Eating Well

Home Brewed Chrysanthemum Tea

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I love tea – there are hundred varieties, each one a subtle delight. And chrysanthemum tea is one of my favorites as it’s also a great way to cool an overheated body, especially in the summer and if you’re fond of eating spicy or fried food.

On a recent trip to NYC here, my mother brought some along with her, and I forgot how much I’d missed it!

What you need:

  • 15 – 20 bulbs of dried chrysanthemum
  • A pinch of American ginseng
  • A lump or two of rock sugar, to taste

Steep for 5 minutes, and enjoy your naturally caffeine-free tea with a mild, delicate fragrance. It tastes just as good without sugar too! The sachet is good for at least 2 steeps.

Some benefits of chrysanthemum tea:

  • It’s a natural coolant. Chinese approach to food is all about balance – if your body is too hot, chrysanthemum tea is a great way to put out the fire. (Coconut water does this too!) So if you feel a sore throat or headache coming on, a glass or two of this will go a long way.
  • Eases digestion. Great after a heavy or greasy meal, which is why it’s also tea that you can order during your heavy and albeit very delicious dim sum brunch.
  • Boosts concentration. That pinch of American ginseng helps to boost concentration and memory. American ginseng is considered the less potent counterpart of Asian or Korean ginseng and can also be easily found in Chinese supermarkets.

P.S. If you’re in NYC, you can find dried chrysanthemum bulbs at the Hong Kong Supermarket on Hester St in Chinatown – it’s on the tea aisle at the basement.

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