order some of ours online, or pick them up in the shop as a last-minute gift for that cousin you nearly forgot about.