One minute, a grassy ball is being dropped into your teacup, the next minute a beautiful flower is bursting into bloom before your eyes, turning the water to tea – there is something undeniably magical about the flowering tea experience.
What is flowering tea?
Flowering tea is a delicacy served in many Asian restaurants – although its exact history and origins are not known. The concept is simple – dried tea leaves are wrapped around one or more dried flowers to form a ball. When the ball is dropped into water, the leaves open, releasing the ball, which blossoms into a beautiful flower.
Jasmine tea is perhaps the best known and most common flowering tea served in Asian restaurants here in the UK, but there are several other popular choices of blooms, including globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, lily, hibiscus and osmanthus.
But it’s not just the beauty of flowering tea that makes it so desirable – the taste, as you would expect from something made of flowers, is uniquely fragrant and delicate.
Serving flowering tea after a meal is always a great way to impress guests. For best results, serve each ball in a glass cup – or invest in a clear teapot. Flowering tea balls are readily available in good supermarkets, specialist shops and online. Even more impressive – make your own. Please note: It is important to only use edible flowers which are specifically for consumption.