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What, exactly, is flower tea? When you first hear the name, it evokes images of flowers unfolding in a steaming hot mug of water – and that’s just what flower tea does. If you have yet to see a beautiful bloom grow into a gorgeous floral masterpiece of tea, flower tea is a variety you’ll want to watch before you taste.
Also known as blooming tea, flower tea is an entirely different tea drinking experience. If it’s a type of tea you’ve never tried, here are all of the exciting reasons to add a little blossom to your next cup.
The Differences between Blooming Flower Tea and Traditional Tea
Before you dive into your first cup of flower tea, it’s important to know that it holds both similarities and differences from your normal cup of tea. First, tea leaves (also called “true tea” by experts) all originate from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Any tea that falls into the categories of white, black, green, or oolong features leaves of this plant. Other types of teas, typically referred to as herbal teas or tisanes, are blends that create tea from flowers, herbs, or the parts of other plants.
Blooming tea, or flower tea, is composed of some new ingredients and some of the familiar teas you already know and love. It’s a combination of both plant leaves and flowers. The petals of flowers like jasmine, lily, marigold, and amaranth are tied into round bundles with tea leaves in their midst. Created in China, the birthplace of traditional tea, this relatively new type of tea has quickly gained popularity thanks to an entirely different taste from all other teas – and, of course, its artistic bloom when steeped.
What Makes Flower Tea Bloom?
Perhaps the most obvious difference between your average cup of tea – brewed from a loose leaf blend or a pre-made tea bag – and a cup of flower tea is the beautiful bloom that takes place inside the hot water. When you steep your typical bag or infuser of tea, you can clearly see the clear water change color into green, amber, gold, black, or even light silver depending on your chosen type of tea. However, when you steep any variety of flower tea, the process changes: as the bundle of flowers and tea leaves slowly uncurls and fills the cup, it forms floral shapes that resemble the blossom of a live flower.
Once the flowers of this tea unfurl inside your mug, you’ll find a lightly colored liquid left behind. Most flower teas turn steaming hot water a pale shade of green or yellow, bringing a sweet scent and taste as well. Many blends of blooming tea are combined with green tea leaves, as the light and slightly sweet taste of this tea pairs well with floral and herbal additions. Every cup of flower tea blossoms into a different flavor, a different colorful array, and a different mix of natural, herbal ingredients.
How to Properly Brew Flower Tea
Like every type of tea, blooming tea has its own specific brewing method and steeping times. Remember, the way in which you craft your cup of tea determines its final flavor and fragrance. According to Teasenz, there are a few steps to take care with when brewing your first pots or mugs of flower tea. Before you even begin, however, you might want to purchase a glass teapot or a set of heat-safe glass cups. As delicious as flower tea tastes, the true magic and excitement lie in watching the flowers blossom as the tea bundle steeps. With a glass teapot or tea set, you can watch the entire process unfold before your eyes.
Follow these steps for your first steep:
- Fill your teapot with cold tap water, and heat it on the stove. Make sure the water doesn’t begin to boil – if it’s too hot, your tea won’t bloom in an attractive fashion. Take the teapot off the stove right before it reaches its boiling point.
- Add your flower tea bundle into the teapot.
- Watch for about one to two minutes as the tea transforms from bundle to bloom.
- When finally unfurled, your tea is ready to pour.
True tea lovers know that you can get an extra cup or two out of a single tea infusion – and this same philosophy applies to flower tea, too. When you sip your first cup of blooming tea, it tastes strong and sweet, with the fragrance of the flowers present in that bundle of leaves and floral ingredients. However, when you steep that same flower tea a second or third time, you can discover a different taste. In general, varieties of blooming tea or flower tea can withstand as many as three brews. Simply pour out your first cups of tea, refill the teapot with water, and turn the heat back on. Remember to keep the liquid from boiling and dissolving or disturbing the pretty floral display within.
Whether you’re new to the wide world of flower tea, or an experienced blooming tea connoisseur, there are so many different types to try. Every single brew and steep creates a new display of floral art – and who wouldn’t want to add a little flair to your morning or evening tea? Flower tea could become your new favorite, and a fun tea to show off when drinking with fellow tea fans.
Lead image via Remaliya Cafè & Restaurant’s Instagram.