Blooming Tea

Arguably the prettiest type of tea, “blooming teas” or “flowering teas” are tea leaves and flowers that have been dried and compressed to “bloom” when steeped in water. Preparing blooming tea is incredibly simple, and stunning to watch unfold. You can find flowering teas at many specialty tea shops. These purple amaranth flowering teas were brought back for me from a bazaar in Turkey, by a loved one.

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  1. Place one tea ball in a clear glass teapot. You can also use a glass cup or french press.
  2. Bring water to a near boil.
  3. Pour the hot water into your glass container.
  4. Watch for about five minutes as your tea flower slowly opens up from a tiny ball into a flower-like bloom.

Note: You can add more water after you finish your tea, but just note that it will become increasingly bitter.

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Enjoy!

 

 

The Extras: Behind the Scenes!

The biggest problems with shooting food have been lighting, and figuring out how to avoid capturing any unwanted items from the background!

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Morning Matcha

Every morning I start my day off with tea, and more often than not, I make a cup of matcha. While matcha lattes seem to be the newest Starbucks craze, matcha tea has been consumed for hundreds of years in Japan. “Ma” meaning powder, and “cha” meaning tea, “matcha” literally translates to powered green tea. Because the entire tea leaf is dried then carefully milled into a powder, you consume all of the nutrients of the whole leaf, as opposed to drinking tea from leaves steeped in hot water. Actually, one cup of matcha is estimated to have the same amount of nutrients as ten cups of regularly brewed green tea!

To make your own cup of matcha you will need:

  • Matcha powder of choice: There are many different grades of matcha on the market. Taste, texture, nutrient content, and other factors change depending on the quality. Ceremonial grade matcha is what I use. It is made from the youngest tea leaves. It is the most expensive, but it has the best taste and highest nutrient content. There is also Culinary grade matcha which is then divided into classic grade, café grade, and kitchen grade. Lower-quality matcha varies in taste and nutrient content accordingly. Just like you wouldn’t use an expensive bottle of wine to cook with, you generally do not want to add anything to ceremonial grade matcha, nor do you want to cook with it.
  • water
  • a bowl
  • a matcha whisk: available online

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Step 1: Bring water for about 1 cup of tea to just under a boil

Step 2: Take approximately 1/2 tsp of matcha powder and add it to your cup or bowl.

Step 3: Add a tiny bit of water to the powder and whisk in a “W” “M” zigzag motion until it is dissolved.

Step 4: Add about 8 oz of water, or to taste.

Step 5 (optional): Add sweetener or milk. Personally I have come to love the taste of matcha without anything added. If you think it tastes too bitter, try to decrease the amount of powder used. Although these proportions are the measurements for the traditional preparation, I prefer about 1/4 tsp for a cup of matcha.

Note: If you don’t want to invest in a matcha whisk just yet, I have seen people add the powder to a mason jar with water, and shake to dissolve.

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Fun fact- I didn’t get to drink this one. Living in a New York City apartment means I need to get creative with my 2 foot beam of natural sunlight. I made the mistake of setting up my photo on the floor. As I made my little “matcha latte” sign I heard *SLURP SLURP SLURP,* apparently dogs like matcha too…

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