Types of chrysanthemum tea

Chrysanthemum tea, ju” hua cha (guk fa cha) comes in tea bags, or as dried flowers in square plastic bags usually placed on the bottom shelf with other cheap herbs in dirty plastic bags placed on the bottom shelf of an Asian food market.

Sometimes the plastic bags of dried chrysanthemum flowers are labeled as “ju” hua” (guk fa) or “chrysanthemum flowers”. It is understood that the dried chrysanthemum flowers are to be used only to make tea, maybe a relatively strong tea, as idling bureaucrats on Taiwan used to do. We used to each have a very tall glass filled almost 3/4 full of dried chrysanthemum flowers. The office boy would come by with a big kettle of boiling hot water and fill each glass to the rim, sometimes at long distances without leaving a drop of hot water outside the glasses. It is a kind of “kung fu pouring of boiling water from long distances.”

It is also understood that dried chrysanthemum flowers are not to be used with other teas except the restaurant combination known as “guk pou” cha, which is a restaurant creation of a combination of chrysanthemum flowers and Pu Erh tea. This would be the only combination using chrysanthemum flowers that is not toxic.

Chrysanthemum is the most common and the only ingredient of bug sprays because in concentrated form it is a very strong nerve toxin.

And now you know why Chinese bureaucrats never get anything done.


About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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