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Blooming Flower Display Teas

Wines Breathe, Teas Bloom

The delights of display teas

It's time to move tea out of the teapot and into the glass! Display teas are made to be enjoyed for the show presented while steeping. Young tea leaves are bunched and hand-tied or rolled to create distinct shapes. These shapes are eye-catching when first seen and truly wondrous to watch while steeping. In water the leaves unfurl to create a completely different shape. These teas are best enjoyed in a wineglass, so that the aromas are concentrated to the nose and the show is raised to eye level. They make a wonderful substitute for wine during a meal, if you want to avoid alcohol.

Often these teas are made with specific varietals of tea that will not get bitter. This is important as most often the leaves are left in a glass while you drink the tea. Because they are tied together, the leaves will not flow into your mouth as you drink the tea. So the two considerations that are important in purchasing these teas is that they are made with good quality leaf and that they are well constructed to retain their intended shapes. When drinking this tea, allow sufficient steeping time. The teas are generally mild and take a few minutes to begin to impart their flavor to the glass.

Green Tea Anemone

One ot the most popular teas, Green Peony, resembles a pink peony once it has reached full bloom

This is one of our most popular teas. Its Chinese name is Green Peony (Lu Mudan). The peony form is one of very common for various display teas. When you first see this tea, it is a flattened rosette. This tea is made from quality spring-picked leaves that are hand-tied into beautiful rosettes. Ours was found in southern Anhui Province on a mountain where virtually every family grows tea. Once the leaves are steeped they swell to create something that looks like a peony bloom. It also looks like a sea anemone, which is how it got its name.

Black Tea Anemone

This is the black tea version of Green Tea Anemone. Also from Anhui Province, it is a surprising tea since it does not become bitter, which can be said about very few black teas. There's no need for milk or sugar; this smooth tea tastes great as it is.

Add Flowers to the Brocade (Jing Shang Tian Hua)

Jing Shang Tian Hua tea produces a set of blooming chrysanthemum flowers that are secretly tied into the spring-picked leaves

This extremely rare display tea takes Green Tea Anemone to a whole new level. Secretly tied into the quality spring-picked leaves is a set of chrysanthemum flowers. These explode into your glass as the tea anemone expands. Very limited quantities are crafted each year since it takes 45 minutes to make each rosette.


Litchi Nut

The shape of the litchi nut, not the taste of the litchi fruit, gave this tea its name. This tea is a high-grade, pure-leaf green tea. After hand-rolling the early-picked leaf-and-bud sets, they are hand-formed into these "nuts." Similar teas are also sold under the name Dragon Eyeball.

Dragon Pearls

Dragon Pearls are also known as Yin Yang Pearls

These are also known as Yin Yang Pearls, which are produced in the mountains of northern Fujian Province, China. The name yin yang refers to the appearance of the pearls; each one consists of many leaf-and-bud sets. The buds appear soft, downy, and almost white; the leaves are a darker, richer, green color. The tea has a mild, pleasant taste and won't become bitter from oversteeping. The leaves will unfurl and sink to the bottom. Dragon Pearls are fairly dense — so not many are needed in the wineglass or pot!

One final note: While traveling in China, we always see people sipping tea out of glass with the leaves floating at the bottom — whether or not it's a display tea. The Chinese use their teeth as a strainer! Americans are not at that point, but display teas are definitely changing the rules.

Find your own blooming teas

If you’d like to experience display teas for yourself or give the perfect gift to the tea lover in your life, wander through a local tea boutique or visit any of the following websites. Keep in mind that these teas can also be called artisan or flowering teas.

In Pursuit of Tea: Sells both delicate jasmine pearls and flower craft teas with the chrysanthemum blossoms. (

Adagio Teas: Provides a wide variety of display teas such as Red Bloom teas and Jade Halfnotes (which display beautiful flowing rings) in addition to products in which to showcase your display teas. (

Tea Source: Sells unique display teas like Green Mu Dan and Peach Blossom Green. (

Numi Tea: Rose Garden and White Lychee are just two types of flowering tea that this purveyor has to offer. (

Silk Road Teas: This online company sells all types of flowering tea, including Green Peony and Jade Pagoda, both types of green tea. (

Copyright © 2005, In Pursuit of Tea.
Exploring Remote Regions to Supply the Finest Teas. All rights reserved.
Photos courtesy of Sebastian Beckwith and Numi Tea

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(Updated: 05/16/11 BH)

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