“Tea is a work of art and needs a master hand to bring out its noblest qualities.” ~ Kakuzo Okakura
Artisan & Flowering Tea
These wonderful small treasures are meticulously hand tied, rolled and sewn into rosettes and other shapes by skilled artisans throughout China. The techniques practiced by these artisans have been passed down from generation to generation and haven’t changed in centuries. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes for the artist to create one single flowering tea bud, and about 10 hours to make up a 500g bag. The work for these artisans is seasonal, but through their rising popularity and increase in demand, job prospects are becoming less limited. Purchasing these beautiful creations will ensure future jobs and fair compensation for their art.
Flowering teas are created with long, unbroken, fresh, spring production green or white tea leaves, or golden-tipped black tea and painstakingly hand selected by the artisans themselves. The finest spring buds and fresh flowers are then chosen, and sewn into the center of the bouquet. The tea leaves are then tied around the flowers, to create a shell-like exterior concealing the mystery and flavour blossoming within. If you look closely you may even see the tiny string used to tie the leaves together. The most common flowers used in these small works of art are the jasmine, rose, lily, chrysanthemum, lavender, hibiscus, amaranth and osmanthus. Flowering teas often have a light green tea and floral taste and are equally as beautiful to drink as they are to look at.
When steeped in hot water, these rare and beautiful creations slowly unfurl to reveal breathtaking shapes, colors and floral treasures within. As the leaves unfurl, the flower’s bright color will bleed into the water and the balls are magically transformed into flowers themselves. Your flower will open according the temperature of the water- the hotter the water, the faster it opens. On average opening fully in about 3-4 minutes.
The most effective way to witness this is in a glass teapot, but of course any heat resistant glass container will suffice.
- Place flowering tea into a heat resistant glass container/ teapot.
- Bring water to a boil in kettle (if using green or white tea- let water sit for a few minutes- as boiling water is said to bruise the green leaves) then pour over tea.
- Steep the tea until the leaves have completely opened (about 3-4 minutes depending on temperature of water).
- Swirl tea around in pot to maximize and even out flavour and color.
- Admire beautiful handiwork of the artisans, pour tea and enjoy!
- After your first pot is empty, Flowering tea can be re-steeped about 2-3 more times.