that somewhere far away from where you are, someone is collecting the best leaves of green or white tea, especially for you. They pick the most beautiful petals and flowers. Each of the leaves and petals is specially prepared to lose their crispness and gain subtle flexibility. Later, an artist carefully selects compositions creating a colorful bouquet of tea leaves and flowers. In the end, they are closed in a small, perfect form. That is the way to create a jewel among teas.
After placing a tea ball or another composition into a glass jug with hot water, a unique spectacle begins. The ball swells and single leaves unfold. The process continues until the intricately created compositions blooms into a flower. The petals wave slowly and – suddenly – the colorful composition emerges in all its glory. This unique show may be prepared for special guests. First, it delights our eyes, when we watch individual leaves come to life, piling up in a perfect shape. Then, we begin to smell the delicate fragrance until we get enchanted with sublime taste of the tea.
The composition of Artistic Tea is not unintended. In ancient China, doctors of traditional medicine observed that drinking white and green tea has a beneficial effect on the body. Yet, the effect can be enhanced by adding appropriate proportions of petals or herbs. Addition of amaranthus flower to the tea causes its beneficial effect on the heart muscle. Creating a composition of green tea with marigold flower, we get a brew which has excellent astringent, recuperative and anti-inflammatory properties.
In the prime of your life
When was the blooming tea born? It would be a mistake to claim that it appeared suddenly or that it is a commercial product. Its origins fade into the dark corners of lively Chinese teahouses. The exact date of creation of artistic tea has not been specified, but the first sagas about the existence and development of the art of tea in Ming Dynasty. Certainly masterpieces of combining tea with flowers were created by the greatest connoisseurs of tea for the imperial family. To charm the imperial court and the emperor’s guests with refinement and elegance and to use the curative power of plants, masters of the tea ceremony combined the unique properties of green and white tea with adorable flowers.
Young buds charm
Production of Artistic Tea follows a strict, detailed rules, guaranteeing quality and the final effect. The buds are selected very early, before they open and blossom – usually in mid-March to early April. They are harvested at a time when the bud is formed with a glossy leaf covered with white velvety fuzz. An important stage in creating artistic tea is sorting. This means a kind of presentation of plants. Only the best quality leaves and buds win. Others are allocated to the production of lower quality tea and the dust with small pieces left are used to make tea bags. The leaves that passed the initial selection process are re-sorted according to their role in the composition. This is done by arranging tea leaves and flowers in a number of layers, which lasts for several days or longer. The culmination of this precise work is a hand wrapped tea ball.
Masters of flavor
All carefully selected tea leaves and flowers are wrapped by talented tea artists, strictly following the rules of art. The most experienced of them are able to create just one ball within a few hours. Only such a masterly hand can make the perfect shape and ensure identical arrangement of flower and leaf in every tea ball. Then, the tea ball will expand its magic when put into hot water. Natural tea leaves and flowers slowly give a unique flavor, creating a unique taste, smell and stunning spectacle. The essence of the perfect tea is avoiding any additional flavors.
Flowers dedicated for the production of artistic teas are harvested when they are young, firm and essential. Their aroma is both fresh and intense, and the shape of the form remains intact.
Glass teapots with capacities from 1.2 to 1.5 liters are most suitable for brewing artistic teas, so that every detail of blooming tea is perfectly visible.
The ritual of brewing
Preferably, the tea ball should be put in hot water, 90 to 95 C. The temperature is slightly higher than usually recommended for brewing green teas, due to the technology of preparing the product and the blossoming of the ball which has to give all its essence to the water. These are optimal conditions which allow to obtain from one ball up to three tea pots of tea (approx. 5 litres).
There are a few theories of brewing tea. Some claim that the best is the second and third brewing, yet, the art of drinking tea is based on individual tastes. Each subsequent brewing produces more ideal, velvety essence of natural tea. Tea connoisseurs regard its taste as most valuable in the world.
As the only tea in the world artistic tea gives not only the unforgettable taste and experience, but also a bouquet of flowers which can be gently put into a long glass or decanter. After pouring cold water to the glass we still admire this flowery masterpiece. It is enough to change the water from time to time and thus we can enjoy the beauty of the flower still for a few days.