What’s better to welcome the arrival of Spring than a cup of sakura tea? Sakura tea is made with pickled cherry blossoms. When you brew the tea, the cherry blossom “blooms” in the water. It’s really pretty and makes this the perfect drink for hanami or cherry blossom festival.
How To Make Sakura Tea with Pickled Cherry Blossoms
To make sakura tea, you’ll need some pickled cherry blossoms, two cups, hot water and a spoon.
First, take out 1-2 pickled cherry blossoms and remove some of the excess salt. This is an optional step but can help reduce the saltiness of the tea.
Next, place the picked cherry blossoms in one of the cups and add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of hot water. Let this steep for about a minute.
When ready, transfer the blossoms to the second cup. I usually add some hot water in the second cup first, then transfer the pickled cherry blossoms with a spoon. The water makes releasing the blossoms from the spoon easier.
Fill the second cup with hot water to make 3/4 cup. Try to avoid pouring directly onto the cherry blossoms as it will cause petals to come off. Let the tea steep for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Now the sakura tea is ready! You can adjust the strength of the tea by adding more water from the first cup (the concentrated tea).
Tip: I find that adding a sprinkle of sugar to the sakura tea enhances the flavour.
Where to Buy Pickled Cherry Blossoms for Sakura Tea
You might be able to find pickled cherry blossoms at your local Japanese or Asian supermarkets. If you can’t find them, you can buy pickled cherry blossoms online.
How to Store Picked Cherry Blossoms
Store the pickled cherry blossoms in a cool dark place once the package is opened. Usually, they have a 1-year shelf life.
What to Pair with Sakura Tea
Sakura tea goes well with desserts as the mild saltiness of the tea provides a nice contrast to sweet treats. For example, you can pair sakura tea with wagashi, daifuku, dorayaki or puddings.
Sakura tea is the perfect drink to go with Japanese sweets. This tea is made with pickled cherry blossoms and is very different than other flower or herbal teas. Try pairing it with some Japanese sweets such as wagashi or daifuku.
- 1-2 pcs pickled cherry blossoms
- hot water
- sugar (to taste)
Using a pair of chopsticks, take out 1 to 2 salt pickled cherry blossoms from the package and remove some of the excess salt.
Place the pickled cherry blossoms in the 1st cup. Add about 1/4-1/3 cup of hot water. Let this steep for about 1 minute.
Add some hot water to the 2nd cup. Using a spoon, transfer the cherry blossom from the 1st cup to the 2nd cup. Add more hot water to make 3/4 cup. Let the tea steep for another 1-2 minutes.
The sakura tea is now ready. Adjust the strength of the tea by adding more water from the first cup (step 2). You can also add a bit of sugar to taste.