Flowering tea balls, or blooming tea balls, are made from tea leaves and edible flowers tied into a ball that opens upon brewing. The tea ball resembles a blossoming flower and can be enjoyed by using a clear glass or tea pot. These handcrafted tea balls can be made at home, using flowers from your own garden, such as lilies, jasmine and various herbs. Flowering tea balls make excellent gifts that will surprise your loved ones and can be enjoyed together at a dinner party with friends.
Gather edible flowers from your garden or purchase from an online store or local seller. If you are purchasing them, make sure that the flowers have not been sprayed with fertilisers, pesticides or any other chemicals. Wash the flowers in water and add a little salt to help get rid of any insects. You can use fuchsias, herbs, roses, jasmine and many others.
Sew the flowers together into a ball while they are still fresh using the needle and cotton thread.
Gather or purchase fresh green tea leaves. Place the leaves between two sheets of waxed paper and place under a large, heavy book to flatten them. Leave them for an hour. Do not leave them for longer as they will begin to wilt and dry.
Take the sharp knife and cut the green tea leaves lengthwise into ¼-inch strips. Only cut to the stems of the leaves, as you need the leaves to still be connected to the stems. Lay the tea leaves on a flat surface in a wheel pattern and place the edible flowers in the centre.
Gather the tea leaves and flowers, making sure to hold the stems together. Sew through the stems and around the stem bundle. Make sure that you have sewn all of the stems together, including those on the inside of the bundle.
Roll the bundle into a ball by rolling and squeezing it in your hands. Set your oven to its lowest heat. Leave the tea ball in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. If left for longer, the tea ball could lose it flavour.
Brew your flowering tea ball by placing it into a clear tea pot and adding boiling water. The leaves will soften and you will see it flowering in a few minutes. Leave the ball for at least five minutes and then pour into a cup or glass for a full flavoured tea.
After enjoying a glass of flowering tea, you can cover the tea ball with cold water and display it in a clear container for days. Flowering tea balls can be stored in a dry, ventilated area for a week to ensure it has thoroughly dried. You can keep them on the shelf for an additional three years.