How to Make Sakura Blossom Tea

How to Make Sakura Blossom Tea

I don’t often drink herbal tea but every spring I treat myself to sakurayu (also known as cherry blossom tea). People travel to places like Washington, D.C., and Tokyo to admire the beautiful blooms on cherry blossom trees every year. Did you know that they were fun to drink too? The weather hasn’t warmed up yet but brewing them is like having my favorite season in a cup.

In Japan, they are a popular herbal tea as well as a flavoring for everything you can think of. There are even sakura Kit Kats! Cherry blossoms are pickled in plum wine and vinegar and then dried. The process can take almost a month to complete. You might see them used for celebrations and special occasions like weddings because they represent new beginnings.

The taste is a bit unusual at first but I really enjoy the subtle floral aroma. Many tea companies will add cherry flavoring to their “sakura” teas. The real thing does not taste sweet and fruity at all but don’t let that scare you.

Here is a little guide on how to brew sakura blossom tea:

Yield: 1 cup

How to Make Sakura Blossom Tea

How to Make Sakura Blossom Tea
Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

Instructions

  1. Place 2-3 flowers in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes. Remove blossoms from bowl. Reserve salted water and set aside.
  2. Gently pour hot water over flowers (approximately 160 degrees fahrenheit), let steep for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Pour yourself a cup of tea and add salted water to taste. Enjoy! Don't forget to take pictures of those beautiful flowers.
  4. Have fun and don't be afraid to experiment. Sakura blossoms are used to flavor many things in Japan, even Kit Kats!

Notes

The entire blossom is edible so don't worry if a petal or two slips into your cup.

I couldn’t resist having a little photo shoot while my flowers were steeping. Don’t they remind you of a prima ballerina in her tutu? The way that they swirl in the water definitely gives that effect.

Sakura blossom tea can be a bit hard to find here in the U.S. so I usually buy mine online. My go-to source for all things Japanese tea is Yunomi! You might get lucky if you check with your local Asian grocery store in the early spring. I have found them at Mitsuwa occasionally.

Have you ever tried this kind of tea? Is there a recipe you like to use sakura blossoms in? Let me know about it in the comments below!

How to Brew Sakura Blossom Tea