"Chrysanthemum tea is a flower-based tisane made from chrysanthemum flowers of the species Chrysanthemum morifolium or Chrysanthemum indicum, which are most popular in East Asia. To prepare the tea, chrysanthemum flowers (usually dried) are steeped in hot water (usually 90 to 95 degrees Celsius after cooling from a boil) in either a teapot, cup, or glass; often rock sugar is also added, and occasionally also wolfberries.photo The resulting drink is transparent and ranges from pale to bright yellow in color, with a floral aroma. In Chinese tradition, once a pot of chrysanthemum tea has been drunk, hot water is typically added again to the flowers in the pot (producing a tea that is slightly less strong); this process is often repeated several times."
I've never had the tea with sugar or wolfberries, so I can't vouch for them. The flavor of the tea is hard to describe. It is very light and smooth with slightly sweet floral taste (no where nearly as robust as chamomile tea for instance).
At first, I thought the ritual of making and drinking the tea was why we felt so good afterwards. I did some research though and the tea has some medicinal properties too:
"Chrysanthemum is taken as a headache remedy, and for dizziness and hearing disorders. It is also used for treating high blood pressure. Chrysanthemum is used as a compress or eye wash for inflammation of the eyes and for other eye problems such as dry-eye, blurred vision, and seeing sports. It also has a calming effect and can relieve stress. Combined with honeysuckle, it can be used for treating colds, flu, fever, and infected sores. A poultice of Chrysanthemum leaves works well on acne, pimples, boils, and sores.In the 1st century AD, Chrysanthemum was categorized in the Shennong Bencao jing (Herbal Classic of Shennong) as a medicine, particularly for use as an anti-inflammatory, but it also has antiseptic and antibiotic properties."
I have also read that some scientific testing has indicated that it may also have some anti-cancer properties. Granted, all of this research of mine has been done with online sources, so you may want to take all of this with a grain of salt. However, I would say that in general it's good for you.
Scarlet and I were introduced to Chrysanthemum tea at Chi's Chinese Restaurant in Little Rock. It wasn't a menu item either. I think the wait staff (mostly Chinese college students from abroad) was impressed with our willingness to try anything on the dim sum menu. The translation of some of the dishes into English was splotchy at times, but this would include dishes of "ox-tail," and "cow stomach." At some point, they quit serving us the generic "Chinese Restaurant Tea" and slipped us the Chrysanthemum. They seemed inordinately pleased that we liked it. I guess most Arkansans are not into hot, herbal teas?
Speaking of good Chinese food, does anyone one know of a good Chinese restaurant which serve dim sum in or near Arkansas? Our old favorite, Chi's, recently was sold to new owners, and they promptly did away with the dim sum menu in their rush to join the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet bandwagon. Suggestions?