Inside every tea bag is a flower just waiting to bloom.

Maybe tea bags have low self-esteem. After all, most tea bags–once employed–become soggy and useless and are thrown in the trash without so much as a second thought. One dunk and you’re sunk: that’s what it means to be a tea bag.

Unless, that is, you’re an Adagio tea bag. If you’re an Adagio tea bag, you’re not a tea bag at all: you’re a tea blossom.

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Adagio tea blossoms are taught at an early age to love themselves. “There’s a pink flower in each and every one of you,” they’re told.

“But we’re so ugly!” they reply.

“You may be ugly now but one day someone will boil you and a beautiful flower will emerge!”

“You’re a liar.”

“Read the friggin’ packet, Tea Blossom.”

I read the packet myself one night a few days after the box from Adagio arrived. (They sent me a free box to sample.) “Hand-woven tea cluster magically unfolds to reveal a pink flower hidden within…” Before I could ask, “Why?” the packet answered: “…infusing your cup with its delicate scent.” Hmmm…the delicate smell of flower in my tea. Sounds good. Let’s give it a shot!

What follows is a sequence of pictures showing you what happens when you boil your tea blossom. Stand back, it could get flowery.

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Beautiful? Horrifying? Personally, I expected Sigourney Weaver to break through my door at any moment spraying machine gun bullets at my cup of tea. As for the taste: it was, indeed, subtly scented with flower. I enjoyed its floral qualities though I did regret not reading more carefully as to whether or not it was caffeinated. This was late at night and I had trouble falling asleep afterwards. Luckily, an alien tea flower broke out of my chest and did a song from “Spaceballs.” It was entertaining.

15 comments

  1. I’ve been glancing at those on the Adagio site for a while, now. It’s nice to see some shots from someone other than the company selling them; they’re a little less perfect in real life, heh.

  2. Whew- its not just me?

    My coworkers refer to these as my sea urchin tea. Mmmmm

    These seem to carry alot of tea dust in them- the produced tea is very murky, not clear at all, which all lends itself to the wonderful tide pool quality of this drink.

    “no really, I don’t need any sea monkeys to go with my tea…”

  3. “Personally, I expected Sigourney Weaver to break through my door at any moment spraying machine gun bullets at my cup of tea.”

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    And it might just be me, but doesn’t the pre-immersion “cluster” look like … well, a cleaned-up bezoar?

  4. I believe Numi Tea was the company that originated that style. IIRC. Anyway, it wasn’t Adagio. They have glass teapots so you can watch the thing unfurl in the round.

    http://tinyurl.com/lj9tz

    I don’t know that they’re any better. In fact, they may be the ones who make it for Adagio.

  5. A friend of mine brought back a bunch of these from China. What he recommended was putting the pod into a large pitcher and brewing the tea there (and if its a glass pitcher, all the better cause you’ll see the flower better). Apparently people in China use the same flower to infuse multiple pitchers of this stuff, and it seemed to work for me. Perhaps one pod for that little tea-cup is too much and you overloaded yourself on caffeine that way? :-D

  6. Last spring Adagio offered food bloggers free samples of their tea.

    To took them up on their offer and I picked this one along with three other loose varieties. When I opened my package from them I found one of their IngenuiTea pots as well (which is a contraption I originally saw in Taiwan some 4 years ago).

    I like the red bloom tea, it’s fun and it’s a subtle flavor–not as bold as their english breakfast variety.

    I’ve been really satisfied with their other teas as well, plus the IngenuiTea pot is just cool.

  7. Regarding the IngenuiTea pot- don’t leave your used loose tea in it. The tea will etch into the clear plstic and leave opaque white marks that look like you have old rice that you haven’t washed off!

    Euuyuck is right. Sometimes plastic just doesn’t cut it.

  8. Thanks for the suggestions McAuliflower. I tend to wash everything after I use it (a habit I picked up having no dishwasher for 10 years), but you know sometimes life is just too hectic and you forget :-)

    I don’t mind the plastic myself though. I tend to be clumsy and I’ve broken at least 2 of my own nice ceramic pots. Plastic might not be pretty, but it doesn’t break easily either.

  9. I first encountered one of these blooming tea bundles at a tea house in Boulder, Colorado. The tea house is a project of thier sister-city relationship with Dushambe, Tajikistan and I highly recommend it as a place to stop if you’re ever in Boulder. The food was wonderful as were the teas.

    The tea house served the bundle in a wine glass which, though a bit difficult to handle for drinking while the water is hot, certainly showed off the bundle in a very attractive way:

    http://www.faziarizvi.net/photos/Vacation2005/07032005/images/IMG_0780.jpg

  10. In france, we called this “Fleurs de Thé”, and we find it under the brand “GUANXI” (www.guanxi-tea.com)

  11. My wife is addicted to these — and so my quest had begun for finding out what the deal is with them, where they begin — and ultimately where to find them. We’re insano crazy tea nuts. These kind of set off the snob-o-meter for me since its ‘scented’ and ‘new’. It turns out though, these are NOT new at all. They have been in china at least for several decades and likely a LOT longer. And second, I’ve tried a bunch now. Adagio has some pretty cheap junk but at least it is conservatively packaged. Numi is pure crap of the crap – Honestly. The ones my wife brought home from China, also turned out to be nice looking – BAD tasting! Only two online purchases seemed to warrant repurchasing. http://www.goldenteahouse.com and http://www.blossomingleaf.com These were both amazingly delicate displays of quality tea with nice looking flowers. Meaning, I enjoyed drinking them as much as watching them develop — not something I can say about the others. I still don’t think I’ll be picking them up much more since I’m a pu’er tea fanatic. But all always be happy with a gift of them!

  12. My friends gave me a gift pack from http://www.Teacuppa.com, it was called dragonball Yin Zhen over there. Later, i found out there are much more variety to it! lovely! i love watching them unfurl. one bloom can be use for one glass pitcher.

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