Having company for tea? Why not skip the tea bags and opt instead for a blooming tea? Blooming tea, or flowering tea, is a unique way to prepare your favorite blends. Read on to learn more about blooming tea and how to make it.
What’s Blooming Tea?
The origins of blooming tea are unclear. Some people think it’s a modern day invention, while others say it dates back hundreds of years. What is clear though is that the concept of blooming tea has early origins.
In around the 10th century, Chinese royal courts were in the practice of displaying tea as a sign of wealth. These teas were crafted, shaped and even woven into intricate designs. As far as we know, that tea wasn’t for drinking. But these displays could possibly have been the beginning of what we now know as blooming tea.
Today, blooming tea might seem like a novelty. It’s rare to see blooming tea in the supermarket – you’ll frequently find retailers online, though. So what is it?
Blooming tea balls are arrangements of teas and flowers. When steeped in a teapot, they open into artistic displays. Blooming tea balls are created by weaving together fresh green or white tea leaves with decorative flowers. Those plants are bound together with cotton yarns and then baked.
After baking, the blooming tea balls are injected with other flavors, like cranberry or vanilla. Then, they’re baked again, sometimes up to five times.
The result is a tiny ball just a little larger than a marble. Place the ball in a clear tea pot or cup and pour boiling water over it. The ball will slowly unfold as your tea brews.
Why Should I Buy Blooming Tea?
We’re going to be honest. Blooming tea doesn’t smell any different than loose tea. It doesn’t taste any different. There are no health benefits to blooming tea that regular tea doesn’t also give.
But blooming tea is fascinating. It’s an art and a science, and it’s captivating to watch. Of course, not everyone shares our opinion. There are people who think blooming tea is unnecessarily expensive and others who just think the blooming tea balls look gross.
We’ll leave that for you to decide. Which is yet another reason to buy blooming tea. Try it once, watch your tea literally blossom, and see what you think!
Blooming tea comes in just about as many blends as loose tea does. You can buy super healthy jasmine tea, green tea, chamomile, globe amaranth and acai. You’ll find calendula, rose and even pineapple blooming tea. Whatever your taste preference, you’ll find a flavor to suit it.
If nothing else, blooming tea is a great conversation starter. Place a glass tea cup at each of your guests’ seats, then drop a flowering tea ball inside. You’re guaranteed to get a few raised eyebrows. Then, pour the hot water over the tea bags, and watch your guests stare.
Where to Buy Blooming Tea
You won’t find blooming tea in most grocery stores. The price point of the tea just isn’t conducive to selling it on the shelves. Instead, your best bet is to either visit a specialty tea shop or find your blooming teas online.
Amazon is actually a great resource if you’re looking for a blooming tea. First of all, there are oodles of products. You’ll find both greens and whites, and there are a vast number of flowers in the tea.
Amazon also has the advantage of great customer reviews. Customers who have bought certain blooming teas will post pictures of the result, which can help to influence your purchase.
Finally, Amazon is quite competitive. The price point of flowering tea on the platform is competitive, too. The average price of a blooming tea on Amazon is around $1 per tea ball. Of course, you’ll find independent retailers who post on the site, and their products may be priced as high as $6 per ball.
If you’re able, buy your blooming tea from a reputable source. Your supplier should be able to explain the process used to make the flowering tea, and that process should include baking to dehydrate. Blooming tea works by rehydrating the flowers and tea leaves. Using any process other than baking might mean your tea balls won’t flower.
Blooming Tea Reviews
Itching to try a blooming tea? The reviews are mixed. Again, though, that depends on the retailer and the process by which the tea balls were made. Be sure to check out reviews on the site from which you purchase your flowering tea.
As you read blooming tea reviews, look for comments on the strength of the tea. For instance, while Teavana is a popular tea company, their tea balls don’t get great reviews. Customers have said that the balls did flower, but the tea itself had no taste. Some customers complained that the tea didn’t even smell.
Look, too, for the amount of time it takes for the flower to bloom and the tea to steep. This may not be a big deal for you if you’re enjoying a blooming tea for yourself. But if you aim to serve blooming tea at a party or to guests, you certainly don’t want them waiting 15 minutes for their flower to appear.
Flowering Tea Tips
First of all, as mentioned, you should serve blooming tea in a clear cup or teapot. Steeping your tea ball in a dark or opaque pot will defeat the purpose of the blooming tea. Let your guests enjoy watching the bloom unfurl!
Secondly, you probably won’t buy tea balls individually. They’ll usually come in packs of 6 or so, and in that case you’ll want to prepare them. Open your package, then use plastic wrap to individually wrap each tea ball. Then, simply place them back in the package. This will preserve your tea balls for later use. Just unwrap them as you need them.
Finally, for the best results, check the brewing instructions on the package. You know that most green and white teas require a lower temperature than black teas. Double check the required temperature on the package, as your flowering tea may require a higher temperature than normal.