Princess Rose Tea
The roses can only wish that we stopped at the smelling. For centuries, we have seen fit to drink the roses too.
Nicholas Culpeper – influential 17th Century botanist, herbalist and physician – prescribed roses for all types of ailments. As he wrote in The Complete Herbal: ‘The decoction of red Roses made with wine and used, is very good for the head-ache, and pains in the eyes, ears, throat, and gums; as also for the fundament, the lower part of the belly and the matrix, being bathed or put into them.’
‘The syrup of dried red Roses strengthens a stomach given to casting, cools an over-heated liver, and the blood in agues, comforts the heart, and resists putrefaction and infection, and helps to stay lasks and fluxes.’
And that was just for starters. Culpeper suggested potions be made from white roses, red roses, electuary of roses, sugar of roses, honey of roses, vinegar of roses, oil of roses, damask rose-water and red rose-cake.
These days, we demand a little less from our roses, but incorporate them into our drinks nevertheless.
No promises of cooling an over-heated liver, but the Princess Blend tea from Murchie’s does start with rose petals. This delicious, fragrant tea brings in pink and white cornflowers, and a touch of bergamot to compliment the star roses.
Murchie’s was started in 1894 by John Murchie, who had moved from Scotland to BC. In 1902, he opened his first tea shop right on Columbia Street in New Westminster. John was known for the secret book he used to track custom blends for customers.
Over the years, the Murchie’s design team has created commemorative royal blends, such as Queen Victoria Tea – Darjeeling, Ceylon, Lapsang Souchong and jasmine, the 1981 Prince Charles Tea – Ceylon, Darjeeling, Keemun and Assam – to mark the wedding of HRH the Prince of Wales (Charles) and Lady Diana Spencer, and the 2011 Wedding Blend – Ceylon tea, jasmine, citrus, blue cornflowers and some rose petals – for William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
This newest Princess Blend rose tea was created to honour the birth of Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.
‘Of the Red Roses are usually made many compositions,’ Culpeper wrote, ‘all serving to sundry good uses.’ We’ll see what type of tea the May 19th royal wedding will inspire and if any rose petals are involved.
Header: From Jan Frans Van Daele. Bouquet of Roses. 1825