I personally tried blooming tea (also known as flowering tea) a few years ago while attending Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. My friends and I frequented a local cafe which sold a whole variety of teas. Needless to say, I was in heaven. Then I noticed they had two teas labeled as “blooming teas.” It sounded interesting and unique, so I bought a pot.
To my surprise, the barista came to my table with a glass tea-pot that contained this green ball at the bottom, seeping out tea. It was slightly confusing. Why was this called blooming tea? It honestly didn’t look all that appetizing. Then, I saw how this tea got its name. While I don’t have footage from that day, I did find a generous amount of Youtube videos that will be able to explain blooming tea better than I could:
Blooming tea is when a flower bloom is wrapped up into a collection of tea leaves. Once steeped in hot water, the tea leaves will open and allow the flower to literally bloom in the tea-pot, mug, cup, whatever setting you decide to put this artwork into. Tea leaves are stitched together using cotton thread, a dried flower sewn into the center. Any type of tea can be used to encompass the flower and any flower can be used (though chrysanthemum, jasmine, rose, magnolia, lily, hibiscus, osmanthus, carnation, peony and globe amaranth are the most commonly used), so you can get a variety of tastes, scents and shows.
Blooming tea is a relatively new venture in tea production. Produced in the 1980s in China, it was originally known as display tea. Over the last decade, blooming teas gained popularity in Canada, Europe, Asia and America. It is not typically found for commercial use, though some restaurants and cafés are starting to discover the beauty and benefits of the tea.
Just as most teas, blooming teas are known to reduce stress. Both the visual appeal and the natural properties of the tea help to aid this. However, health benefits will vary depending on the tea that you select.
Because of this, the caffeine content will also vary, so be careful if you do have caffeine sensitivity. They are normally not decaffeinated but do have less caffeine than a normal cup of coffee. It is also easy to forget that there are flowers inside this tea, so if you do have a pollen allergy, please be aware! This tea is not for you!
While not technically its own classification of a “tea,” blooming tea deserves a category of its own. Visually appealing and just as tasty, sippers will get a tea that will stimulate all senses.