Recently I travelled up to Hanoi to meet with Ms Ngo as she made this season’s Tiny Daisy Tea. As with all of our other flavoured flower teas we select a base tea (in this case a green tea from Fin Ho in Ha Giang province) and have this sent to Hanoi for blending with the daisy flower.
In the past we have used Tan Cuong green tea for the flower teas but having experimented further we discovered that the broad leafed wild grown mountain teas were able to absorb more flavour than its estate grown cousin.
For the Tiny Daisy tea we felt that the Fin Ho tea was the best match to create the right balance between the characteristics of the tea and the flavour of the flower. Ms Ngo has lived close to the shores of Hanoi’s West Lake all of her life and during that time it has evolved from a muddy suburb to one of the prime real-estate areas just a few kilometres from the heart of Vietnam’s capital. A short walk from her house Ms Ngo also has a garden which is where the daisy flowers are grown. The daisy is a variety of chrysanthemum morifolium native to East Asia. The flower is widely known in Eastern medicine and is often used on its own to make a tisane (or herbal tea) that as a cooling herb is reputed to relieve fever, sore throats and headache and to clear the liver and eyes.
Most people probably think of daisies as a spring or summer flowering plant but this variety is very much winter flowering in these latitudes and is in bloom from late December to early February, depending on the weather conditions, and is one of the flowers commonly seen being sold on the streets in the build up to the Lunar New Year celebrations.
The flowers are hand picked just after the buds have opened and carefully carried back to the house to mix with the late season tea. Before blending any remaining stalk and receptacles are removed from the flower and discarded before mixing. For our Tiny Daisy Tea the flowers are mixed with green tea at a rate of one kilo of flowers for each kilo of tea and left for up to two days depending on heat and humidity while the tea absorbs the delicate yet distinctive flavour of the daisy flowers. Once blending is complete the tea and flowers are separated and delivered to us for further sorting and packaging.
Tiny Daisy Tea offers a quite unique way to take green tea and enjoy its benefits. The daisy flowers bring a mild freshness to the tea that has a little sharpness but is also has its own sweetness that evokes thoughts of summer meadows and fresh linen. Due to the seasonal nature of the flowers this tea is limited availability and is best drunk young while it is at peak freshness. Order today while stocks last.