All things Chinese tea, food and culture.

Honeysuckle Iced Tea Recipe

honeysuckle iced tea

With the health benefits of honeysuckle tea in the international spotlight, we would like the share a wonderful recipe. The cool thing about this recipe is that fresh flowers are used, while in China this herbal tea is made after the honeysuckle flowers are dried.

With Easter and Passover behind us, spring is really and truly here.  The honeysuckle vine draped across my front porch is in bloom, and  every time I go in or out I’m blown away by the scent.  I’ve been determined to use those incredible – edible  flowers somehow.  I’m always inspired by ingredients I can find  in my own yard, (or my neighbor’s!)  Over the last three years we’ve moved so often that I’ve tried to reduce the sting by challenging myself to find the elements in each new landscape that I can incorporate into my cooking.    I tried to make you a honeysuckle ice cream, but I’m going to have to keep working on that one, the flavor just didn’t come through.   Honeysuckle tea is more mainstream, in fact its been used medicinally by the Chinese for thousands of years.   I love it for its delicate scent, and the nectar is sweeter than honey.  I was amazed by how much flavor I got out of a jarful of  flowers.  If you have access to a vine, you’ve got to try this.

Honeysuckle tea is made with the delicate white and yellow flowers of the Chinese Honeysuckle vine.  It’s considered an invasive species, so gardeners and conservationists don’t like it, but it is pretty common, so chances are there’s a vine or two near you.  The flowers come in pairs, and you’ll want to pluck them right at their base, where the nectar is.  Look for freshly opened flowers, and avoid or pick out the leaves, stems, and berries.

Pour scalding water over the blossoms

The tea is made by pouring scalding water over the blossoms, and letting it cool at room temperature.

Let it chill in the refrigerator

Then you can chill your infusion in the refrigerator.

Filter the tea

I left mine overnight before straining it through a coffee filter or tea filter.

Customize and decorate!

The finished tea has a lovely pale celadon color, a light floral scent, and a surprisingly sweet flavor. Pour over ice, and add a sprig of mint. Whatever you do, though, don’t add honey before tasting your tea — it’s incredibly sweet all by itself.  You might want a squeeze of lemon if you don’t like sweet tea.

iced honeysuckle tea

With the winter coming you might not be super interested in iced tea, but it can never hurt to stock up as it’s going to be useful when you are facing a cold or flu!

The recipe is from the Theviewfromgreatisland.com



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