Saturday, February 15, 2014

February is For...

Plum Blossom Herbal Tea

Plum Blossoms!  In Japanese culture, February denotes the time for the delicate and long awaited plum blossom.  The plum is an early blooming tree that blossoms despite the cold weather.  It is one of the three friends of winter, with bamboo and pine.  I haven't seen any plums blooming around here yet, but it may be blooming in the protected shelter of the Japanese or Chinese gardens.  The DH (dear hubby) brought in these plum branches so that they would bloom in February for me (Awww!)


Dried plum blossoms make a delicious tisane, with a pleasing aroma and subtle tart flavor.  The buds hold up to numerous steeps and are said to be good for general relaxation.  My plum blossom herbal tea came from New Century Tea Gallery in Seattle.



Both plum and cherry blossoms are common in Japanese arts and crafts.  A rule of thumb for telling them apart is that cherry blossoms have a little notch in the end of the flower petal while plum blossoms do not.  I believe the motif in the teapot below is plum (no notch).  If anyone thinks differently, please tell me.





5 comments:

CO Tea Lover said...

This is my favorite tea from New Century, I will have to have you get more for me on your next visit in October! I love the calm of this tea on winter evenings.

Teafan said...

Wow - I had no idea. I would love to try this.

Marilyn said...

Love seeing your plum blossoms. We forced some too, but didn't get as many blossoms. Didn't know there was a herbal "tea" of plum blossoms. Guess I need to pay better attention.

Angela McRae said...

I love these forced branches! Beautiful!

Teafan said...

PS - A Poem for you...

In the early dawn,
Clouds dwelling in the treetops,
Descend upon us,
The first plum blossoms this year
Glimmer with subtle crimson.

Nij┼Ź Yoshimoto