I mentioned not too long ago a recent trip to Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, well the other night I had the chance to try out some of the Rose Congou loose tea I picked up in their gift shop while visiting with a friend.
According to the Culinary Tea website, Congou is a general name for non-broken Chinese black teas. Along with the tea are whole rose petals, infusing the whole tea with a delicate rose flavor and scent. I had expected this to be a black tea, with a little bit of a floral scent – but instead this tea was BURSTING with rose flavor! I added a bit of sweetener, but could have only added half as much, as the tea was naturally sweet itself. I normally would add milk to black teas as well, but found that this tea didn’t need milk to mellow out the black tea at all. I had impressions of sitting in long gowns on the porch of a grand home, overlooking fields of wildflowers, taking afternoon tea as a lady of leisure… (Of course, instead we were in a 10th story condo in downtown Calgary – but at least I was wearing a long dress…)
I definitely would recommend this tea to anyone who favors sweet blended black teas, and I’m sure that if I see any other rose teas in my travels, I’m bound to pick up another.
If you absolutely must try this tea, and aren’t planning a trip to Victoria any time soon, you can also order it online. You can also get a similar tea (I haven’t tried it to be sure it’s the same) from Culinary Teas. You can also read more about taking tea at the Butchart Gardens (an experience we missed unfortunately) at the Foodicious blog. Jill, who blogs at the Dragon’s Lair found a similar (though presumably not the same) Rose Congou tea a bit TOO floral for her liking.
As an aside, my friend added some red berry rooibos to the pot after I left and re-steeped the tea, and found it really pleasant – the two flavors mingled well, and the rose tea still had plenty of “oommph” (her words!)
Do you like floral teas, or do you find them too sweet? Let me know your favorites in the comments below!