mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Rose Hip Tea

In Drinks, Edible Flowers, Tea Party on October 11, 2006 at 9:21 pm

tea

Going back to those rose hips

Most of us grow roses for the beautiful flowers. And those of us who have little interest in things wild may not even know that there is more to the wild rose than its fragrant flowers. A rambling shrub rose still looks beautiful when its flowers fade. The stunning brilliance of its fruit, the rose hips, is as arresting.

rose hips

And the beauty of the rose is not skin deep either. We are all familiar with the culinary, medicinal, as well as cosmetic uses of the rose extract. There’s still more. The rose hip is one of the best sources of natural Vitamin C! Apparently, it has 20 times the vitamin C of most citrus fruits. It also has vitamins A, D and K, in addition to antioxidant flavonoids.

During Word War II when Britain faced a shortage of citrus fruits, rose hip syrup made with wild rose hips collected from hedge rows became an important supplement. In the days before the vitamin C pills, rose hips were also part of standard sailors’ rations.

All these qualities makes the pretty rose hips good candidates for a wonderful cup of tea!

But before they are tea material they need some processing. This is hard work. I had two kinds of rose hips–the long, orange kind (like chilli peppers!) and the round, deep red ones. The orange ones were easier to process because they were softer with less seed. The other ones were one tough fruit that took a lot more work. To prepare rose hips top and tail them, cut into half and remove the seeds and the hairy pith.

rose hips rose hips rose hips

At his stage, depending on how much you love your time in the kitchen, you can either make them into a preserve, or dry them for later use. Rose hips have a citrus-y fragrance, and a tart yet sweet flavour.

I had too few to make a preserve (and I wasn’t quite up to jam-making that day, to tell the truth). I took the easy way out and sun dried them for tea later.

A horrible cold last week had me looking for all kinds of ways to imbibe warm liquids. I started my morning with a lemon tea (hot water, honey and fresh lime juice). Too many cups of regular black tea would have dehydrated me so I had some green Chinese tea as well. Not to forget the delicious Thai soup at (Berco’s, CP) with galangal, lemon grass, Kaffir Lime leaves, and fresh red chillies–that opened up the sinuses right away!

And then I remembered my dried rose hips. Their vitamin C boost was an added bonus. I steeped about a heaped teaspoon of chunky rose hips (you may use dried or fresh) into a cup of boiling water. After two minutes I sipped at the lemony-sweet saffron-coloured brew. Boiling the hips for 10 minutes (which would have softened the red rose hips as well) is what is recommended, but I thought my tea tasted just dandy. I even chomped on the tea ‘leaves’ at the bottom! They reminded me of dried cranberries!

Rose hips may be mixed with dried Hibiscus flowers to make a more colourful tea. And you already know what else you can do with the Hibiscus flowers, right?

Tags: roses, wildflowers, herbal tea, rose hips

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  1. interesting… i never thought we could use the rose hip. Thanks for sharing. you reminded me of bercos… my favorite was chilli chicken and noodles. :)

    Hi Mandira.  And now Berco’s serves Thai as well.  I don’t know how good but the soup was great.  Just what the doc ordered. 

  2. Lady, you frustrate me….firstly you write about your jasmine ball tea when its not even available here, then about the lemon marmalade, when I dont have pectin or the pips and now rose hips which you find in your neighbouring Himalayas.. :P

    You leave no chance for me to imitate your recipes (Aint that the best compliment though??)

    I’ve been reading more blogs than writing, that low period – but please make sure you send something for – a twist in the plate!

    Hi Nandita. Go ahead and make the marmalade without the pectin, girl! That’s how I did it all along till the ‘chakotra’ happened to me! ‘Tis orange season…so there is the fruit and the pips! :D

  3. Not knowing a great deal about this but would the boiling for 10 minutes destroy the vitamin structures thus making flavoured tea.
    Looking for your guidance :-)
    Laurie

    You may be right Laurie, since Vitamin C is easily destroyed. In which case you may want to brew it just like I did, and not use the boil method. I had good flavour and great colour too.

  4. Hello,
    I was just searching how to prepare the rose hips I had collected for tea and am happy to have found your article. What a great blog, I’m going to link to it from mine and peruse it often! Cheers!

    -Lydia

    http://www.lallalydia.blogspot.com

  5. Just fell upon your sight. I’ve never seen a rose hip shaped like a chili pepper. Can you find out the species of rose it is from?
    thanks
    Maggie

    Wild Himalayan Rose? :lol:

  6. We just harvested our rose hips and got done processing them – it was a lot of work for one quart of rose hips!! Just glad to find someone who has also done it before – ha ha! :)

    It is a lot of work – but, now you have all the ammunition for a refreshing cup of tea!

  7. Thanks for pointing this out to me, I will link to it too. Glad to find another tea drinker!

  8. I made lovely tea out of freshly plucked wild rose petals.. but how can I dry wild rose petals? without losing the lovely flavour, colour and over all goodness? I have lots of wild roses growing near my house (in Poland) and it will be gone in a few weeks!! i want to start collecting/drying soon before they are gone!!

    • Hi Animesh: To dry roses for tea you could dry the petals in shade if you have access to a draft free yet airy space. You may also try plucking the rosebuds and dry those! I have seen tiny rose buds used for making rose tea!

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