Friday, July 5, 2013

Urban Herbs #7 - Rose Buds

My Urban Herb series is a collection of posts describing my experiences infusing and drinking plants that are growing around my house. Today I'm featuring rose buds, an herb that some sources say may aid digestion and relaxation, and may contain a fair amount of vitamin C. I have tasted several rose bud infusions from China and found them to be very pleasant but this will be my first time drinking local rose buds.

I have an English rose bush in the front yard that is at least 10 years old. It is very productive and flowers several times a year. Its buds are plump and pink and they open into pretty little white roses. with wonderful aroma. 

For this tasting I picked ~20 buds and let them dry on a windowsill for a week. I steeped them for five minutes in six ounces of boiling spring water.

The resulting brew had a clear yellow-pink color liquor. The smell was a little bit rosy but also buttery and fishy. I took a few sips. Yuck. This is just awful. The flavor is stale, earthy, fishy, and bitter.

Maybe it was the particular rose varietal or maybe they would have tasted better if I'd infused them right after plucking? Who knows? I may do some more experiments someday but this first attempt has put me off home-grown rose buds for the time being.


Anonymous said...

How close was the rosebush to the road? Plants very easily pick up pollutants, so you might have been tasting exhaust and car oil...

Brett said...

Good question Herbertinc. Like many people in Seattle who have been bitten by the "urban farm bug," we have plants growing all around the house. But our street is such a quiet street with very little traffic... so I don't think that's the problem.