Chinese Rose Tea

Posted by: Carlo Lorenzo

Binondo Manila Chinese Rose Tea-007

I’ve tasted fresh rose petals on salads, rose puree with desserts but I haven’t tried Chinese Rose Tea. That became my accidental adventure in Binondo, Manila.

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Binondo is also called Chinatown. Chinese drugstores are everywhere in Binondo. Growing up I’ve heard of so many stories about them. Exotic, interesting and surprising products can be found in these drugstores.

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So during our shoot in Binondo for the travel show I host I Love Pinas, I wanted to find out firsthand what these drugstores had to offer.

I went inside the first one I saw. Amazing! There were dried lizards, seahorses and so many other plants and animals. I asked how much these were, but they asked for a Chinese prescription which I didn’t have. They said they don’t sell the dried lizards and seahorses unless the customer can show a Chinese prescription detailing the quantity, dosage and instructions.

They didn’t allow me to take pictures, they didn’t let me make interviews and didn’t permit the cameramen to enter.

So I tried the next nearest Chinese drugstore. Same result. And then I tried the next one and finally, the fourth one.

Since all of them sold the same stuff and wouldn’t let us take pictures or videos, I decided to look for something they’re allowed to sell without prescription. That’s when they showed me a variety of dried flowers. The dried rosebuds were most appealing to my eyes so I bought 35 grams for Php80.

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They gave me instructions to make tea.

The rosebuds were smaller than my fingers. They’re reddish-pink and really hard. They didn’t smell like roses at all.

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When I got home, I boiled water. I rinsed the rosebuds with cold running water and put these in the boiling water. You have to take these out after a minute. I added brown sugar.

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The tea had a very faint rose flavor. It tasted Chinese-y, I mean if there was such a term. Maybe this tea wasn’t made for me because it’s not what I expected it to be. Maybe others love it.

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But it was still worth trying. Now I know how Chinese Rose Tea tastes like. Next time, maybe I’ll try real fresh rose petals for tea.


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  • Valerie Coching Devulder

    Hi! Can you still remember what is the name of the store where you first bought it?