We tend to forget that tea trees flower, as we are always so engaged with their leaves. Tea trees do blossom, once every year in November. The ones collected here come semi wild tea trees from Mr. Tang’s small, family operated tea estate in Qingdao, Laoshan.
The many small plots that make up Mr. Tang’s tea farm are scattered along the ocean, at the foot of Mount Lao. Some are distributed right along the beaches, exposed to the wind that blows off of the water, while others are tucked slightly up into the forested hills, protected by the mountain behind them. There is a great peace that settles over this area of Laoshan.
Tea flowers are very delicate. They are carefully hand harvested as they bloom and dried in the sun for a long time, before being finished over charcoal. Their nectar makes them very attractive to bugs, however Mr. Tang remains committed to farming and producing his tea without the use of sprays or chemicals. When collected and dried the flowers look like potpourri – all captured at slightly different stages of their opening.
We highly recommend preparing this tea in a glass pitcher. Watching the flowers reanimate is mesmerizing; it becomes like an aquarium, where you can see an underwater ballet unfold. The tea flower petals fan open like wings and turn translucent in the water, and their bundle of yellow stamens spreads out from the concentrated green head where their stem once was. Bound together, these fragile flower-crafts drift aimlessly in their slow, submerged dance.
Their liquor is sweet and hydrating. It is said to brighten the skin, as well as the spirit.
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The ratio of flower to water is 2g : 250ml.
|Steep time||1min, 2 min, 3 min+
|No. of infusions||4