Lavender (Lavandula) Tea

The lavender, also called Lavandula tea is a very fragrant and aromatic tea, made with lavender flowers. It is usually mixed with green, black or other herbal teas. As the tea is prepared by adding the boiling water to the flowers a nice fragrance can be perceived in the whole room; it is one of the most fragrant teas. One or two teaspoons per cup of boiling water are sufficient to prepare a tea.

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The dried fragrant lavender flowers have the characteristic pink-violet color, which is also called lavender color

When used alone as lavender tea it is slightly bitter, for this reason usually honey and lemon is added. When lemon (or other acid fruit juice) is added the color changes from pale yellow to pink as is illustrated below. This tea can be enjoyed hot or cold. It is a great summer tea! The pictures below are from a tea package I bought in Taiwan, where the use is very common.

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Brewed lavender flowers. The tea color is pale yellow.

The common lavender species  is called Lavandula angustifolia, also called English lavender. Most probably the name lavender comes from the Latin  lavāre, of  lavō, to wash. In the old days the lavender flowers infusions were added to the water to wash the clothes to give a scent. The word lavender and its variations is used in many languages (e.g. French: lavande; German: lavandel; Spanish: lavanda). In Portuguese lavender is called alfazema, a word with Arabian origin.

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Typical lavender teacup made with 2 teaspoons of tea, lemon and honey added.

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Brewed lavender tea. The neat tea with pale yellow color is on the left. The same tea with lemon juice is on the right. There is a nice color change with the addition of lemon.

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Chrysanthemum Tea

Chrysanthemum, is very popular floral tea in Asia. The first time I enjoyed this tea was in China then had many times in Taichung, Taiwan. Hangzhou in China is very famous for the production and use. The Chrysanthemum tea can be enjoyed hot or cold. Many times it is sweetened with honey or rock sugar.

The name Chrysanthemum in Greek means yellow golden flower (chrys+anthemon). There are many types of Chrysanthemum flowers; here I describe the most common tea used in Asia. The petals are light yellow and the multiple carpels are intense yellow.

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Dried Chrysanthemum flowers from Hangzhou, China

The dry yellow flowers are very delicate and have distinct floral fragrance. The flowers must be handled and stored properly to avoid damage and oxidation. Usually the flowers are good for a year from the date of packaging. After this time they start to reduce the smell and the petals are released. The color changes from yellow to light brown.

To brew the tea, a small amount of flowers  (about 10 to 20) are put in a medium teapot and washed briefly with water at 85-90° C (185-194° F). Then tea can brewed with water at 85-90° C. After 2-3 minutes of infusion the tea can be filtered, served in teacups and enjoyed. Sugar or honey can be added to the teapot in small quantities before adding the water. The teapot can be replenished three or more times; it is a tea that has good replenishment characteristics.

The Chrysanthemum tea can be enjoyed also in small cups

The Chrysanthemum tea can be enjoyed also in small cups

The tea has a distinct floral smell and taste is very subtle, it is naturally sweet, refreshing and relaxing. This tea is caffeine free. It can be enjoyed hot or cold as an all day tea or during meals.

Chrysanthemum flowers after brewing

Chrysanthemum flowers after brewing

The brewed flowers are so nice that we can enjoy the beauty of the pictures.

Another detailed picture of the brewed flowers

Another detailed picture of the tea flowers