Tea Craft: When is Tea Picked?

Picking tea leaves is not just about harvesting tea that will make it to your cup. It’s a key part of the lifecycle of the tea bush.

The timing of the pick is crucial for quality - in China it's said that ‘three days early it is treasure, three days late it is grass’ - and to ensure the start of the germination of new leaves at just the right time.

In countries like Kenya where the climate is similar all year, there is growth all year and picking every fortnight. In countries with seasons, the tea plant is dormant for part of the year, until it ‘flushes’ into life and new shoots emerge; picking can start.

Different countries revere different flushes or harvests - the 1st flush in Darjeeling in Spring is considered to be the most flavoursome, whilst it’s the 2nd flush in Assam that is most prized.

Find out more about how tea is picked.


Pillars of Jade Flowering Tea Pouch x4 Bulbs

Net Weight: 28g

A mixture of chrysanthemum flowers and rose buds, our 'Pillars of Jade' hand-woven flowering tea bulbs unfurl during brewing to reveal a bold flower within. A rare and dazzling infusion of colour and flavour.

The East India Company - Lifestyle


This flowering green tea from the Yunnan province of China is another lovely example of the artisan village skill of creating flowering teas.

Handwoven green tea is interlaced with chrysanthemum flavours and rose buds.

Chrysanthemum flowers have been cultivated in China for more than 3000 years and in our flowering blend, they bring a sweetness and a note of floral honey to the green tea brew, complemented by fragrant rose buds.

See our Stories section below to find out more about Flowering Teas.
We recommend preparing in a glass teapot to experience the true theatre of this unique tea. Teapot sold seperately.  
Enjoy the theatre to the maximum by using a glass teapot - watch the green bulb unfurl and open, and chrysanthemum petals rise upwards.

The liquor is pale yellow and has a sweet, floral aroma and flavour.



500ML OF WATER AT 80-85ºC

Brewing Time



Green Tea from China, Chrysanthemum Flowers, Rose Buds.


Store in a cool, dry place avoiding direct sunlight and strong odours.


Flowering Teas: Beauty & Taste Combined

We often use the word ‘artisan’ to describe someone who learns their trade over a lifetime and handcrafts beautiful items to be admired or treasured. Undoubtedly, the flowering tea craftspeople of China deserve this accolade, but it might be truer to describe them as artists.

So how did this art start?

Exactly when is a little disputed, but likely they have their origins a handful of centuries ago, becoming very popular only in the last 20 years or so. It certainly started in Yunnan, in south-east China, when the art of shaping teas for entirely visual purposes was developed to help decorate the royal courts.
Sometimes referred to as ‘blooming teas,’ flowering teas are hand-tied, intricate arrangements of either individual whole green tea leaves or long white buds, which hide a central fresh flower, like a rose or marigold perhaps, osmanthus or jasmine. The bundle is built up gradually and dried at each stage. Once complete to the desired size and shape, it will be finally baked dry, removing all the water as in normal for any tea.

From village to village in China, each with their own unique variations, the artists take great pride in their work, rightly believing their creations to symbolise love, happiness and prosperity.

These are precious – even the most experience flowering tea artists can only make handfuls a day. Always use glass when brewing your flowering tea for the full ‘wow’ effect. Take a picture, we would love to see it.

Our spirit delivers no ordinary products

  • FAQ

    Does flowering tea include caffeine and is there more or less than green or black tea and coffee?
    Flowering teas are green teas and yes therefore it does, and it varies. All tea leaves, just like coffee, contain caffeine. Tea usually has a lower level of caffeine than coffee, which averages around 95mg for a normal cup of coffee. But it is impossible to give a precise answer, because there are so many variables at play - the length of brew time, the amount of tea used, the age of the leaf, the provenance of the leaf. Even the temperature of the water. Our best advice is to treat all tea and coffee similarly if you need to manage your caffeine intake.

    I’ve heard that tea contains theanine. What is it and what does it do?
    Tea does indeed contain theanine, which is an amino acid [the building blocks of proteins]. Tea is one of only a few sources of theanine. It represents about 1% of dry weight and is at its highest concentrate in shade-grown teas like matcha and gyokuro. Whilst not yet proven in scientific studies that would permit specific health claims to be made, it is believed by many to be able to reduce mental and physical stress, promote relaxation and a sense of well-being. But not only that, it is more recently being thought to aid cognitive function. It’s one explanation for tea’s famous ability to create calm in a crisis [the Great British solution to all problems – ‘putting the kettle on’] and to stimulate when a little boost is required.

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