My packet of chrysanthemum tea arrived Tuesday, just 10 days after I placed my order with It came all the way from Malaysia, replete with customs ticket and pretty bird stamps. The tiny pearl buds brew a fragrant, pleasant-tasting infusion, pale golden yellow in color, and very warming to drink.

Chrysanthemum tea, according to some tea websites, is indicated for arthritis, heartburn, and “internal heat.” Since drinking this tea in the evenings when I am most chilled, I haven’t noticed any let up in my arthritic symptoms, but I do experience a sense of heat, almost like a hot flash. When the flash subsides, I remain warm and the chill does not return.

This tea is not really tea,  but pure chrysanthemum buds, so it contains no caffeine. I find it a  pleasant change from chamomile; I  prefer its taste to the trusty ragweed, and it seems to be equally relaxing.

I prefer to brew my chrysanthemum tea for at least 3 to 5 minutes. recommends 2 to 4 minutes, but to my taste, this does not produce as nice a fragrance and flavor. You can rebrew the buds 4 to 6 times for good teaconomy, too. Just store them covered in the refrigerator if you won’t brew again within the day.

Merry Christmas, colleagues in homekeeping! May God bless and keep you with warm hearts and warm hearths.