“Flowering tea” aka “blooming tea” is a splendid way to round off any social event with a bit of theatre in a teapot.
Dried flowers are sewn inside a carefully bound ball of dried green tea leaves. When immersed in hot water both flower and leaves swell and burst open, revealing the floral centrepiece.
I bought this particular example of the art form at one of our local teashops, Pappas Tehus.
They cost a very reasonable 29 Swedish Crowns for a 2 pack, and the shop had a bewildering assortment to choose from, with each one offering a different choice of bloom.
If I understand correctly, these are Jasmine flowers, and the fact that there are two of them in the arrangement is supposed to represent “double happiness.”
To get the best out of the experience, you should obviously infuse the tea in a glass pot. The pot should be large enough to allow the flower enough space to fully open, but not so large that the final tea will be too weak. Some people use large wine glasses, or pint glasses. If doing so, please be careful, and make sure that they can handle the hot water without breaking.
I used water at 85°C, and this gave a time of about 5 minutes for the flower to emerge.
After you have admired the flower, you can of course then go ahead and drink the tea!
The tea itself was quite nice to drink, somewhere on a par with a decent enough Jasmine tea, as you might expect. I have read reports that state that as with all green teas if your steeping water is too hot you will end up with a bitter finished tea.
The tea should be good for a second steeping, if you so desire.
So, why have flowers on the table, when you can have them in your teapot, that’s what I say…!