This is possibly the most expensive pot of rose bud tea ever. I’m at a cafe in the Beijing airport (Cafe Sambal, to be specific), and while I wasn’t shocked that my food was way overpriced, especially by Beijing standards, their profit margins must be the highest on tea. A pot of rose tea is close to $30, and that’s one of the “cheap” teas! Heaven forbid I want a pot of tieguanyin or something. It’s a pretty decently sized pot, but it doesn’t come close to $30 of herbal tea. But having not had the greatest of days so far, I said F it, I want some F-ing rose tea.
I’m realizing that I’ve never actually had just straight rose buds tea. I bought those rose buds at the beginning of my trip that I used to mix with the tieguanyin I bought, but I never drank them on their own. Rose buds as an herbal infusion really taste so different than, say, a rose black. They’re unsurprisingly much closer to the flavor of a white tea with rose, which usually is just literally white tea and rosebuds. This is reminding me a bit of the Meditative Mind blend from the Tea Spot, which is a white tea with rosebuds along with some jasmine pearls. But you never steep white tea for very long (at least I don’t), so it’s been interesting to see how this pot has progressed as it has steeped from my first cup, after steeping a short time, to my final cup, after it has steeped for at least half and hour. I mean, basically all the flavors stayed very similar, but they just intensified incredibly. At first it was lightly rosey, a bit vegetal, a tad earthy, slightly hay-ish (all those descriptors make me understand why rose buds go well with puerh). Of those, the rose and hay come out most, but then there’s a lovely, surprising sweetness.
Well, they just refilled my pot with hot water, so at least I’m getting closer to my money’s worth. I wonder how long rose buds last in infusion? I guess I’ll be finding out this afternoon!