Bundle of flowering white tea before and after infusion
A cup of flowering tea and various bundles in dry form
Flowering tea or blooming tea (Chinese: 香片, 工艺茶, or 开花茶) consist each of a bundle of dried tea leaves wrapped around one or more dried flowers. These are made by binding tea leaves and flowers together into a bulb and are then set to dry. When steeped, the bundle expands and unfurls in a process that emulates a blooming flower, while the flowers inside emerge as the centerpiece. Typically they are sourced from the Yunnan province of China. Flowers commonly used in flowering teas include globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily, hibiscus, and osmanthus.
It remains uncertain whether flowering tea was a modern creation or was a much older invention of China.
Flowering tea is generally served in containers made of glass, or other transparent material, so that the flowering effect can be seen. The bundles can usually be reused two or three times without the tea becoming bitter.