One of my favorite Christmas presents this year was a gift box of blooming flower teas. I have loved tea for years, but never experienced blooming teas before. The blooming teas made drinking tea fun. My daughter and I shared amazement watching the tea pods unfold into beautiful flowering art displays.
If you're thinking of getting some flowering teas, I would recommend you get a glass pot or glass teapot or you'll miss half the fun. Many of the companies that sell the flowering teas also carry the glass tea pots. Having the glass teapot allows you to observe the flowering process as well as filter out most of the petals before you pour the tea into your cup. (There's nothing worse than flower petals in your teeth.)
If you've not seen these flowering teas in action, I found a video from one of the tea companies that shows you what you're missing.
When I first put the pods in the boiling water it reminded me of that old kids toy where you'd put in a cube into a heating element and it would expand into a raspagator or some other strange beast. I guess my daughter has watched too many Sci-fi films because she thought it looked more like Alien seed pods. Either way, its entertaining to watch the pods go from a tight ball into a lovely flower.
I thought the teas were a bit pricey at first, but then I realized you can steep the flowers 3-4 pots worth so that brought the price per cup of tea down to a reasonable level. Its more expensive than the grocery store tea so its probably not tea you'd drink every day, but you get what you pay for. The flowering teas are handmade from premium white tea leaves, so its a better grade of tea than most of the store varieties. I also really liked the delicate smooth flavor of the flowering teas - much nicer than most of the other teas in my cupboard. Plus, grocery store tea doesn't make art.
Be sure to use boiling water when you make the tea. My British friends always tell me that most Americans don't heat their water hot enough to make good tea. Also, be sure to let the tea steep long enough for the flavor to develop. That means it needs to steep about 5 minutes.
White tea is good for you and boosts the immune system. One study at Pace University even found that white tea had antibacterial properties. If you're into staying healthy, reading that study will make you a convert to white tea.
If you want to learn more about how the flower teas are made, you can watch this video filmed in China showing how the pods are hand-sewn. Pretty amazing.
Anyway, I really have enjoyed my afternoon tea lately. If you are looking for fresh ideas for a gift for someone who loves tea, I highly recommend one of these flowering tea sets.