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Chrysanthemum tea

One of the habits I picked up during my recent month in China was drinking chrysanthemum tea.  This tea is supposed to have various medicinal properties – to cure influenza, to provide anti-oxidants and to help deal with eye pain and discomfit – but the only reason I drink it is for the flavour.  Chrysanthemum tea can have a slightly honeyed-straw bouquet and a cleansing strong mineral flavour.  You can apparently make it yourself using dried flower heads.

The expensive pu-erh variety which comes from Yunnan Province in China improves with age.  10 grams of a 109 year old variety of this  tea recently sold for over $1000US in Hong Kong.  I purchased online 85 grams of a current vintage of this tea from a supplier in Melbourne.  To be honest I didn’t particularly enjoy its strong, pungent and very distinctive flavour and bouquet – I preferred some of the more common brands I bought in China – White Chrysanthemum of Hang Zhou in particular.  

I also purchased the aromatic, gently flavoured and slightly buttery, Chrysanthemum Silver Needle variety from Fujian Province – sublime.  

Something new and not inebriating – I’ll sample some other varieties over coming months.

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