I love this pretty herbal tea recipe with Persian rose petals and borage flowers. It’s natural, delicious, and full of goodness and so pretty it makes a great thing to give as gift in a pretty jar.
Years ago I had this herbal tea at a friend’s house in Tehran (Iran). He had bought it from a traditional herbalist (attārī). Herbalists’ shops in Iran are amazing places. Jars of exotic seeds and powders line the walls and sacks of dried herbs and flowers with heady, intoxicating scents are displayed in the front of the shop. Most things are sold by bulk. Those shops were heaven for me.
Ali gave me some of the tea to take home and I liked it so much I started making my own as soon as I ran out. Mine actually tasted and looked better than the one from the herbalist because I dry my own mint and I used top quality ingredients.
Persian borage flowers (gol-e gav zaban) are pink when fresh and much larger than the blue, star-shaped flowers of ordinary borage (borago oficinalis). They turn blue after drying. You can buy Persian borage from most Persian groceries and even some Middle Eastern groceries in the UK. It’s available online too.
Same goes with Persian rose petals and dried limes. They are even easier to come by. The mixture of rose petals, cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds, dried limes and mint will still taste very nice and be good for your health without borage, if you can’t find it.
You can find coriander seeds and cinnamon sticks in the Asian section of your supermarket or buy it from Asian groceries. They usually come in bigger packets and are much much cheaper than spices in tiny jars.
To make your own mix 20 grams each of Persian rose petals, Persian borage flowers and dried mint leaves. Add two dried limes and three cinnamon sticks, both broken into pieces. Sprinkle 30 grams of coriander seeds on top. Toss gently and prepare to brew your first cup.
I recommend sweetening your tea with Persian rock candy sticks (nabāt). Rock candy is crystalised sugar but according to traditional Persian medicine it has lots of health benefits including calming upset stomachs.
Here is how to brew your herbal tea mix:
Bring some water to the boil. Put about two tablespoons of the tea mix into a pot and pour over water. Cover the pot with a tea towel and let stand for five minutes. Strain and enjoy with nabat or just unsweetened. I use a teaspoon for eating the softened petals after drinking the tea.