Sunday, 6 January 2013

A Tea Flower

Posted by Rosie

Yesterday at a French friend's house I accepted her offer of tea thinking her normal lovely green tea would be forthcoming, perhaps flavoured with jasmine or apricot but however it came it would be delicious.  She then popped into my hand a small plastic bag containing what at first sight looked like the cocoon of a caddis fly larva and on second thoughts made me think she was offering me some illicit substance!  Well what would you think:

Well what would you think this was?
"C'est une fleur de thé," she explained. (It's a tea flower)
I was no further forward knowing what she meant.

She then proceeded to boil the kettle and place the weird cocoon in a glass teapot before pouring over the boiling water.

We watched. Nothing happened. We turned away for a moment and then heard a cry of excitement from her eldest son "Que diable est dans la théière, Maman ?" (What on earth is in the teapot, Mum?)

Well it was something like this:

An opened tea flower
The little bundle had opened up to reveal an exquisite leafy and floral bundle of tea leaves and flower buds.  The cocoon was in fact a bundle of tea leaves wrapped around a flower which had been then been dried.  When steeped in boiling water, the bundle expanded and unfurled in a process said to emulate a blooming flower

It was something I had never seen before and it really was lovely. Oh, and not only was it exceedingly pretty, it also made a deliciously subtle cup of green tea.


  1. Hi Rosie
    That's quite amazing! I've never heard of tea flowers either. You'd have to know about them though, or else the effect would be somewhat lost in a normal non see-through teapot!!

  2. Wow!! that is awesome. I would have love to have watched. I've never heard of a tea flower.


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