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An interesting experiment today. In anticipation of a new package of fresh dried osmanthus flowers, expected to arrive from China in the next week or so, used my last pinch in my morning cup of Laoshan Northern Green. I was not sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised that the beany-vegetal tones of the green mixed really well with the honeysuckle sweetness of the o-flowers! A really nice end of summer treat. Of course summer here in Miami will stretch into December, but technically still, summer is over.

David Duckler

Good to know- Thanks! I love playing around with blends, as you might notice from the growing Alchemy line on the site, and love encouraging people to blend. I will have to pick up some osmanthus. Exploring the floral possibilities hadn’t occurred to me yet for this tea. I have been loving it with dried burdock. (In China they have something like burdock called Niubang, but it is much better. Do you know what we call it here?), and with a mix of peppermint and spearmint. Saffron also presents interesting possibilities…

E Alexander Gerster

I wonder if the Niubang you mention is the same as the Burdock known as Gobo in Japanese. The Wikipedia page just lists it as Arctium lappa : Greater Burdock.
Looks like you have been having fun with your blends! I had not seen your new additions and have to kick myself for checking in more regularly. Your site is really informative, entertaining, and tempting!
I usually reserve my osmanthus for oolong and white needle teas, but a friend in Suzhou mentioned that he drinks red tea with osmanthus during the summer, and it sounded good to me! I usually limit my additions to things that grow on my balcony or at my mother’s house like lemongrass, dried mango, mint or other herbs. I use a light touch since I really like the tea to shine through. I guess I could grow tea plants pretty easily here, and have seen that it grows well in some yards, but we have pretty poor soil, and no real change of seasons to speak of. It is something I would at least like to try at some point in my life!

E Alexander Gerster

oops meant to say “for NOT checking in more regularly” but couldn’t edit my comment …

David Duckler

Yes- I think the Arctium Lappa is closest. The Chinese listed was correct “niubang.” It tastes like graham crackers when brewed as a tea, and my memory of it is having it brewed with a bit of rosehips and goji berry whenever I was sick. If I even so much as coughed, my tea friends in China would dig out the niubang to steep for me. Good stuff!

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David Duckler

Good to know- Thanks! I love playing around with blends, as you might notice from the growing Alchemy line on the site, and love encouraging people to blend. I will have to pick up some osmanthus. Exploring the floral possibilities hadn’t occurred to me yet for this tea. I have been loving it with dried burdock. (In China they have something like burdock called Niubang, but it is much better. Do you know what we call it here?), and with a mix of peppermint and spearmint. Saffron also presents interesting possibilities…

E Alexander Gerster

I wonder if the Niubang you mention is the same as the Burdock known as Gobo in Japanese. The Wikipedia page just lists it as Arctium lappa : Greater Burdock.
Looks like you have been having fun with your blends! I had not seen your new additions and have to kick myself for checking in more regularly. Your site is really informative, entertaining, and tempting!
I usually reserve my osmanthus for oolong and white needle teas, but a friend in Suzhou mentioned that he drinks red tea with osmanthus during the summer, and it sounded good to me! I usually limit my additions to things that grow on my balcony or at my mother’s house like lemongrass, dried mango, mint or other herbs. I use a light touch since I really like the tea to shine through. I guess I could grow tea plants pretty easily here, and have seen that it grows well in some yards, but we have pretty poor soil, and no real change of seasons to speak of. It is something I would at least like to try at some point in my life!

E Alexander Gerster

oops meant to say “for NOT checking in more regularly” but couldn’t edit my comment …

David Duckler

Yes- I think the Arctium Lappa is closest. The Chinese listed was correct “niubang.” It tastes like graham crackers when brewed as a tea, and my memory of it is having it brewed with a bit of rosehips and goji berry whenever I was sick. If I even so much as coughed, my tea friends in China would dig out the niubang to steep for me. Good stuff!

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I have been drinking tea for most of my life, and enjoy learning about Tea Culture from all around the world. I learned early about Russian and British traditions first, since my parents came from Europe, followed by the teas and culture of Ceylon/Sri Lanka and India. Since I have been a practicing Buddhist for the better part of 25 years, I have strong ties to Asia, and have slowly been learning about the teas from each part of the world I encounter. It is a wonderful and interesting journey.

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Miami, Florida, United States

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