“Flowering teas” (or tea art) refers to carefully processed tea leaves that are wrapped in various plant flowers when dry – for example, jasmine, osmanthus, chrysanthemum, hibiscus, lilies and others are used for this purpose.
These flowers, with tea inside, slowly open when water is poured over them, and are therefore called “blooming”. It takes a lot of manual effort to make such a piece of tea art, which is why these teas are more expensive = but why not enjoy such serene beauty from time to time. Who can say they saw a flower in a few minutes…
How to grow flowering tea and what it actually is
This tea is a bit of an art form. The original flowering teas were created many centuries ago, as a tribute and pleasure for members of the imperial family. They were bound by hand and the art has been passed down for generations. The tea leaves are connected to the flowers by a thin thread that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Their popularity waned in the mid-20th century, but they later regained attention and are now distributed worldwide.
All flowering teas are produced in China, you cannot get these teas from other countries.
The main producer is Yunnan Province.
The flowering teas look like a ball of green or white tea leaves at first, and when dropped into water, they unfurl into a pile of petals with large colorful flowers. They usually consist of chrysanthemum, marigold, hibiscus, lily or jasmine. This releases not only aromas and substances from the tea but also from the flowers into the water.
How to drink
Flowering tea is usually drunk so that you can fully enjoy its beauty. It is dropped into a glass teapot and poured over hot water, which should not be to the boiling point. Both green and white teas are generally poured over water that is 80 °C.
You leave the tea to infuse for 10 minutes and then pour your first infusion. It can withstand multiple infusions, so you can enjoy it until it is fully infused. You can also put it in a cup, but it’s a shame to drink it quickly and not enjoy its beauty.
A variety of canapés or desserts go well with flowering tea.
It is excellent with summer cakes dotted with vibrant flowers.
The flowers in the teapot unfurling from tea leaves are very decorative, so you will be sorry to throw it away after it has been completely leached. You can keep it for some time in a pot or a vase of water and use it as a decoration. The tea will fade over time.
Most famous types
Flowering teas are very diverse and their names have very romantic sounding names. They evoke nature and mysterious mythical creatures. They are usually named Flowering Fairy, Oriental Beauty, Blooming Lily, Tender Love and so on.
They are usually made from green or white teas.
With the typical elongated petals that create an underplanting to the flowers to give the overall effect of a flower sitting in a grassy clump.
They tend to be very popular as a gift, sold individually wrapped in a plastic bag or in gift packs of several. Each piece is different, which is why flowering tea is such a little surprise. You never know what it will look like before you throw it in the teapot and let it fully unfold.
Flowering tea has many health benefits. It contains green tea, which is characterized by its abundance of flavonoids. These have antioxidant properties and prevent the growth of cancer cells. It is effective as a prevention of cancer, multiple sclerosis and many other diseases. Green tea also works as a strengthening of the digestive system.
Some varieties consist of white tea. It is a powerful antioxidant and in ancient times served as a choice tea that could only be consumed by courtiers at the imperial court. The tea is of high quality and very expensive. It is characterized by a delicate floral aroma, with a low dose of tannins, it is slightly sweet. The production of this tea consists in hand-picking the plants and the art of drying them properly.
It undergoes only very light fermentation to preserve the delicacy and aromas of the tea.
The health effects of white tea are significant. It is an important antioxidant, strengthens the body’s defenses and regulates blood pressure. Like green tea, it prevents the outbreak of diseases, including serious ones. It corrects the condition of the bones and acts on healthy gums and teeth. It is antibacterial, helps weight loss, prevents fat storage and the formation of bad cholesterol.
In China, drinking teas with dried flowers is a widespread custom. The teas are not crushed and ground into small mixtures as we do with hibiscus tea, for example, but the unground flowers are put into a pot of hot water. The consumer can then observe them in all their glory as they slowly develop.
Supplemented by other herbs
It is not uncommon for medicinal flowers such as chamomile, chrysanthemum, hibiscus or calendula to be added to flowering teas.
The healing effects of chamomile and calendula are well known in this country. They are anti-inflammatory and effective in respiratory diseases or flu. They calm the mind and soothe body pain. They aid proper digestion and relieve stomach pain.
Chrysanthemums are not commonly used in our country but should not be neglected.
Tea with chrysanthemums prevents fatigue, strengthens the brain and liver and regulates blood pressure.
Hibiscus, in turn, is great against asthma, and regular drinking of tea with hibiscus reduces allergic rhinitis and its symptoms. It also helps against depression, lowers blood pressure and is anti-inflammatory.