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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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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