A perennial species from Asteraceae family, Chrysanthemum is an elegant flower with a sweet honey like scent favored by Chinese poets of yore. Its dignified bloom is a beauty to behold. Naturally sweet, It makes a perfect herbal tea that is said to help reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and is packed with antioxidants.
You often see Dim Sum restaurants serve chrysanthemum tea, not only does it help alleviate the heaviness of the feast, its honey like sweetness and beautiful scent is a delight and has been my personal favor since I was little. It makes perfect sense to include chrysanthemum in our floral herbal tea Amber Flora.
There are hundreds of different chrysanthemums. Here are the three different types from my cardboard:
Chrysanthemum buds 胎菊
Said to be the best quality for making chrysanthemum tea, the buds are harvested around late October while the buds have just barely opened. Scent is mild, tea takes a faint hue of pale yellow, and the taste is subtle and pure with a lingering aftertaste of honey.
Golden threads 金絲皇菊
Often packaged by individual flowers, this chrysanthemum is a majestic tea to brew, especially in a glass tea pot or cup. Tea takes a warm yellow hue. Tea tastes mild and sweet just as the chrysanthemum buds, however, comparatively has higher intensity and a hint of bitterness.
Snow Chrysanthemum 雪菊
Appearance is strikingly different than the other two, this tea takes an amber-ish red color. A much stronger wild floral scent with a hint of medicinal herbs. The tea tastes stronger, too. it reminds me of preserved plums. Kunlum Mountains from Xinjian, China is famously known for growing the best snow chrysanthemum. Its ability to reduce blood pressure is so effective that it’s required to put on warnings on the package to prevent discomfort from low blood pressure consumers.