Wednesday

How to Make Rose Petal Tea

Rose Petal Tea
If you love the fragrance of roses and want that elegant note in your home year round, consider drying flower petals (either in the oven, via air drying or in a dehydrator) and adding those rosy notes to one of your favorite basic tea blends.

Late season roses are fragrant, but harvesting their blooms can be bittersweet. The flowers are beautiful, but there's a chill in the air, and spring is a long way off no matter how you look at it. Be sure to prune your roses to prep them for winter, but before you do, harvest a few cups of rose petals for winter rose tea. Made with a mixture of China tea and dried rose petals, rose tea has a mild flavor and very fine aroma that will bring back the sensory impression of your summer garden -- even if it's currently sleeping under a coverlet of snow.

I like Oolong or Darjeeling, but almost any China tea will do. Here's a recipe to try. Even if you're just an occasional tea drinker, you'll be surprised at how refreshing and rewarding this tea can be on a cold fall or winter afternoon:

Rose Petal Tea Recipe (bulk)

  • 1/4 cup dried rose petals
  • 1 cup dry China tea (Darjeeling, Oolong, English Breakfast or other)
Directions

Use a quarter of a cup of petals for each cup of tea leaves.

It's practical to mix up a batch and use it as needed. Store it in a tin with a tight fitting lid.

To brew a cup, follow the package directions for the base China tea you're using.

Rose tea is very nice when served with biscuits and jam. If you like your tea sweet, honey is delicious with rose tea.


Tips for Making Rose Petal Tea:

Use roses that are free of pesticides. If you collect rose hips or use roses for crafting, this may not be difficult. If you don't have pesticide free roses this season, bring on a couple of your most fragrant varieties for next year and use organic protection methods to make them available for culinary use (that way you can make rose wine, too).

Blown blooms (fully mature flowers) that haven't browned will make the most flavorful tea petals.

Rose petals dry quickly if you're using a heat source, so watch them closely to make sure they don't scorch. They should be "shatter" dry, but not brown. In a dehydrator, they just take a couple of hours to dry completely (in a single layer).

The most fragrant rose varieties typically make the best tea.

Although you can use any color of rose, you may find that sticking with a single color or color range makes the most visually appealing tea. This may be an issue if you're giving rose tea as a gift. (It does make a lovely gift.)


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Photo2 Credit Photo courtesy of Andrzej Gdula http://www.sxc.hu/photo/965011 965011_chinese_cup.jpg

8 comments:

  1. thanks I'll try this it sounds delicous, Frances

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  2. Anonymous1:05:00 PM

    any suggestions for times/temperatures for oven drying?

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  3. Hi,

    Try placing a single layer of petals on a cookie sheet and into an oven set on warm. Place the tray as far from the heating element as possible. If you don't have that low a setting, use the lowest setting you have and crack the oven door to increase air flow and vent some of the heat.

    Try a test run with a half batch of petals and watch them to make sure they don't scorch. Adjust your method accordingly.

    If you know your oven runs pretty hot, even on low, warm it up and then turn off the heat. Add the petals when the air inside is warm but not uncomfortable. You may have to do this a couple of times.

    You may also be able to dry petals on your heat register, on top of your water heater, and even on top of your clothes dryer if you have quite a few loads to do.

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  4. Anonymous10:34:00 AM

    I read that you need to choose a certain kind/variety of rose to make the tea sweet and not bitter. I would not like to have a bitter tea. What kind/s of roses make a slightly sweet flavor?

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  5. This is a great question. Typically, the more fragrant a rose variety is, the better it will taste in tea. That doesn't necessarily mean it will taste sweet, though. Avoid drying roses to much, too. A couple of hours in a dehydrator should do it. If the petals start to turn tan colored, you may have gone too far.

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  6. So the roses in my garden I can use for tea

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  7. Celia,

    Yes. Make sure they're pesticide free, though.

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  8. Rose tea lowers my blood sugar. I read that in some studies it doesn't work, but I check my own blood sugar before and after drinking and my blood sugar comes down much faster if I drank rose tea.

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