Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tea from the Wild – Rose petal

By Jess Hodges

I'm not really one for picking flowers; I think they look far too good where they are and I'd much rather take a trip outside to appreciate them than shorten their lifespan to bring them in. When it comes to roses, which are my absolute favourites, picking them seems practically sacrilegious. In the name of experimentation though I've forced myself to gather in the few, rather sorry looking blooms that are left at this time of year with the justification that it is obviously going to rain this afternoon and they'll be utterly ruined.

The variety I picked is the Japanese rose, bright pink and highly scented they've been planted around the edge of the field behind my flat and grow in generous abundance. If I was sticking to the true spirit of this experiment I'd be out hunting the hedgerows for dog rose but I think these will do well enough for a first try.

Five petals in a tea cup certainly make for a pretty drink, the bright pink colour has mainly dissolved leaving dappled petals in a delicately tinted infusion. The flavour of rose has been imparted beautifully to the tea and it smells great. It is however a little weak and tastes a little too much like perfume. The dried version isn't all that much different, it's a nice enough drink for the first few sips but after that it's just flower water. It is however worth having in the cupboard if you're ever in an a floral mood because a couple of petals go very well in a cup of normal black tea. Not Earl Grey which seems to enhance the perfume problem but with something a bit more robust like Assam. The overall verdict is it's nice but certainly not worth spoiling good roses for.