Sakurayu, also known as cherry blossom Tea, is a traditional Japanese infusion made with cherry blossoms petals. It is a very popular drink in Japanese weddings or other special celebrations because “Sakura” represents “beginning”.
This Tea is made with fresh cherry blossom petals which are pickled in salt and plum vinegar and then dried . As fresh cherry blossoms can be harvested only once a year, Japanese started pickling them in salt and plum vinegar in order to be able to enjoy the Sakura flavour throughout the whole year.
There are two ways to prepare Sakura Tea:
Take one or two flowers for each cup of Tea and remove as much salt of the flower as you like before using them. Pour hot water over it and you get a light colored tea. It has a light scent of sakura flowers and an intense flavor of cherry blossoms. Although edible the flowers remaining in the Tea usually are not eaten.
If you want to further remove the salt, it is better to first soak the blossoms for 5 minutes in warm water. You then put one or two flowers in a tea cup and pour hot water on it. Adjust the flavor and saltiness by adding some of the salty water with a spoon.
A common variation is to add a flower or two to green Tea when pouring hot water over the leaves. The result is a naturally flavored green Tea.
Sakura Tea has a subtle flowery scent and flavour with an unusual saltiness. The flavor of these sakura cherry blossoms, being the blossoms and not the fruit, is quite different from the cherry fruit flavor which is common in Japanese cherry green Teas which have cherry fruit flavoring).
If you’ve never had sakura Tea before, be prepared for a wonderfully unique experience!!
Happy Tea Break.