Just in time for May, it's time to talk about something near and dear to my heart, in which love I am certainly not alone: flowers! And not just flowers, but the kind you infuse either alone or with its good friend, tea.
Not everyone likes floral scented or infused tea. That's okay, the world is full of differing opinions and tastes. Honestly, if made too strong, it can be a bit like drinking perfume heated and served in a pretty cup. Done just right, which for me means subtly, it can be a treat to smell and taste. Today I will go through the floral teas I like, and then the ones I don't like as much.
Rose: An old favorite in some black tea, and a good complement to other flowers and herbs. As flowers go, they're not my favorite; probably because I associate them with funerals. but sprinkled in tea, I am far from mourning.
Violet: I'm one of those people who like those violet candies, and I like violet just as much in black tea. I'd had it before, but after having a cup with my Victoria sponge cake in Lovecrumbs, Edinburgh, I had renewed appreciation for its delicate beauty. Now I'm rarely without some in my tea cupboard. I also have a Violet Rose tea from Simpson and Vail, and it's tastygorgeous!
Lavender: This features more in my herbal tea collection. I love lavender: the smell, the taste, its clean, calming qualities; and if you're about to comment on its "old lady" associations, there's the door! I have a Lavender Lime tea from Celestial Seasonings which is an odd but good pairing! And there is nothing quite like a London Fog Latte when they remember the lavender.
Jasmine: And I......., will always love yoooouuuuu...Seriously, I don't crave this every day, but it is a classic, and it may be a good way to coax someone into drinking green tea. For some reason I find it gets me more jittery than other ways of drinking green tea (matcha lattes are a close second), so I limit my intake.
Hibiscus: Very nice hot, full of healthy properties, and a pleasure iced. A good alternative to Sweet Tea in the (American) South. It can be kind of tart, so use care in how strong you make it!
Chamomile: I don't drink this for pleasure, but as a calming infusion, and an aid to digestion. Love the tiny daisy look of the flower, dislike the scent. Well mixed with other herbs, as it is in Sleepytime (hello again, Celestial Seasonings!), and I'm sold.
Lilac: I have a pouch of lilac black tea from Simpson and Vail, and it's my least favorite of their floral teas. I don't hate it, but, meh.
I found a place in the East Village that shares my love for all things tea and flowers: JQK Floral Tea. It features hot and iced teas and lattes with most of the above flowers, and additionally Osmanthus and Chrysanthemum. I'm pretty sure I've had chrysanthemums in my tea at some point, but not enough to make a commentary. So adventures awaits! It's a nice space, not huge but not hole in the wall tiny. I had a Rose Hojicha iced tea when I stopped by, and based on this I will return. Maybe on one of my Flower Fridays!
What are your favorite floral teas?