Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fragrant flower: blossoming tea

A lovely little packet arrived on Thursday – Lunar New Year's Day, appropriately – from Diane and Todd at White on Rice Couple. They had offered to send out Chinese tea balls for their readers to try. I'd seen them before but never tried one, so I signed up for the orange osmanthus flower tea.
The tea ball is a wee ugly duckling, about the size of the ball of your thumb. I offered it a little inspiration with a flowered saucer.
Without a clear glass teacup, I opted for the elegance of a snifter. Add hot water and voilà! a beautiful bloom is born.

The flower opens very quickly, then infuses the water with a delicate perfume and flavor. It seems almost a shame to drink it! But never fear; you can use it more than once, and treat your eyes as well as your palate. Truly a lovely cup of tea. Thanks, Diane and Todd!


  1. What a fantastic idea with the sniffers! We originally wanted to infuse them in red wine glasses, but the stem was too high and we were afraid it would be too top heavy. But the sniffers are perfect. Why didn't we think of that?! It's good that we send them out, we learn so much more from other people experiences.
    You are also right about the "ugly duckling" analogy. These tea's go from ugly to beautiful!