Flowering teas or blooming teas (香片, 工艺茶, or 开花茶 in Chinese). Above middle is one of the first tea balls. This was made by simply tying together tea leaves and shaping them into a ball. The picture above centre shows one of the most basic types of flowering teas and is made with green tea leaves and a globe amaranth flower. As flowering teas became more and more popular more and designs emerged. The above right is a picture shows one of the more complex designs, this tea ball is tied with green tea, lily and releases marigold petals as it opens up.
Hand-tied teas have existed in China for centuries in the form of teas such as mudans and pagodas. These teas were simply green or black tea leaves that were moulded or tied into shape. In the last twenty years, hand-tied teas have progressed as makers have added flowers and petals to the tea to make more complex shapes and performances.
To make flowering teas, tea leaves are hand sown with cotton whilst still damp and shaped into a beautiful and complex arrangement. The whole process takes between one to ten minutes, depending on the complexity of the tea flower. Most flowering teas are made from what is a green tea leaf plucked from a white tea bush, although flowering teas can also be tied with black, oolong, green and white tea leaves. The most commonly used flowers are globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily, marigold and carnation.
Looking to buy flowering tea?
We recommend Chah. Chah has a wide range flowering tea for excellent prices. Chah sources it tea directly from tea growers so you can relax in the knowledge that your getting a great deal and the tea's ethically sourced too.