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Iced Rose “Tea” is the Perfect Summer Drink



An infusion made with dried flower buds, iced rose “tea” is a delightful tisane with an unmistakable floral scent and flavor.

An infusion made with dried flower buds, rose bud iced "tea" is a delightful tisane with an unmistakable floral scent and flavor.

Why is tea enclosed in quotation marks? Because an infusion made with rose buds is not tea. Tea is Camellia sinensis which this rose bud infusion contains none of. So, it’s an infusion. A tisane. Not real tea.

When I was in Kuala Lumpur years ago, 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, 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.

A canister of dried rose buds from Purple Cane, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Above, the canister of rose tea from Purple Cane.

The health benefits of drinking rose buds

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

Dried rose buds made a wonderful summer drink!

Those are the dried rose buds straight out of the canister. How do you make a drink out of them? Simple.

How to steep dried rose buds to make a floral drink

Place the rose buds in a heatproof bowl and pour hot water over them.

Pour hot water into a bowl of dried rose buds and leave to infuse until cool

Cover loosely and leave to infuse until cool.

Easy to prepare and lovely to drink, rose iced "tea" contains no caffeine because there are no real tea leaves in it!

Pour the infusion into a pitcher — strained or not, that is up to you — add honey and ice and, optionally, lemon slices. Serve and enjoy!

An infusion made with dried flower buds, rose iced "tea" is a delightful tisane with an unmistakable floral scent and flavor. Perfect for hot summer days!

Iced Rose "Tea"

Updated from a recipe originally published in August 18, 2010.
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: summer
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Infusion time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Connie Veneracion


  • 1/4 cup dried rose buds
  • honey to taste
  • 1 lemon sliced into rings (optional)
  • ice cubes
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  • Dump the dried rose buds into a heatproof bowl.
  • Pour in two cups of hot water. How hot? Okay, boil the water then turn off the heat and leave for five minutes. Then, pour the hot water over the rose buds.
  • Cover the bowl loosely and leave to infuse for 30 minutes or until the liquid is cool.
  • Pour the infusion (optionally, you may strain it at this point) into a pitcher and add two cups of ice cubes.
  • Add the lemon slices, if using, to the infusion and stir in as much honey as you like.
  • Serve at once.
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An infusion made with dried flower buds, rose iced