I was first introduced to blooming tea when checking out a newly opened tea house in Mid Valley. As it was beautifully displayed in a wine glass, I initially thought that it was just a decoration. Imagine my surprise when the tea master told me that it’s actually tea! Unable to get over the brilliant concept, I later turned to the internet to understand what blooming tea is all about.
Known also as blooming flower tea, flowering tea, or blossoming tea, blooming tea consists of edible flowers and tea leaves. An experienced tea master bundles tea leaves around the edible flowers, before rolling it into a tea ball. When steeped in hot water, the tea ball expands and unfold, revealing the beautiful flower inside. As the tea brewing process mimics a blooming flower, it’s no surprise that the tea masters named it the blooming tea.
Blooming Tea, A Modern Artisan Tea From the Far East
Although some people think that blooming tea is a form of ancient tea art, this artisan tea is widely believed to be a modern creation originated from the south-eastern part of China during the 1980s. Although the Chinese have a long history of using edible flowers to make scented tea (E.g. jasmine tea), blooming tea is a fairly young and modern concept.
Blooming tea is designed mainly for its aesthetic “wow” factor. Tea drinkers are visually delighted by the tea ball that slowly blooms when steeped. It gained its popularity in the West during the early 2000s.
Each Tea Ball Is Meticulously Hand Crafted
Each blooming tea ball is delicately hand-sewn by an experienced tea master.
First, they tie up premium tea leaves into a bundle using either silk or cotton threads.
Then, edible flowers are carefully tied to the tea leaves bundle. Care is taken to make sure that the flowers are fully hidden and wrapped by the tea leaves. The flowers will not bloom properly if this crucial step is not properly handled.
After that, the tea master will roll the tea bundle into a ball and wrap it into a cloth, giving it its iconic ball shape.
The rolled tea ball is then dried and unwrapped before being packaged and ready for sale.
Disclaimer: This picture is originally provided by 炎暑集茶叶专属店, a tea merchant from taobao.com
Steps are translated into English by mybloomingtea.com
Blooming Tea’s Various Surprises
As more and more tea drinkers fell in love with this blooming tea concept, the tea makers have improved the artisan tea by adding in more intricate flower designs. Each design pattern comes with a lovely name of its own.
To keep things interesting and exciting, some sellers sell the tea balls in a variety packet, deliberately keeping each ball unlabeled so that tea drinkers will not know what’s in the tea ball until it’s brewed!
I find this to be a great conversation starter in any social event 🙂 You might want to consider brewing this in your next ice-breaking event.
What’s the Best Way to Enjoy Your Blooming Tea?
Simply add hot water, and the tea ball will do the rest of the work 🙂
Step 1. Take a blooming tea ball and place it to the bottom of a clear & transparent glass container (ex: wine glasses)
Step 2. Add about 150ml of hot water into the glass container
Step 3. Wait for the tea ball to bloom into a beautiful surprise. Enjoy the visual presentation before tasting the beautiful blend of flower and tea.
This is a pretty simple and quick way to enjoy your blooming tea. If you’d like to see more tips on how to get the perfect brew, feel free to check out my latest article on “How to make blooming tea“.
Are You Ready To Give Blooming Tea A Try?
Have you tried drinking blooming tea? Let me know how it goes in the comments. I will be interested to hear about your first experience with this form of tea art.