Flower tea is a tea that is not just made of leaves, but also flowers. It is called Hua Cha in Chinese.
The principle that lies behind Chinese medicine also lies behind the reason why flowers can be used as tea: plants and their parts have unique properties that are good for our health if we use them properly.
Two Ways to Enjoy Hua Cha
Normally, there are two different ways to enjoy a edible flower as tea: one is to put tea leaves and flowers in the pot together, or just flowers.
Another way is more subtle; it's only tea leaves you can see, but you have no doubt that you also taste and smell the flowers that aren't there at all. You might have had some experience in Chinese restaurants.
The secret? The tea leaves have been put with fragrant and edible flowers for a period of time to absorb their aromatic scent and taste. Then the flowers are discarded, and only the tea with the flowery flavor is given to you to enjoy.
Don't confuse flower tea and its cousin flowering tea, which is called crafted tea in China. Each of them is handmade by binding beautiful edible flower(s) with green tea leaves in a artful design. Click to see details. Of course, the process asks for special skills and knowledge to do it properly.
There are various type of Hua Cha in China; the most popular ones are jasmine tea and chrysanthemum tea.
Jasmine tea is made of jasmine sambac flowers. It is consumed alone or combined with green tea or Wulong tea. You can have a cup of jasmine tea without seeing jasmine flowers because of the way it is made (mentioned above).
I've been drinking jasmine tea for years. When I heard that the word jasmine meant "gift from God", I felt it was very true.
Chrysanthemum tea is regarded as a great tea with certain medical power, such as helping to cure or prevent a sore throat, reducing fever, clearing the liver, etc. It's beneficial and mild; many believe that it's a safe drink for any group of people. Sometimes I drink it as flavored water when I have a sore throat.
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