Cooking with Alison

Chinese Chrysanthemum Tea (Hot or Cold)

In Drinks on June 30, 2014 at am

When I was young, one of my favourite drinks was instant chrysanthemum tea.  It wasn’t until I was older that I learned that chrysanthemums are actually flowers.  Then on my trip to China in 2008, I bought dried chrysanthemums for the first time.  I was so excited to see them in a tea shop and I couldn’t wait to make sweet chrysanthemum tea from scratch.  Needless to say, I don’t drink the powdered stuff anymore and I make it using a lot less sugar.  This non-caffeinated tea is delicious sweetened, and can be served hot or cold.  According to the teachings of Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum tea has several health benefits, including “cooling” your body.  So this is a great drink to have when you have been eating too many “hot” foods, such as deep fried or barbecued foods.

photo

photo1 Chinese Chrysanthemum Tea Recipe

makes at least 4 cups; can be served hot or cold

to make the Chinese rock sugar syrup:

1 scant cup yellow or white Chinese rock sugar

1 cup water

In a sauce pot, bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat.  Add the rock sugar and maintain a strong boil, uncovered, until all of the sugar has dissolved.  Stir occasionally.  Remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool completely, uncovered, prior to storing.  This rock sugar syrup can be used in place of simple syrup in drinks and desserts.  It can also be used to make sweet soy sauce.

to make the chrysanthemum tea:

1 scant cup dried yellow or white chrysanthemum flowers

4 tablespoons, or more to taste, Chinese rock sugar syrup  (Note:  I like my chrysanthemum tea very lightly sweetened, but the processed chrysanthemum drinks are made much much sweeter, so feel free to add as much rock sugar syrup as you’d like.)

a pinch of dried goji berries (optional for health benefits if you are serving the tea hot)

4 cups boiling water

Rinse the chrysanthemum flowers and goji berries (if using) under cool running water, and then place them in a tea pot.  Pour the hot water into the tea pot and allow the chrysanthemum to steep for at least 5 minutes.  Gently stir in the rock sugar syrup to taste.

If serving the tea hot:  Serve the tea immediately.  You can add more hot water to the tea pot as you drink the tea, but each subsequent batch of tea will be less flavourful.

If serving the tea cold:  Allow the tea to cool completely.  Then strain out the flowers and chill the tea through in the refrigerator prior to serving.  Keep in mind that if you are making cold chrysanthemum tea, you may need to add more rock sugar syrup.  Stir in the rock sugar syrup to taste after the tea has chilled through just prior to serving.

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  1. Is it necessary for chrysanthemum tea to use only white& yellow flowers petals?

    • I have only ever used the flowers and petals. And I’ve only ever seen them sold that way. I imagine the stems and leaves might not taste pleasant? Let me know if you find out more information on this! Thanks 🙂

  2. I just made a gallon of this, doubling the recipe for the chrysanthemum tea, using all of the rock syrup from your recipe and adding enough water to dilute it. Love it, thank you! 🙂

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