Thursday, February 17, 2011

I did not know tea could do that

(If the video above is not functioning, go to HERE to see it on the web.)

I don't know how I stumbled upon blooming teas, but once I saw a picture of tea "blooming" inside a clear glass tea pot I was hooked.
Naturally I wanted to give flowering tea a try before investing in a clear tea pot and the various teas available in the flowering option.
I happened to see a Numi flowering tea box at our local market and decided to make a test run using their teas.

I discovered the tea comes shaped in a ball which are awfully pretty even before they are allowed to flower.
Since I didn't have a clear tea pot, I rustled up a clear vase to use for my trial run.
I heated the vase with some hot water, poured that water out, ran more hot water (just below boiling) into the vase and dropped in a tea ball.
Family was visiting after a ski outing, so we all sat around the table to see what would happen.

In about five minutes the tea ball had unfurled and the water had steeped to a pale golden tone. would the stuff taste?
Turns out it tasted AMAZING!
Usually I put a dab of honey in my tea, and Bernie uses a splash of milk in his.
This brew was delicious served straight up.
I used a tea strainer just to catch a dreg or two, but I could have skipped that and still had a cup good enough to enjoy without dodging stray tea leaves.
We drank up, and refilled the vase with more hot water, just to see if the product's claim that multiple steeps were possible from one flower.
By the time we had refilled it four times the flavor had grown a bit weak so we figured we had gotten sixteen cups of tea out of the one ball. 
Clean up was a snap: I pulled dumped the flower out in one piece.
So much nicer than rinsing and rinsing to get rid of all the tea leaves that usually stick to the inside of a tea pot.

So how do they make flowering tea?
Workers tie the tea leaves and flowers together in a design using very fine thread.
A bit of peeking around revealed to me that there were as many "flower arrangements" as there were tea companies.  Of course I immediately wanted to order each and every single kind, just for the sheer pleasure of watching them bloom.

I might just start with friends....

But first I need to get serious and order a proper glass tea pot to do the flowers justice.
Bernie and I will have to put our heads together to decide which tea pot style suits our fancy.
Decisions, decisions.
We've got a happy kind of decision to make.


ellen b. said...

Those flowering teas really are fun to watch. I like them in that vase...

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

How fun is that? Thanks for doing the research...and passing along your findings. Now we all feel drink blooming tea.

Vicki said...

Well now, doesn't that just beat all?! I've never seen anything like that before! It looks like fun! I'm glad to hear it tastes good, too. I wonder if my local market carries blooming teas? I'll have to remember to look.

Kathie said...

Very cool! I never heard of it before.

btw - I love your snow lantern idea - I'll try it out!

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

I MUST try that!

Lovella ♥ said...

I've seen that Numi tea. . .now I have to try very fun.

Happy@Home said...

What a beautiful way to enjoy tea. I'm glad you answered the "does it taste good" question for us.

Willow said...

I have one of those teas in my cupboard. I'll have to try it out when I get home.

Yeah, those weather forecasts for San Diego were sadly correct. No fun hikes or walks for us.

Lori Schulte said...

Flowering Tea was discovered at Linneman House this year too! So much fun, especially when younger ones are around. Not only beautiful but delicious too. Thanks for this post...I have absolutely ADORED catching up on your travels and seeing all of those amazing photographs! Stay blessed. Lori Schulte (AKA: Serial Room Arranger)