23 June, 2010

Philicon brand Rose Elixir

Before getting to the rose elixir, I need to relate some backstory that will help you understand this post a little better.

When I was in high school, about four years ago, there was this really amazing little coffee shop, the Blue Moon, up the street from "The X" (a landmark intersection) in Springfield MA. After school on Fridays, a couple of my friends and I would walk from the school to the coffee shop, and we'd all get something to drink.

Being the adventurous sort that I am, I used to take great delight in trying the loose teas that lined the walls. The loose teas they kept in the glass jars were usually custom herbal blends or floral teas, but the one I really enjoyed the most and always ended up going back to was the rose petal tea. It was something like an 80/20 mix of rose petals and black tea that, when steeped, turned the hot water a kind of dark pink. With just a little touch of sugar, it was perfect: it tasted like roses, with the backdrop of the black tea to keep it from being too perfume-y tasting.

After the coffee shop closed, I looked for that rose tea everywhere, but gave up after a few months after never finding it. I figured it was another one of their custom blends. More than I missed the flavor of the tea, though, I liked the other benefits it seemed to have given me. Unlike my other friends, I was down there all the time getting that tea - at least three times a week. The tea made me feel better, like I wasn't as tired or stressed anymore, and it seemed to have helped my terrible acne at the time clear up a little bit.

Fast forward four years to 2009, at my last job. One of my Russian coworkers had approached me because I'd been uncharacteristically irritable and aloof the past few days. He told me about a drink that he and his family used to drink in Russia that he had claimed helped their moods. "Made of roses," he said, nodding, "It's good for you. Refreshes the soul." He told me that I could usually find it at a Russian supermarket in West Springfield. (He laughed when I told him our family shopped at that market.) That weekend, I went down and bought a container of the rose elixir he was talking about.

The only ingredients in this are water, rose petal extract, sugar, and vitamin C. It's got a bright pink color and tastes just like roses. There's no kind of background flavor to pull this from tasting kind of like a cheap perfume. Nonetheless, I like it anyway. It's sweet and floral and reminds me a lot of the tea I used to drink at Blue Moon. It's only available during the mid-spring to the late-summer, so it's not something I can get all year round. And, as my coworker had said, in about a week, I did start to feel better. Because the tea made me feel the same way, I chalk it up to something in the rose petals that acts as a mood booster.

Whatever it is, I love it.


Marlena said...

It's a bit of a trek, but Tealuxe (located in Cambridge) has rose tea as well. It is very good quality tea, and I can taste the roses strongly in it, though I am not sure what the rose petal to tea ratio is. If it's not rosy enough for you, you could always add rose elixir or even dried rose petals to the mix.

Inside Outside Under Tokyo said...

Thank-you for verifying the taste is good. I am going to use this as a base for making mead. Something you might consider yourself if you enjoy the taste of rose and honey. It's a fairly simple and enjoyable process.