Pomegranate and floral green tea recipe

Posted on December 22, 2012


My propensity to mix drinks started long before I learnt how to mix a vodka cranberry. One of the more legendary concoctions my brother and I came up with in our childhood involved 2 different flavoured cordials, 3 types of milks (regular, soy and condensed), jam, salt and lemonade. Sounds horrific to me now, but just goes to show how much our palates mature because I remember rather enjoying that abhorrent mixture.

I’m sure my family and friends are relieved that I’ve outgrown the urge to treat the kitchen like a chemistry lab. Now I prefer using the KISS standard; keep it simple stupid. Take this pomegranate and floral green tea, it has just enough ingredients to add some complexity in taste without being too confusing. It’s a refreshing summer quencher and nice alternative to soft drinks and other overly sweet retail offerings. And look at this, it’s a green and red drink. I have more Christmas spirit than I realised! Double the healthy goodness too, as both pomegranate and green tea are praised for being rich in antioxidants. (If that’s too healthy and virtuous for your holidays, I’m thinking a bit of gin could make it a little more fun…)

P1020029 Now onto some notes on tea leaves. I used a Chinese green tea, the long jing or ‘dragon well’ variety. Other varieties would work fine too, but I wouldn’t use a jasmine green tea (given we are adding floral accents anyway) or genmaicha (Japanese green tea with roasted brown rice). Green tea is unfermented and therefore has a shorter shelf life than black tea. When I bought my green tea leaves, I was advised that it’s best to consume within 3 months and store in the fridge to help maintain its freshness. The brewing of green and black tea is also different, green tea should be brewed using water that has been boiled and then left to cool to ~80°C. The tea is recommended to be steeped for about 90 seconds, and it is generally ok to reuse the tea leaves for 3-4 steepings. You will notice minor loss in flavour with each subsequent steeping though, and beyond the 4th use, you may as well be drinking water.

P1020030Osmanthus is a type of dried flower often used to add floral notes in Chinese teas and sweets, a little similar to how jasmine is used. Dried osmanthus flowers and yellow rock sugar can be found at most Asian grocers. If you can’t track them down you, dried roses (also in most Asian grocers) pops in my head as a reasonable substitute and regular white sugar will suffice.

RECIPE – Pomegranate and floral green tea (makes 1L)


  • 1L water
  • 2 tablespoons green tea leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon osmanthus flowers
  • 50g yellow rock sugar
  • Flesh from 1 pomegranate


  1. Place 250mL water, osmanthus flowers and rock sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue simmering until all the sugar has melted and the flowers have released a light fragrance.P1020031
  2. Bring 750mL of water to boil and allow to cool to 80°C. Steep tea leaves in hot water for 1-2 minutes. If like me, you have a small teapot, you will need to do this in batches.
  3. Combine floral syrup with green tea and allow to cool completely.
  4. Once cooled, add in pomegranate flesh and place in the fridge to infuse for at least an hour.
  5. Serve cold and enjoy.P1020033