Have you ever drank a rose?

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When I was in Kuala Lumpur last year, I visited a tea shop called Purple Cane in the Chinatown district. I bought several canisters of loose tea leaves and the small ones I gave away as gifts to friends last Christmas. One large canister went to my mother; another, to my brother. The last two large canisters, I kept. One contained green tea and the other one contained jasmine tea. Or so I thought.

When I opened the second canister last Sunday, I was so surprised. No jasmine tea inside. Instead, whole dried rose buds. I double checked the label and, sure enough, it said Rose Tea. With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, I proceeded to brew the rose buds and made iced tea.

It turned out that the trepidation was uncalled for. The iced tea was wonderful. Light and sweet. The floral scent was unmistakable. And, unlike when using real tea leaves, there was no trace of bitterness even after the rose buds had been soaking in water for 30 minutes.

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Above, the canister of rose tea from Purple Cane.

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From inside the canister, a piece of paper about the health benefits of rose bud tea.

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Those are the dried rose buds straight out of the canister.

Recipe: Rose bud iced tea


  • 1/4 c. of dried rose buds
  • honey, to taste
  • lemon slices


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  2. To make my iced tea drink, I put the dried rose buds in a heat-proof bowl.
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  4. Then, I poured hot water over the dried rose buds and allowed them to steep — it won’t hurt to leave them for 30 minutes until the water has cooled.
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  6. Finally, I poured the mixture into a pitcher half-filled with ice. I added honey and slices of lemon and stirred everything together.
  7. And voila! One of the best ice tea drinks I have ever tasted.

Quick notes

I don’t know where else rose tea is available. If, by some chance, you come across rose tea, don’t be scared to try it. Even if you’re not a tea drinker. And even if you cringe at caffeine. Because rose tea contains no real tea leaves (read about tea, herbal tea, infusion and tisane), there is no caffeine. All you get is refreshing goodness.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): variable

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The Author

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

18 Responses

  1. A says:

    CHUNG HWA Drugstore in Benavidez (Binondo) carries a big pack for over 60 pesos. It’s the same quality, as they import it directly from the source in southern China.

    Other Chinese drugstores in Ongpin carry it too, but in varing quality. The brighter the colour, the newer the product.

  2. A says:

    It reminds me though: Ms. Connie, you never got to go back to Chinatown for a food trip. :p

    • Connie says:

      Riiiight. No opportunity yet. But I will. Gotta taste those fresh spring rolls in that place near the church.

  3. Mrs. Kolca says:

    Oh ma’am! I wanna try that. I am not a coffee drinker. Hubby prepares hot tea every morning, a must for every Turkish breakfast, but I don’t drink that too. I can only drink iced tea, lemon iced tea, apple iced tea, etc.

  4. Crisma says:

    Superb photography, as usual, Connie! ;)
    Really adorable…very romantic, serene, relaxing…calming. Thanks for this one, now, I wonder where else besides Chinatown can we find the rose tea? Anywhere near QC?

  5. leny says:

    hello miss connie, this is my first time to comment although im a big fan of yours 3years now, i stumbled upon your cooking site by accident and since then I became habituated to it… Rose tea, rose juice is very popular in Malaysia, reminds me of my husband who loves to drink it during summer when weather is most cruel, accdg to him its very cooling to the body. he mixed it with sweetened milk and crushed ice and yes its very refreshing…one thing also is that its very popular funeral drinks among the indians (trivia lang miss connie ha wag kang ma turn off hehehe…rose tea is really good in fairness.

  6. Nikita says:

    Beautiful dried rose buds!

  7. A says:

    On a side note: tama si Leny. A bottle of rose syrup (about 200 pesos for a litre) can be bought sa ASSAD Mini-Mart (there’s one in front of Sta. Lucia Ms Connie, and OMG their spice section is phenomenal—cheap but really fresh). It’s great with very cold whole milk.

  8. Jenny says:

    Rose buds tea is dieter’s tea. It is said to be some kind of a laxative too.

  9. val says:

    I found this to be an interesting recipe as I have just acquired some dried rosebuds. How much water did you use to the 1/4 cup of rosebuds?

  10. raqgold says:

    i have tasted rose juice in thailand, i have tasted orchid tea though. okay, now am going to dry all our rose buds!! i hope i could find the right way to dry and store them up in the net though.