Monday, 30 May 2011

Monday Review: Flowering teas are a real experience


We received a beautiful package a few weeks ago from The Tea Experience, all wrapped up in a little blue box were six flowering tea blooms all the way from China and we couldn't wait to try them.

The Tea Experience www.teaexperience.co.uk was set up by former Royal Mail human resources manager, Ann Davis, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, who turned what was a hobby into a growing online speciality tea business. Originally selling traditional China teapots, after being inspired by a gift from her husband, Paul, the business is expanding and now offers a complete tea drinking experience from imported loose tea to tea ware and gifts.

They launched the flowering range for tea connoisseurs looking for something a bit different from their cuppa or who want to add the wow factor to afternoon tea. The flowering tea blooms are skillfully made with silver needle tea leaves and dried flowers. Each one is a miniature bouquet which is handsewn and shaped into a ball or mushroom shape. All the blooms are made by an award winning producer which means that the tea also tastes as good as it looks.

There are six tea blooms in total, Dragon's Eye, Flying Snow, Jasmine Arch, Jasmine Fairy, Red Amaranth and Sweet Osmanthus ( £6.50 for 6).

We tried two of the teas Sweet Osmanthus and Flying Snow:

Sweet Osmanthus tea has a lovely slightly sweet and peachy taste. When you add the tea to the boiling water the centre opens to reveal a deep orange lily whilst the sweet osmanthus flowers drift from the centre like little stars. Stunning!

Flying Snow had a lovely flavour with a delicate citrus zing to it.   The tea leaves gradually unfurled to reveal the centre of bright, golden marigolds, as tiny citron blossoms drifted from the ball.  The effect reminded us of a snow globe - so pretty.

We think these teas would make a really affordable, special present for a tea lover. They are definitely a bit different from the high street and would equally make lovely favours at a wedding or christening.