Blooming tea is typically made by bundling tea leaves neatly around edible flowers. It is later hand sewn and shaped into a tea ball. It is in essence, a type of premium tea. Therefore if you’re familiar with how to brew tea, the steps won’t be totally new to you.
As this award-winning tea is valued both for its taste and spectacular visual presentation, there will be specific requirements for the tea set as well as the brewing method. The most exciting part of having blooming tea is to watch flower bloom before your eyes during the brewing process.
Below I will share with you the most accurate and comprehensive instructions from the industry leader on how to make blooming tea. These instructions are shared by Xue Yuntong, who is the awesome lady who invented blooming tea in 1999. The article is a little long, but I promise that it’s worth the extra effort. Let’s get started.
Items You Need To Brew The Perfect Cup Of Blooming Tea:
- A Blooming Tea Ball
- Clear, Heat Resistance Glassware (Teapot, Tea Cups or optionally Wine Glasses)
- Kettle To Boil Water
How To Brew The Perfect Cup Of Blooming Tea:
Use Boiling Water
For best results, please use hot water boiled to a temperature of 95°C or 203°F and above. That’s how you can extract the maximum flavour out of the tea bundle, which typically consist of green tea leaves. My tea barista had also mentioned that the tea may not bloom in full if the initial steep is not hot enough.
I have a hot water dispenser at home but I insist on boiling hot water over my stove to get the best show out of every blooming tea ball.
Clear and Transparent Teawares
You can purchase teawares specially designed for blooming tea or you can just use any clear glassware that has high-temperature resistance.
Please be mindful not to pour hot water directly into a cold glass to avoid cracking your glassware. This is especially relevant if you’re planning to make iced tea out of blooming tea.
Your glassware should have a minimum of 10cm or 4 inches of inner height and 7cm or 2.5 inches of inner diameter (width). This is important because some blooming tea may reach up to 3 inches of height when in full bloom. Your blooming tea may not look as visually pleasing when there’s not enough room to expand.
Personally, I like to use wine glasses to make blooming tea because it makes the drink look more classy and I don’t need to lower my head too much to watch the flowers bloom. I also find that the curved bottom of wine glasses can help position the blooming tea ball to the centre when it sinks.
- Place the blooming tea ball to the bottom of the teaware before pouring hot water. Do not flip the steps or you might find yourself getting worried about whether it’s going to bloom properly.
- Pour in boiling water with a temperature of 95°C or 203°F and above for the first brew. It’s alright to pour boiling water directly to the blooming tea ball. If you’re using a glass cup, pour hot water until you reach the cup handle. Otherwise, if you’re using glass kettle or teapot, gently pour in hot water until it has filled two-thirds of the spout.
- Subsequently, when you want to re-steep your blooming tea for a 2nd or 3rd brew, do not pour hot water directly onto the flower. Instead, pour hot water along the rim or inner glass wall to avoid damaging the delicate flowers. Try not to overcook your flowers!
- The best time to drink blooming tea is after 5 to 7 minutes of steeping, when the blooming tea flower has unravelled into full bloom.
- It’s advisable to pour all the brewed tea into another container before drinking it so that you won’t over steep your tea. Depending on the tea, some tea may turn bitter if it’s over-steeped. Besides that, it’s also easier to enjoy your drink without having tea leaves or flower petals floating around.
- You can re-steep blooming tea for a few more time within 1 seating until it has run out of taste. However, each re-steep should not exceed 2 minutes. You can adjust the time accordingly based on your own personal preference. Feel free to steep it longer for a stronger taste.
- However, I do not recommend keeping your blooming tea overnight to re-steep it on another day.
- For the best view, please observe your tea bloom from a straight angle. In other words, please enjoy the show at eye level.
- When you’re done re-steeping your tea, you can even keep the flower around as a display for up to 1 week. You just need to replace the water daily to keep it looking fresh.
Proper Way To Store Blooming Tea
Once you’ve opened the tea packet, please seal your blooming tea in a tight container. You won’t have this issue if your blooming tea is individually packed. Simply place it in a dry and cooling area to avoid direct sunlight. Avoid packing blooming tea too tightly together so that you won’t end up accidentally squeezing them. We do value them for their visual display after all 🙂
- Brewing Method, Linong Tea, 16 May 2019
- Make Blooming Tea, WikiHow, 16 May 2019
- Tea barista’s suggestions, Tea+.