I gave up drinking diet sodas earlier this year, right before summer began, and haven’t looked back since. Early on, my go-to replacement when I was craving a diet soda was fruit-infused water— a bit of extra work but totally refreshing and satisfying. If you haven’t had them already, infused waters are created by taking fragrant fruits like strawberries, pineapple, or even cucumbers (preferably organic) and letting them sit and mingle with water. Consider this recipe the fall version of those refreshing summer steeps.
Rose bud tea is picked when roses are still very small and haven’t bloomed yet. Tea blenders often add rose buds into black, green, or even oolong teas to perfume them with rosy fragrance. This recipe showcases the rose bud tea’s aromatic beauty while using apples to complement with subtle, natural sweetness.
It’s important to note that calling rose bud tea a “tea” isn’t actually accurate. As these buds are considered to be caffeine-free, the brewed infusion is more accurately referred to as a tisane—in this case, we are blending a flower tisane (rose buds) with a fruit tisane (apple).
I actually like brewing this tisane several hours before I plan on having it. This allows the rose buds and apple to thoroughly infuse the water with delicate sweetness. I like to have this tea chilled over ice, but it’s also really comforting served hot. If you prefer adding a caffeinated kick to this tea, it would be great with your favorite non-flavored black or green tea thrown in. If you do steep some regular caffeinated tea in, just make sure avoid over-brewing so that the delicate taste of the rose buds still comes through.
The final addition to this simple tisane is rose water. Rose water is widely used in Middle Eastern delicacies like baklava and Turkish Delight. This essence is a by-product of the perfume making process, created in the making of rose oil. I’ve also used rose water to flavor marshmallows, although I must admit I think I was a bit heavy handed when I used it…this stuff is very strong, and can be an acquired taste. There is nothing worse than tasting something that actually tastes like perfume, so rest assure; I’ve measured the amount used in this recipe thoughtfully.
Here’s a simple recipe for a sweet and elegant herbal tea to put those extra fall apples to good use. This tisane is high in Vitamin C–pleasantly soothing, unique, and ideal any time of day. Consider this brew a beautiful, delicious cup of aromatherapy.
Rosy Apple Tea
¼ cup rose bud tea
1 apple, sliced
¼ tsp rose water
4 cups boiling water
Sliced apples to garnish
1.) Place rose buds and sliced apple in heat-resistant bowl or pitcher.
2.) Bring water to full boil and pour into bowl/pitcher. Let the buds and apple steep for at least 8 minutes and up to 4 hours.
3.) Mix in ¼ teaspoon of rose water, and serve warm or over ice.