Ingredients From: Varied (Blended by Neat Jane’s Tea House)
Grade(s): Buds and petals
Growing Altitudes: 150 – 300 m above sea level
Manufacture Type(s): Dried Rosebuds and petals.
Cup Characteristics: Light floral notes and pleasant lingering finish.
Infusion: Tending light pink with light rosy notes.
Ingredients: Rose Buds, Rose Petals
Description: After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages pervaded and the economic and agricultural systems that stemmed from the Romans crumbled. Most of the aesthetic gardens in the Roman colonies went to seed leaving only those that provided food, such as vegetables and orchards.
Ironically it was during the Dark Ages that the science of herbal medicine made great strides and the unique trustee of ancient Roman and Greek scholars’ knowledge was the Catholic Church.
This was the time when monks pioneered agriculture. Each monastery had its own orchard, vegetable garden and a hortus conclusus, or closed garden. The closed garden was used to grow herbs that were both spiritual and curative. Lilies and roses formerly woven into the wreaths of the Roman gods Isis and Aphrodite were now used to worship the Madonna.
The importance of these gardens was such that around the year 800, the emperor Charlemagne sent each of his intendants a list of those plants that were to be cultivated in his empire. The document was known as De Capitularis and of the ninety plants listed the iris and rose were first and second respectively; followed by several other commonly known herbs such as sage, rosemary, cumin, mint, mallow and coriander.
These plants played important roles, both culinary and medicinal. They often conferred taste and color to foods and perhaps most important, they preserved foods and masked the taste and odor of overaged meats.
During the 1100’s the Crusades came upon the Italian town of Salerno which was the site of a renowned medical school founded by four doctors, an Arab, a Roman, a Greek, and a Jew each of whom was appointed the guardian of the secular knowledge of their people. These men were recognized as true masters and their teachings would influence European medicine for centuries to come.
Rose petals and buds were used by women to enhance the beauty of their hair and skin. Not surprising, knowing that following the rose blooming a rose hip develops, and a rose hip contains a multitude of vitamins which have properties that enhance one’s skin amongst its other properties.
There are more different kinds of roses than of any other plant in the herb category, and they all provide rose hips of one description or another. One variety of rose is even called ‘Tea Rose’ named for the resemblance of its fragrance to black tea.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring fresh cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of herbal tea for each 200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot.
Cover and let steep for 5-10 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time, the better the flavor as more fruit and herb flavor is extracted). Garnish and sweeten to taste
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher) (to make 1 litre): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using fresh cold water, boil and pour 1¼ cups/315ml into the pot.
Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water.
Garnish and sweeten to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon into a teapot for each serving required. Using fresh cold water, boil and pour 170-200ml per serving into the pot.
Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the leaves. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving. Sweeten with honey or add lemon to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted.
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