Camellia Flower Tea
Tea is a product of the Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves are dried and processed using a variety of methods that result in black, oolong, green, and white teas. Further variations might include flowers such as jasmine or orchid, which infuse the tea leaves with their fragrance. Although such flavorings were disdained by many tea scholars of the Ming era (1368-1644) in China, these fragrant teas have remained popular and today are a subject of connoisseurship.
Some teas, such as chrysanthemum, are made without using tea leaves at all, and are appreciated for their unique flavor and medicinal qualities. Camellia sinensis flower tea, made exclusively from the blossoms of the tea plant, is a lesser known example. Camellia flowers contain a trace amount of caffeine and some polythenols and catechins, properties that make tea leaves so beneficial to health. I recently acquired some Chinese heirloom camellia flowers from Upton Tea Imports, located in Massachusetts. After immersing the flowers in boiling water for 8 minutes, the water becomes a glowing nectar, with whole blooms slowly drifting to the bottom of the teapot. The fresh taste is reminiscent of a delicate white tea, but with a softer finish and sweet undertones. Camellia flower tea is an excellent choice for a spring afternoon and makes a refreshing iced drink as well.
Categories: Tea Culture