Now, it's winter flu in Melbourne as you all know, so it's brrrr-ry cold with everyone passing the winter flu to one another like nobody's business. And please, STOP with all the swine flu scare stories already! Especially people from Singapore, you guys are probably the highest infected per capita in the world so stop acting like we are the ones spreading the H1N1 to your region. Kills me when I heard my grandma won't be coming because of my aunts and uncles telling her we got swine flu here everywhere. I have not seen her in 9 years, and darn ignorant reporting in Singapore is standing in the way. Not to mention it will be her first visit to Australia. This is my maternal gran, my paternal gran has been here and stayed with my parents heaps for months at a time.
Anyway, moving on to the Chrysanthemum Tea. So naturally in this wintry weather and with lots of inconsiderate selfish people spreading the flu around (yeah, the common flu, not the swine flu although a lot of those who caught this and did not stay quarantined are worse than swines and I don't mean to insult pigs mind you), I of course came down with the cold. Even with ducted heating that heats up the rest of the house but the master bedroom, which of course is where I spend most of my time, I was still feeling the no-appetite (almost) sick feeling of brrr-ness with the most hideous puffy eyes (which are already pretty small) and lethargy.
So S made me some instant chrysanthemum hot drink from this metal cannister that he bought in the shops innocently thinking he can't go wrong as it came direct from China. WRONG! The best brand for instant chrysanthemum tea is actually from Singapore. The local brand there called Super makes some nice instant drinks including an oatmeal drink most Singaporeans gurgle in the morning with their Kaya Toast. Ok, this I did not experience first-hand but I was told by rellies, who think I'm so ang moh I probably have bacon, eggs and tea for brekkie. Duh, I don't even eat breakfast. Anyway, my parents are on a visit to Singapore now and Daddy (ok, so I'm in my early 30s but I will call him Daddy not Dad, not Father if I want to, what's it to you?) said he's bought heaps of Super Chrysanthemum for me as well as this instant oat drink so will report when he comes back home to Melbourne.
Back to the Honey Chrysanthemum tea. To be fair, I did give the China brand a fair go and it really wasn't bad at all despite tasting kinda diluted, and yes I did add enough powder. But when S came back with my fave Super Honey Chrysanthemum, deng-deng-deng!
It comes in a satchel in powder form which you stir with hot water or cold if you prefer but hot is the way to go I find. There are 40 satchels in a bag and it costs approx $8+ from any Asian grocery store.
I have a good-sized mug so I tend to add 2 satchels rather than just 1. A tip is not to fill the water up to the brim so as not to dilute it too much. And unless your mug is the same size as mine is, I would suggest about 1 satchel to one average mug.
Anyway, the powder does melt really quickly when I stirred vigorously in boiling water. The taste is sweet with a honey aftertaste, but not in the sickeningly overly sweet way that you can't taste the flavour. The chrysanthemum accents come through and even when you have that honey aftertaste, you can still taste the slight bitterness of the chrysanthemum. You Aussies would have had this tea at many Yum Chas (Dim Sum for Singaporeans).
Each satchel looks like this:
Nothing beats the feeling of sipping a warm mug of this curled up with my beautiful doggies and an Hermès blankie on the couch (get that passé velour thought out of your head, it's white Gainsville leather in a contemporary style) watching tv or reading Vogue or HB on a winter's day. I like that a nice winter drink does not have to contain the heaviness of dairy or chocolate and yet still provide the nice comfort of a warm trickling sensation down my tum without making me bloated.