This fresh elderflower tea tastes of summer. If you enjoy the fragrant flavour of elderflower blossom, and have an elder bush nearby, why not go foraging and give this wild tea a go? It's quick and easy herbal infusion, and very refreshing.
Why make elder blossom tea?
- It tastes delicious, and is a very refreshing herbal tea. Elderflower blossom has a unique fruity, floral green flavour. And an infusion of fresh flowers is the best way to capture that delicate taste of summertime.
- Quick and easy to make. Making elderflower tea with fresh flowers will take you no longer than using a tea bag.
- Cost effective. If you've got elderflowers in the nearby fields or your garden, you can forage the ingredients for this wild tea for free!
- Healthy. Not only is elderflower tea caffeine free, but it's also been used in herbal medicine for generations. Traditionally, it is used to treat colds and flu, blocked sinuses and seasonal allergies. It is also a good source of antioxidants including vitamin C. You can also drink it as a relaxing bedtime tea.
How to pick elderflowers
In late May and June in the UK, the frothy creamy white elderflowers are widely available in the countryside. Elder (Sambucus nigra) is a very common shrub which grows in woodland and along hedgerows. If you are foraging elderflowers from the wild, please do make sure you use a good field guide to identify the plant correctly. The woodland trust has a good guide to the British elder.
Make you that you pick your flowers away from heavy traffic, so that they are clean. It's best to collect them in the morning on a dry sunny day. Pick the flowers that are fully open but not yet turning brown. They'll go limp quickly, so use them straight away unless you are intending to dry them.
Later in the year, the elderflowers will turn into elderberries, hence the alternative name of elderberry flower tea. So make sure that you only pick a few flowers from each bush.
You can make a quick and easy elderberry cordial with the deep purple berries. Stash some of the berries in the freezer so you can make it throughout the winter months.
All you need for this for this herbal tea is one or two elderflower heads and some hot water. If you want to use dried elderflowers out of season, you'll need a dessert spoon per person.
How to make elderflower tea
I prefer not to wash fresh elderflowers, as it'll wash off the pollen which removes some of the flavour. But do give them a good shake to make sure there's no insects lurking in the fragrant heads.
Then remove the flower heads from the stems and discard the stalks. It's important that neither leaves nor stalks end up in the tea as they can cause an upset stomach.
Place the flower heads in a pot or jug that can withstand hot water. Add 400ml just boiled water. It's best to allow the water to come off the boil to preserve the antioxidants in the elderflowers. Leave to brew for 5 or 10 minutes, strain and enjoy.
To brew tea with dried elderflowers
Add the dried flowers to the pot and infuse and strain as above.
Enjoy elderberry flower tea as it comes, or sweeten with a little honey. You could also add a squeeze of lemon if you like.
If you drink green tea, you could brew a mix of green tea and elderflower. The flavours go well together.
Iced elderflower tea
If you'd prefer a cold drink, try iced elderflower tea. Leave the tea to cool, and add a slice of lemon. Sweeten to taste with honey, and serve over ice. You can also add a sprig of mint.
No, elderflower blossom is naturally caffeine free. So you can enjoy a relaxing cuppa at any time of the day, including before bed.
Yes. If you enjoy elderflower tea and want to make it out of season, dry some of the flowers. Spread them out to dry on absorbent paper, and place them in a warm, airy spot out of the sunshine. Store in an airtight container.
Elderberry flower tea is a great way to enjoy the benefits of elderflower. Many elderflower drinks are loaded with sugar, whereas this tea has no added sugar. It's also virtually calorie free. Elderflowers are high in antioxidants, and have traditionally been used in herbal medicine.
Other healthy drinks you might like
These healthy drinks are all low in added sugar, and made with nutritious ingredients. If you enjoy foraging, or have a few ingredients in the garden, you can make wild nettle and mint tea or rosehip tea for free. Or try this quick elderberry cordial.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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- 1 teapot or heat resistant jug
- 2 elderflowers
- 400 ml just boiled water
- Shake the elderflowers to ensure there are no insects trapped in the flowers. Remove the stems and discard.
- Add the elderflowers to a heat resistant jug or teapot. Pour over 400ml just boiled water.
- Leave to brew for 10 minutes and strain.