If you’ve never had the fun of watching a display tea bloom into its final flower form, you’re missing a truly remarkable experience. These display teas, also called artisan teas or flowering teas, are a cluster of hand tied leaves. When you drop the little ball of leaves into a clear glass teapot the show begins. Hearkening back to childhood wonders of sea monkeys or magic rocks, the flowering teas unfurl to reveal the gorgeous flower within. And since this flowering tea is steeping as it slowly opens, its aroma is delightfully pungent as well.
These teas are generally made from milder flavor tealeaves that will not get bitter when steeping. A milder blend of tea is important in the artisan teas because the leaves are generally left in the glass while drinking the tea. When choosing a flowering tea to serve to your guests, make sure that they are made with the best quality tea leaves available, and make sure that they are sturdily constructed so that they maintain their shape throughout the service. Allow time for these teas to brew gently, and don’t worry about straining the tea. Since the leaves are tied together there is little chance that you will ingest any of them.
These display teas can be used as a centerpiece in a clear bowl of water, and they are both breathtaking and fragrant. A beautiful way to enjoy flowering tea when entertaining is to serve it in a wine glass. The stemmed glass brings the fanciful display to eye level, and the shape of the glass holds the bouquet of the flower until you raise it to your lips to drink.
These teas come in many varieties and are readily available in specialty tea stores as well as online, and they are a really unique way to add a little of the unexpected to your table.