This fresh elderflower tea tastes of summer. If you enjoy the flavour of elderflower cordial, and have an elder bush nearby, why not give this tea a go? It's quick and easy to make, and very refreshing.
All you need for this recipe is one or two elderflower heads and some hot water.
In late May and June in the UK, the frothy creamy white elderflowers are widely available in the countryside. Elder is a very common shrub which grows in woodland and along hedgerows. If you are picking 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.
Later in the year, the elderflowers will turn into elderberries, so make sure that you don't strip the tree of all its flowers. 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.
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 steep for 5 or 10 minutes, strain and enjoy.
Enjoy elderflower tea as it comes, or sweeten with a little honey.
If you drink green tea, you could brew a mix of green tea and elderflower. The flavours go well together.
If you'd prefer a cold drink, try iced elderflower tea. Leave the tea to cool, and add a squeeze of lemon. Sweeten to taste with honey, and serve over ice.
No, elderflowers are naturally caffeine free. So you can enjoy a cuppa at any time of the day.
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.
Other healthy drinks you might like
- 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.