Rosehip is one of the most popular herbal teas in Turkey. While I was growing here, I did hear it a lot, and I remember tasting but not being impressed. Whenever I hear about rosehip in Turkey or elsewhere, I thought of a sour taste. However, I was wrong after tasting this rosehip which was hand-picked and dried by local people in a remote village of Rize. In a nutshell, it was not sour at all. It had a smooth sweetness balanced with a subtle tartness and some characteristic fruity taste.
Rosehips are the berry fruits of Rosa canina L plant which are wild and widespread across Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia. I did not know that both fresh and dried rosehips are used in herbal tea (Wenzig et al. 2008). When I was handed over this tea, the lady who dried it told me that I should soak the fruits from 1 day before so that it can infuse easily. She was right, but I neither had time nor patience to implement her suggestion. I infused the dried fruits in hot water for 30 sec, and I got a very faint liquid. It should be a brownish colour, and I only achieved it after one day when I infused the fruits for longer. This is important because infusion time and temperature have been reported to be the most critical parameters that affect the total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of tea beverages (Lantano et al. 2015).
Apart from being antioxidant, rosehip tea is also a good source of vitamin C (Nojavan et al. 2008). In Turkey, Rosehip tea is mostly drunk in the winter to strengthen the immune system. Traditionally it is used for the treatment of colds, the flu, and arthritis (Wenzig et al. 2008). Having access to a tea form of vitamin C is indeed fantastic. I will add another jar to my cupboard and place it next to my other herbal teas.
Type: Tisane (non-tea)
Harvest time: Summer 2019
Leave colour: Reddish brown berries
Liquor colour: Cloudy reddish brown
Tea aroma: Fruity
Tea taste: Slightly sweet and tart with fruity notes
Steeping/brewing: Boil about 4 gr of dry rosebuds in hot water for about 5 minutes and drink it after cooling down. Alternatively, you can soak the berries overnight and reduce the steeping time
Shelf life: Up to 2 years (the freshest the better)