Chrysanthemum tea

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Chrysanthemum tea
Chrysanthemum tea.JPG
TypeHerbal tea

Other names
  • Gukhwa-cha
  • júhuā-chá
OriginEast Asia (China)

Quick descriptionTea made from dried chrysanthemum

Temperature100 °C (212 °F)
Time2‒3 minutes
Regional names
Chinese name
Vietnamese name
Vietnamesetrà hoa cúc
Thai name
RTGSnam kekhuai
Korean name
Malay name
Malayteh kekwa
Indonesian name
Indonesianteh krisan (Chi Hua Ching)
Tamil name

Chrysanthemum tea is a flower-based infusion beverage made from chrysanthemum flowers of the species Chrysanthemum morifolium or Chrysanthemum indicum, which are most popular in East and Southeast Asia.

To prepare the tea, chrysanthemum flowers (usually dried) are steeped in hot water (usually 90 to 95 degrees Celsius after cooling from a boil) in either a teapot, cup, or glass; often rock sugar or cane sugar is also added, and occasionally also wolfberries. The resulting drink is transparent and ranges from pale to bright yellow in color, with a floral aroma. In Chinese tradition, once a pot of chrysanthemum tea has been drunk, hot water is typically added again to the flowers in the pot (producing a tea that is slightly less strong); this process is often repeated several times. Chrysanthemum tea was first drunk during the Song Dynasty (960–1279).[1]



Several varieties of chrysanthemum, ranging from white to pale or bright yellow in color, are used for tea. These include:

  • Huángshān-gòngjú (黄山贡菊, literally "Yellow Mountain tribute chrysanthemum"); also called simply gòngjú (贡菊)
  • Hángbáijú (杭白菊), originating from Tongxiang, near Hangzhou; also called simply Hángjú, (杭菊)
  • Chújú (滁菊), originating from the Chuzhou district of Anhui
  • Bójú (亳菊), originating in the Bozhou district of Anhui

Of these, the first two are most popular. Some varieties feature a prominent yellow flower head while others do not.


Gukhwa-cha (chrysanthemum tea)

Gukhwacha (국화차; 菊花茶) is made from dried Indian chrysanthemum collected before fully opened.

  • Chrysanthemum tea – The flowers are blanched in bamboo salt water, carefully washed in cold water and drained on kitchen towel. The drained flowers are covered with hanji and dried in an ondol (floor-heated) room. When served, three to four flowers are added to hot water.
  • Honey chrysanthemum tea – The flowers are carefully washed and dried, then preserved in honey for three to four weeks. When served, the preserved flowers are added to hot water.
  • Medicinal chrysanthemum tea – The flowers are washed carefully, steamed using the water mixed with herbal decoction and dried. When fully dried, they are steamed again, and dried again. This process is repeated nine times. Water to decoction ratio can be 8:1, and the decoction is usually made of dried roots of white woodland peony, steamed and dried roots of rehmannia, dried roots of Korean angelica, and dried roots of lovage.

Commercial availability[edit]

A pack of Yeo's Chrysanthemum tea, available commercially in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Although typically prepared at home, chrysanthemum tea is also available as a beverage in many Asian restaurants (particularly Chinese), and is also available from various drinks outlets in Asia as well as Asian grocery stores outside Asia in canned or packed form, be it in whole in grain or teabag presentation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Campbell, Dawn L. (1995). The tea book. Gretna: Pelican Publishing. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-56554-074-3.