I know it’s only March, but this year’s super bloom in California has me excited to use flowers for flavoring my kombucha. If you attended this weekend’s workshop, you got to sample some green tea kombucha flavored with orange blossoms. So fragrant and sweet - reminiscent of jasmine or tuberroses, just 4 flowers are enough to transform any 16 oz bottle of booch into a heavenly brew!
Orange blossom oil, known as neroli, is often used to treat skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, wrinkles, scars and stretch marks. But when ingested, it also has a calming effect on the nervous system and may be used to alleviate stress, depression and physical tension (1). All the more reason to add a few blossoms to your second fermentation.
You will be surprised to find out just how many flowers are actually edible. Below you will find a list and some descriptions of flowers I will be using for flavoring kombucha. Join me this spring for a workshop to flavor your own bottle of kombucha using locally grown, organic flowers.
Frangipani - better known as plumeria, is an edible delight that will inspire you to daydream about your next tropical vacation.
Red Clover - who doesn’t have this growing wild in their yard? Who knew the leaves can be dried and brewed as tea and the flowers are tasty too (2).
Rose - by any other name would it smell as sweet? Certainly! We love adding the petals and rose buds to our brew. It is recommended to remove the bitter white base of the petal before adding it to kombucha.
Chamomile - easy to recognize by its tiny daisy-like flowers, we frequently brew with it. Come to one of our Spa Night events for a flute of champagne with added calming chamomile kombucha for a surprisingly delightful drink.
Elderflower - this delicate flavor will enhance any green tea kombucha. But be careful when picking, the rest of the plant is poisonous - stems, leaves, and roots. Join me this summer for a Native Plant Walk Workshop and learn to harvest elderflower safely.
Dandelion - you’ll probably be surprised to know that you can eat every part of this plant. I first tried eating dandelion greens when I lived in South Korea, and have drank tea from the dried roots when I needed a substitute for coffee.
Honeysuckle - as sweet as the name implies! Just 3 of these flowers is enough to turn your bottle of kombucha into a candy-like elixir. But do not use the berries, they are highly toxic.
Jasmine - you’ll know it immediately as you walk by because of its intense fragrance. Find it climbing over bushes or fences and pick any color, pink, white, or yellow, to add an intoxicating aroma to any type of kombucha.
Lavender - a popular ornamental plant in my neighborhood. Take 2 large sprigs of flowers, slap them between your palms to release the aromatic oils, and add them to any flavor kombucha.
Hibiscus - have a lovely bold flavor perfectly paired with a black tea kombucha. You can add dried flowers for a stronger flavor.
There are dozens more flowers to choose from like linden and lilac just to name a few, but because they do not grow locally, I did not include them in my list. I prefer to collect what grows around my neighborhood, and I hope as you are out walking the dog, hiking local trails, or driving past plants on your way to work, that you now look at plants in a different way and perhaps are even inspired to try adding some to your own bottles of kombucha.
(1) Source: https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Orange_Blossoms_8808.php
(2) Source: https://www.askaprepper.com/edible-flowers-north-america/