February 11, 2021

Osmanthus Flower Tea 桂花茶

Osmanthus, Flower, Tea, recipe, syrup,  桂花茶, 桂花醬

This post is for my dearest 媽媽.  She loves osmanthus flowers and has always planted an osmanthus tree wherever we lived.  When I was a little girl, our osmanthus tree was just outside my bedroom window and the flower's drifting scent would steal in on the night breezes to soothe me to gentle sleep.  There is something otherworldly about the delicate, enchanting fragrance from these tiny flowers.  

That is why it is my great pleasure to share this very simple to make Osmanthus Flower Tea 桂花茶, which uses the dried flowers of the osmanthus to make a truly wonderfully fragrant and uplifting tea which is 100 percent guaranteed to make your day that much brighter and better!

Osmanthus fragrans (photo by Laitr Keiows)

If I ever get the chance to have a garden again I would make sure to plant an osmanthus tree just like my 媽媽.  Then I would be rewarded with yearly enjoyment of the flower's fragrance as well as being able to harvest the fresh osmanthus flowers.  

The type of osmanthus tree that makes fragrant flowers is called 'osmanthus fragrans' and the tiny flowers can range from white to yellow to an orange yellow as in the photo above.  Beautiful, no?

Osmanthus, Flower, Tea, recipe, syrup,  桂花茶, 桂花醬

For the time being stuck in HK with no chance in heck of having a garden I get my dried osmanthus flowers 桂花乾 from the wet market.  There's an herb and spices lady that sells all kinds of wonderful and mysterious things there.  I think the flowers can also be found at Chinese medicine stores.  If you're looking for it online I've found osmanthus flowers here.  You'll want to check that the flowers are whole blossoms that look well dried but still fresh in color.


Besides being beautiful, the osmanthus actually has alot of other benefits as well.  It boosts the immune system and is packed full with antioxidants.  In Chinese medicine it is used to detoxify the body of toxins, thus making you feel more energetic as well as relaxed.

Osmanthus, Flower, Tea, recipe, syrup,  桂花茶, 桂花醬

This tea is so simple to make really.  The first step is to make Osmanthus Flower Syrup 桂花醬, a simple yet delicious infusion of osmanthus and honey.  

To do this add dried osmanthus flowers to a jar, about 1/2 full.  Then add in honey slowly, a bit at a time, allowing the flowers to absorb the honey until the jar is full.  Use a honey that has a milder floral flavor so as to complement the delicate osmanthus flavor.  We used a local Hong Kong winter honey 冬蜜 which is produced by bees from the blossoms of the winter blooming Ivy Tree 鴨腳木.  

Tip:  Besides making a tea, you can also use this wonderful syrup to flavor desserts or dribble over ice cream and cakes.

Osmanthus, Flower, Tea, recipe, syrup,  桂花茶, 桂花醬

The next step is to leave the syrup for 2-3 days.  The blossoms will rise to the top and the flavors of the honey and the osmanthus will infuse together.  And that's it for the osmanthus flower syrup and you now have a jar that will last you for many cups of fragrant tea.


Now for the fun part, making the osmanthus flower tea!  Give your osmanthus flower syrup a good stir.  Then add a spoonful to a cup, or a bowl as we used.  Add in boiling water and a couple of spoonfuls of sugar to taste.  Stir and watch the tiny blossoms unfurl in your tea and smell the wonderful scent of osmanthus drifting in the air, just as if the blossoming osmanthus tree was just outside your window.   Sit back with your beautiful cup of Osmanthus Flower Tea, take a sip and let the osmanthus do its magic!  

Psst...stayed tuned, flower lovers, we're going to use this osmanthus flower syrup to make an osmanthus flower rice cake 桂花年糕 next!

Osmanthus, Flower, Tea, recipe, syrup,  桂花茶, 桂花醬

Osmanthus Flower Syrup Recipe 
(makes one small jar)  Prep time: 2  mins  Infuse time: 2 days

small glass jar

4 tbsp light floral honey

Prepare a sterile jar by rinsing a heat proof glass jar with boiling water.  Let dry completely. 

Add the dried osmanthus flower to jar.  Add honey in a bit at a time, allowing the flowers to absorb the honey.  It won't seem like it will fit at first but it will.  Stir gently.  Close jar and store in fridge for 2-3 days.  The flowers will float to top.  When you want to use the syrup use a clean dry utensil to give it a good stir and spoon out what you need.

Osmanthus Flower Tea Recipe
(makes 1 cup of tea)  Prep time: 1  min  Cook time: 1 min

1 tsp osmanthus flower syrup
1 1/4 cup boiling water
2-3 tsp sugar, or to taste

Prepare cup or small bowl.  Add osmanthus flower syrup.  Add boiling water.  Stir until honey dissolved.  Add 2-3 tsp sugar, or to taste, and stir until sugar melted.  Enjoy the flower love!

More Terrific Tonics at The Hong Kong Cookery:


2 comments:

  1. I have loved osmanthus since discovering it last year. This is a wonderful recipe I am sure to love as well. Thank you for sharing it. Brilliant to steep flower right into honey! Happy CNY to you and family

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Sabena - you're welcome, glad to know that you will enjoy it so much! Happy Chinese New Year to you and yours!

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