Blooming Tea

August 10, 2008

Centuries ago, along the trade route known as the Silk Road, merchants from remote and mysterious ports such as Turkey, India, and China, traded exotic silks and priceless spices for jewels and gold. One of the most coveted items was tea.

Like wine, tea reflects the region where it was grown. It can be mild and delicate or strong and pervasive. Blending tea is an art that ensures the integrity and harmony of the plant is enhanced by the ingredients with which it is paired. In some cases, botanicals from around the world are carefully selected and cured, then blended with tea to create a superior tea experience.

One of my favorite teas is a small globe of green tea leaves hand-tied around an amaranth flower. When steeped in water you watch as the flower opens and blooms, revealing a beautiful pink blossom. The blossom symbolizes happiness and everlasting love.

I imagine that long ago this tea would have fetched a pretty penny along the Silk Road.



Greg Bulmash's picture

Along the Silk Road, it might have fetched a pretty penny, perhaps not. A tea like this needs the right kind of kitchenware or drinkware to be appreciated.

Either a clear glass teapot would be needed, which would be a luxury available only to a small portion of those who appreciate tea, or you'd need to create smaller one-cup versions of these that could be steeped in a fine, wide-mouthed cup so that one could look in from the top to appreciate the blooming process.

On the other hand, you can buy bulk teas such as a jasmine tea with small flowers in it. Not so pretty to look at, but a quite pleasant for the other senses.