Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Ohh you beauTEA’s

What’s most likely to cheer you up a display of beautiful flowers? Or a nice cup of tea? Well how about combining the two?

Flowering teas, also known as blooming teas, performance teas, display teas, among other names are little balls of dried silver needle tea leaves and flowers bound together with cotton thread. When steeped in hot water the teas expand and unfurl, emulating a blooming flower. The teas, which are mainly made in the Yunnan province of China, are hand sewn by skilled makers and take between one and ten minutes to create.

These miniature works of art are currently a huge hit in tea rooms up and down the country. They are normally served in clear teapots so that customers can experience their impressive show as well as their delicate flavour. Flowers commonly used in flowering teas include globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily, hibiscus, and osmanthus.

If you would like to try flowering teas at home, here are a few to choose from.

Jing Teas
From £2 for a two tea-bulb sample. We fancy Jing Tea’s Flowering Jasmine Peach . This is described as ‘a lovely jasmine flower tea composed of hand tied jasmine scented green tea leaves wrapped around an amaranth flower.’

The Tea Experience
Made by an award winning producer in China. The Tea Experience’s flowering teas both look and taste amazing and come beautifully wrapped. They are £6.50 for six tea-bulbs with a wide selection available.

The Tea Palace
Tea Palace Flowering Jasmine Teas are described as ‘truly magical’. Each one is painstakingly tied by hand and unfolds majestically to reveal secret treasures and a delicate jasmine scent. Flowering teas start at £8.50 for six tea-bulbs and include Coral Blossom, Lotus Flower and Sea Treasure.

The Exotic Teapot
Recognised as a leading online retailer of flowering teas and clear glass teapots, The Exotic Teapot offers plenty of choice. They have sample tins of flowering tea from £5.95 for five tea-bulbs as well as gifts such as Flowering Tea Discovery Set at £21.95

Choi Time
These award winning giant tea-bulbs come in four varieties Sacred Hearts, Flower Tower, Marigold Basket and Thousand Year Red Flower. They are purported to have numerous health benefits including soothing asthma, reducing high blood pressure and detoxifying the blood. Choi Time tea-bulbs start at £6 for three.