You can't get much more Irish than a grand cup of tea. But what do you do when you're not in the mood for regular tea? With so many different types of herbal tea out there how do you decide what to pick? We've decided to do the hard work for you and explore Dublin, one cup of exotic tea at a time...
What am I drinking?
Shuang Long Xi Zhu, or Two Dragons Playing with a Pearl – a blooming white tea with jasmine, marigold and amaranth flowers.
Where am I drinking it?
Oolong Flower Power, a small tea shop/cafe on St. Stephen’s Street with a handful of small tables and wall-to-wall glass canisters of teas. Flower Power is so quiet you feel like you’re having your own little private tea ritual. It’s also not nearly as hippy as it sounds.
What does it taste like?
This is a super-delicate blend – white teas are really light in flavour, but even the addition of the floral and slightly astringent jasmine doesn’t overpower it. When it’s still weak the this floral tang is almost metallic, but when left to infuse becomes like a lovely perfumey wash.
What does it look like?
Blooming teas start as a little hard ball of leaves, but when you put it in water open out to reveal the hidden jasmine, marigold and amaranth flowers like a little underwater bouquet. Flower Power make the most of this stunning little tea by serving it in a big glass pot where you can watch it unfold, and a white china cup so you can see the colour when you pour it. You get lots of water too so you get plenty of cups-worth.
Where does it come from?
Most white teas are Chinese, and this one comes from the traditional white tea-producing region of China, Fujian.
What effect does it have?
Watching a little ball of tea unfold into this gorgeous flower arrangement is an rather lovely and relaxing way to start the day (though Flower Power doesn’t open until 11am, so don’t rely on it for your first-thing caffeine fix). Health-wise it actually has way more antioxidants than green tea, and just the most gentle caffeine hit.
Is it worth the try?
Blooming teas are a great experience when you’re in the mood to take time over a relaxing pot, and if you like light floral teas this is for you. Avoid if you’re more a fan of the sweet fruity blends. A bit pricey at €3.95 but you do get a large pot of water for brewing, so it could last you all morning. Also available to take home (as with all the teas in Oolong Flower Power).
If you like this, also try…
Oolong Flower Power's Yogi Tea – a mix of ginger, lemongrass and eucalyptus, slightly flower with a spicy hit without any caffeine.