Chrysanthemum Tea

Chrysanthemum tea (called Ju Hua Cha in mandarin) is mildly cool in nature. Chinese likes to drink it either as a normal drink to quench thirst, or as an herbal drink to help to cool down the body when feeling heaty.

There are two basic methods of making this flower tea - either boiling or steeping. The flowers used for the two methods are also different. Thus, check and buy the appropriate ones when you want to make it.

Boiling Method:

At home, whenever we want to drink Chrysanthemum tea, we will boil it as the tea made this way is thicker and more fragrant.

We also like to add some rock sugar to enhance the taste. The lady at the herbal shop recommended me to try honey rock sugar and I found that it is indeed more fragrant than normal rock sugar. The tea is also thicker.

This is how you boil the tea:

50g dried Chrysanthemum flowers
1 honey rock sugar, about 80g
10 cups water (adjust to your preference)

Boiling Direction:

Rinse the flowers briefly to get rid of some dirt and add to a pot with 10 cups of water. Bring to boil.

Add honey rock sugar and simmer for a few minutes until the sugar totally dissolved.

Cover the pot, turn off the fire and let the mixture stand for about half an hour.

Sieve away the flowers using a strainer and serve the drink either warm or cold.

You may boil a second time with half the amount of water and sugar. As it is difficult to break the honey rock sugar into half, you may substitute with rock sugar or sugar. 

Steeping Method:

For steeping, add about 15 dried Chrysanthemum flowers into a teapot.

Add some rock sugar or honey to taste and pour boiling hot water into the pot.

Cover it up with the lid and let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

After you finish the first pot, you may add more boiling water in to make another pot, and again another pot until you have enough.

If you just want a bit of the drink, you can add 3 to 5 flowers into your glass with some honey or sugar and steep in it.

Steeped Chrysanthemum tea is lighter in taste and fragrance as compared to the boiled version. As you can see in the glass above, the drink is pale yellow in colour. The taste and fragrance will reduce with more rounds of steeping.

The alternative method of steeping the flowers is simpler and quicker. This is usually how the tea is made in Chinese restaurants.

Usually, the flowers are steeped in a teapot so that they remain inside the pot when you pour the tea into your cup. Some broken petals may pass through but this is alright.