Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Nuovo Tea
Meant to delight your eyes as well as taste buds, these awe-inspiring ‘display teas’ unfurl when added to water, revealing delicate flowers hidden within. The practice of hand-sewing leaves into ‘blooming teas’ is an age-old Chinese art form that dates back centuries. Adagio has infused state-of-the-art packaging into this ancient delight, ensuring maximum freshness and superior flavor.
Learn more about this tea here.
I really enjoy brewing “art teas” like this Jasmine Bloom Flowering Tea from Nuovo Tea. It’s fun to watch the art reveal itself. It starts out as a hand-sewn bulb of tea leaves, and as it brews, the leaves begin to unfurl, revealing a beautiful “blossom” tucked inside the tea leaves.
This particular art tea unfurls pretty quickly in comparison to some that I’ve encountered. After my first infusion of 3 1/2 minutes, it was still a bulb, but I could see that quite a few of the leaves had begun to open up and away from the bulb to form the blossom. I’m sure that with another minute, this art tea would have been unfurled and revealed to me the beauty inside.
But I didn’t want to oversteep the tea. I don’t brew these art teas just for the art, after all … to me the true art is the beauty of the flavorful liquid so I’m always mindful of this and take care to brew each cup carefully – whether it’s an art tea like this, or a loose leaf tea or even a bagged tea. I want the best flavor I can extract from any tea.
The first cup is delicate and sweet, with notes of jasmine and hints of buttery vegetables. There is also a pleasing fruit note that is reminiscent of a sweet melon.
For the second cup, I infused the partially open bulb for 4 minutes, and within a minute, the bulb had opened and I could see the pretty white flower peeking from inside the tea leaf “blossom” that enveloped it only minutes ago. Beautiful!
This cup had a stronger flavor than the first cup, but, I think I prefer the delicate quality of that first cup more than this stronger tasting cup. Oh, it’s still tasty, don’t get me wrong! But, I really liked the soft, buttery notes that I experienced in that first cup, and now, this is more like a grassy green tea with notes of jasmine. I appreciate that the jasmine is soft and not tasting like soap. It’s not a bitter tea, it’s a pleasing jasmine green.
A beautiful tea experience – these “art teas” make a great tea to serve when you have guests! Be sure to brew them in glass teacups (I don’t think that these little bulbs are quite large enough for a large teapot) so that everyone can watch the splendor as it unfolds! They make a great conversation starter … not to mention produce a really tasty cup of tea.
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Alice’s Fine Teas
The shape of Blooming Flower Brings Riches and Honor is like an orb made of strips of silk. It is made of tea needles and fresh camellia. It opens in the water just as the flower opens in slow motion – delicate and charming. Under the water’s moistening the camellia is natural and graceful. The tea has a wonderful buttery fragrance and tastes very smooth, sweet (like honey) and fresh. Ingredients: Camellia (flower of the tea plant is high in antioxidants) and Silver Needle Tea
In the past, I’ve steeped blooming tea bulbs for just a few minutes, and would stop the process before the bloom had completely opened for fear that I’d over-steep the tea. This time, just for experimentation’s sake, I decided to try steeping it until the bulb had completely blossomed, and see how the tea tasted.
The bloom is gorgeous! It is a creamy white color, and it looks so graceful and elegant as the petals move slowly in the liquid. And surprisingly, the tea is not rendered too bitter to drink after the long steep (it took about ten minutes for this bulb to completely unfurl in 160 ° F water).
The liquor is a pale, clear amber-ish color and has a thick, soft mouthfeel. The flavor is sweet and is not quite as delicate as a typical silver needle tea (of course, this probably has something to do with the length of time it was steeped). There is some cleansing astringency to this tea, but it is not overly dry. Overall, the taste is lightly grassy and has a distinct floral taste to it that is somewhat pollen-y with a honey-like sweetness that lingers in the aftertaste.
This is a beautiful tea with a very pleasant sweet-yet-savory taste to it. One that would be a pleasure to serve to guests … and it makes a beautiful (and unique) conversation piece as well!