I’d seen these mysterious walnut sized balls of tea in shops before and knew they were special, but it took some serious raving from a friend to convince me that they were worth buying. Basically, they are long green tea leaves, hand rolled and hand tied, dried with fresh jasmine flowers giving them a deliciously delicate scent.
But the magical pleasure comes when hot water is added to the ball. Almost like conjuring a trick, the ball unfolds into a spiky green starburst and a flower in the centre emerges and spontaneously comes to life and grows before your very eyes. Very clever and a joy for all the senses.
The chrysanthemum like flower that emerges is supposed to symbolize tranquility, beauty, longevity and health.