Shandong Rose is a Chinese variety of "Flower Queen", grown in Shandong province. Rose tea is magnificent itself and as an integral part of herbal mixtures. The tradition of adding a rose to tea extensively occurs in the Middle Kingdom from the time of the Ming Dynasty. Nowadays, a rose is often added to shu-puer and red varieties.
For the first acquaintance, it is best to take a gaiwan or glass teapot. Recommended proportion: 10-12 dried flowers per 100 ml. Pour hot water (80-95 °C), let it brew for 1 min, and drink, adding a new water up to 10 times.
Rose phyto tea is transparent liquor of light lilac shade (in the process of brewing turns yellow), divine fragrance and subtle, sweetish taste with delicate sourness and apricot stone nuance.
Rose phyto tea relieves stress, facilitates breathing, increases efficiency, stimulates intelligence and opens the heart for love and inspiration. During emotional overloads and insomnia, it's very good to sip on a rose phyto-tea with willow-herb and linden flowers before going to bed.
Rose in the history and culture of different peoples
Rose is one of the most ancient plants cultivated by Homo Sapiens, and a flower with unmatched abundance of stories, myths and legends.
In ancient India, rose was an attribute of Vishnu The Guardian of The Universe. He created the wonderful flower from 108 big and 1008 little petals. When he smelled the delightful fragrance of his creation, Vishnu saw it was truly beautiful and kissed it. Inside the rose bud, the kiss gave birth to the most beautiful woman and his future consort Lakshmi. That's why Indian priests decorated temples with rose flowers, and carpeted passages with rose petals during religious festivals and celebrations. It was believed that contemplating roses in blossom cleared the mind, healed the soul and brought it to harmony with the world.
Ancient Greeks also considered rose to be a gift from gods. The legend says, it was born from sea foam that was veiling Aphrodite's body when the goddess came out of the sea. Aphrodite's temples were surrounded by rose gardens. The beautiful flower was embossed on Greek coins, rose petals were spread on the ways of victorious ones, decorated dresses of brides, marital beds and funeral urns.
In Rome Republic, rose was a symbol of high ethics and courage, a kind of a medal for valour. Legionnaires who first forced the fight to the enemy camp were granted the favour to carry bunches of roses during the triumphal processions and engrave rose images on their shields. In the days of celebrations, homes and shrines, graves and funeral urns were decorated with roses. Rose was the flower of Harpokrates, the god of silence. It was believed that rose brings sobriety and stops drunk people from talking too much, that's why ceilings of dining-halls in rich Roman houses were also decorated with roses, to remind the guests that what was said at dinner should kept secret.
However after the fall of Roman Empire rose became the symbol of fun and drunken orgies. Millions of rose petals were falling down as "rain and snow" from the turning ceilings that were featuring seasons change during Emperor Nero's feasts.
In ancient Germany, rose was the flower of the Queen of the Sky Frigg. It is still called Friggadorn in many German regions. To pick roses was only allowed on Fridays - Frigg's days. It was used for love spells. To attract a husband, a maiden was supposed to wear 3 roses (white, pink and dark red) on her heart during 3 days, 3 nights and 3 hours, then say prayers Pater Noster and Ave Maria over the flowers, steep them in wine for 2 days, 3 nights and 3 hours, and prepare a liqueur which should be given to the beloved.
Muslims believe that the rose was given to the world by Allah Himself, and it has divine cleansing power. The Egyptian sultan Saladin, when he had entered Jerusalem freed from crusaders in 1187, ordered to wash the floor and the walls of Qubbat as-Sakhrah (the Mosque of Omar, which was turned to a Christian church) with rose water. The same order was given by Mehmet II about The Saint Sophia Temple after the Turks took Constantinople in 1453.
For Christians, especially Catholics, the queen of flowers represents the idea of innocence, purity and chastity. The Virgin Mary is called "the Magic Rose of the Skies", "the White Rose without Thorns". A red rose appeared from several drops of the blood which fell from The Saviour's body nailed at the Cross. A rose on a cross was the emblem of the secret medieval order of Rosicrucians ("Brotherhood of the Rose and the Cross"). Their main goals were: realizing Divine Wisdom, revealing mysteries of Nature and helping people. "The Golden Rose" is a reward of the Vatikan, granted for outstanding virtue on the day of «Dominica in rosa» (Rose Sunday, the 4th Sunday of the Lenten Season). Rose was added to the water for baptising in the Middle Ages.
According to alchemists, rose symbolizes transmutation of matter into spirit, as well as freedom from desires. In Kabbala, rose is a kind of a mystic center, the heart of the whole creation. In Sufism, it is a symbol of cosmic power. The heart of the flower is associated with the Sun, and the petals with the moons. In William Blake's romanticism, the rose symbolizes innocence poisoned by experience, good distorted by evil, infinity veiled by time. "The Rose of the World" of Daniel Andreyev is conceived as a future universal religion - with its roots in the sky, and its petals being the religious traditions of the world descending from one source. For C.G.Jung, rose denominates wholeness of human personality, the balance between consciousness and subconsciousness.
In China, the rose is a symbol of power and abundance, that's why the yellow (Chinese) rose is an official emblem of Beijing. Roses have been cultivated there for ages. However, the tradition to add rose buds to tea appeared only during the time of Míng dynasty in XIV - XV centuries.