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How to Make Elderflower Tea

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Fragrant elderflower tea made with fresh or dried elderflowers. A relaxing and soothing herbal tea to help you unwind.

If you happen to have elder trees near your home, you are probably familiar with Elderflower Syrup (Cordial) or Elderflower Champagne; these are the most popular drinks made with this beautiful plant. But how about Elderflower Tea? Have you ever tried it?

It’s an aromatic, delicate, herbal beverage, soothing and healthy. All you need are a handful of flowers, water, and some lemon juice. And off-season, you can brew the beverage with dried flowers.

tea with elderflowers in a vintage cup with lemon slice.

Why make elderflower tea?

  • Health benefits:
    • They have been used for centuries in traditional medicine all over the world.
    • The flowers have antibacterial and antiviral properties, making them great if you already have sinusitis, flu, or bronchitis. These properties can also help alleviate some allergies.
    • They are also supposed to help with other respiratory issues, are good against diabetes (they reduce blood sugar levels) or constipation (diuretic, laxative properties).
    • Pure tea (without lemon or sweeteners) can be used for mouthwash or gargle.
  • Taste:
    • It has a wonderful aroma, and you will enjoy drinking it much more than you would enjoy the equally healthy but rather dull camomille tea.
  • Quick to make: about 10 minutes.
  • Cheap: pick the flowers in the fields.

collage of two pictures of elderflower tea with lemon slices.

What do you need for elderflower lemon tea?

  • A handful of flowers, about one or two large ones per cup.
  • Water
  • Lemon
  • Sweeteners: optional. You can sweeten it with honey if you like. Any other sweeteners are fine as well, but I find honey to be the best fit.

Variations:

  • Add some fresh mint leaves, camomille, or sage.

bunch of elderflowers and halved lemon on a table.

How to brew tea with elderflowers?

  1. Shake the flowers over the sink to remove any small insects or dirt that might cling to them. It is not recommendable to wash them, as they will lose a lot of their flavor.
  2. Remove all the stems, leaves, and twigs; they can cause a toxic buildup of cyanide in the body. The smallest stem attachments holding the tiny flowers are ok.
  3. Place the petals into a small pot or in a teapot.
  4. Boil water in a kettle and pour it into the pot.
  5. Let steep for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Strain the elderflower tea into cups.
  7. Add lemon juice and honey to taste.
  8. Stir well and enjoy.

brewing herbal tea in a small saucepan, lemons and elderflowers beside it.

How to make the tea with dried elderflowers?

  1. You will need about two teaspoons of dried petals per cup of tea.
  2. Place them in a small pot or teapot.
  3. Pour boiling water over them.
  4. Let steep for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Strain into cups.
  6. Add lemon juice and honey to taste.

vintage white cup with herbal tea and lemon.

How to pick elderflowers?

The flowers of the elder trees, also known as Sambucus nigra, Black Elder, Ellhorn, Pipe tree, Bore tree, Eller, and Holler have a short season from mid-June to early July, depending on where you live and on the weather during a particular year.

  • Pick large, unblemished, fully opened, and fragrant flowers. Shake well to remove any small insects or dirt.
  • Pick them in places without traffic to make sure that they are as clean as possible. It’s best to pick them from trees/bushes growing in the field or a garden.
  • The best time to pick them is on a sunny, dry day; they should not be wet from the rain.
  • Move from one tree to another and only pick a few flowers from each one; they are important for insects and birds.
  • Use them immediately; they will go limp and lose flavor very quickly.

close up of clear yellow tea with half a lemon slice and petals inside.

More elderflower recipes:

close up of clear yellow tea with half a lemon slice and petals inside.

How to Make Elderflower Tea

Learn how to make elderflower tea made with fresh or dried flowers. This is a relaxing and soothing herbal tea to help you unwind.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: German, American
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 12kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 large elderflowers or 4 teaspoons dried elderflowers
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 small lemon
  • honey optional

Instructions

  • Shake the flowers over the sink to remove insects or dirt (it is not recommendable to wash them). Place them in a small pot or a teapot.
  • Steep: Boil water in a kettle and pour it over the flowers. Let steep for 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain. Add lemon juice and honey to taste.
  • Dried elderflowers: If brewing the tea with dried elderflowers, use about 2 teaspoons per cup. The procedure is the same.

Notes

The nutrition is calculated without honey.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Sodium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
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