Also popularly called flowering teas, blooming teas are hand-sewn artisanal teas that are remarkably fascinating to see and delectable to taste. Charming and captivating, blooming tea balls gracefully bloom into enchanting shapes and colors when steeped. With their subtle floral scents and delicate flavors, they are ideal to serve at any occasion with their promise of a totally unique experience for one’s senses.
While the history of blooming tea remains an blooming tea interesting mystery, many recognize that its origins can be traced back from the mountainous regions of China, specifically the Fujian province. Literary historians pointed that these hand-tied tea bundles first appeared in the Song Dynasty years, where flowering teas were depicted and mentioned in pictures and references. This is further supported by claims of handcrafted teas in beautiful artistic forms from centuries ago, most of which were created for the amusement of the noblemen. But since it was initially made from inferior tea leaves and bitter to the taste, the initial bundles were created merely for visual pleasure.
Other tea enthusiasts however believe that flowering teas came to exist in the mid-1980s and quickly rose to popularity in the early 2000s. This growing popularity was attributed to the fact that the hand-sewn creations started to be made from excellent-quality tea leaves with meticulously chosen flowers. Today, the latest creations of blooming tea are exclusively made to offer an exquisite experience for the modern-day tea enthusiast.
While the sun rises over the quaint tea gardens of the China’s Fujian province, tea farmers go scampering across the farmlands to pick high-quality buds that are still moist from the morning dew. After collecting the leaves, they are sorted according to weight and size-and the intricate artwork begins. Every leaf is painstakingly hand-tied into a small bundle with flowers at the center using cotton thread-with the detailed foresight of how they will unfurl from the tea ball, deliberately creating an extraordinary design and story.
The flowers could be jasmine, gold amaranth, marigold, osmanthus, among others; and the tea balls are conscientiously shaped into an interesting pattern such as a globe, mushroom, cone, lantern, rosette, and many others. Sophisticated designs can take longer to tie by hand. Once bounded, it is now dried in the sun or steamed if white or green tea leaves are used or dried and oxidized for black tea leaves. Due to the diversity of ingredients, the blooming tea benefits, will depend on the ingredients used.