Posts Tagged ‘rose’

Chemical Analysis of Steenbergs Organic Rose Water

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

We are often asked quite detailed technical questions about Steenbergs’ organic rose water.  In particular:

  • What type of water is used? Tap water
  • Is the water distilled water? Yes
  • Does the water contain pesticides or heavy metals? No
Steenbergs Organic Rose Water

Steenbergs Organic Rose Water

Firstly, the rose water is organic and distilled from organic rose petals picked and processed in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria.  It is certified as organic by Ceres, a German certification agency.  So it is grown and processed in an organic way, however that (as many customers keep telling me) does not preclude contamination from other surrounding farmland, so see below.

Secondly, on the water itself, the water used is standard potable water, i.e. it’s not borehole water or the like, but a “tap water” and this meets EU government guidelines on drinking water.

However, in the process, the water is distilled through a double water-vapour distillation process – the first is a standard distillation through a still, and the second runs the distillate a second time but this time through a cohabation column.  So in answer to the question, the water in the rose water is distilled.

This second distillation concentrates the flavour by roughly ten times, and is called “cohabation” – the rose oil tends to float on the top of the distillate so this second distillation dissolves more of this floral flavour into Steenbergs rose water.  For reference: 1.4kg of fresh rose petals yields 1kg of rose water.

Thirdly, as for the possibility for contamination of the water, our most recent tests of the organic rose water are as below and they contain no pesticides, agrochemicals and the levels of heavy metals are well within guidelines:

  Steenbergs Organic Rose Water UK Drinking Water Standards What standard used?
Pesticides Not detected 0.5 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
Agrochemicals:
  Nitrates 0.4 mg/l 50 mg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Nitrites <0.01 mg/l 0.50 mg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
Plant treatments:
  Chlorates <2 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Recommendation 2015/682
  Perchlorates <0.5 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Recommendation 2015/682
Metals/heavy metals:
  Aluminium <2 µg/l <200 µg/l UK National Requirements
  Arsenic 1.40 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Cadmium 0.01 µg/l <5 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Copper 0.09 mg/l <2 mg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Iron 37.06 µg/l <200 µg/l UK National Requirements
  Lead 5.62 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Manganese 4.46 µg/l <50 µg/l UK National Requirements
  Molybdenum <0.03 µg/l No standard
  Nickel 4.05 µg/l <20 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Selenium 0.48 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Zinc 191.14 µg/l No standard*

*there is a complex proposed standard that proposes 10.9 bioavailable plus Ambient Background Concentration (μg/l) dissolved that I really don’t understand, while Australia and Canada have limits of 3 – 5 mg/l (5000 µg/l).

STEENBERGS TEA TASTER PANEL

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Steenbergs organic Happy Hippy Herbal Tea

Steenbergs Rose & Bergamot Black Tea (Persian Style)

This time around our tea tasters had the joy of sampling two very different teas: one of our newly packaged herbal teas, Happy Hippy, to uplift and destress and one of our flavoured black teas Rose & Bergamot, a light brewing floral tea.

STEENBERGS ORGANIC HAPPY HIPPY HERBAL TEA

organic-happy-hippy-herbal-tea-loose-leafSteenbergs organic Happy Hippy Herbal Tea is an uplifting and stress busting blend of rose, chamomile and mint designed to lift flagging spirits and fight those wintry blues or mid-afternoon blues.  The rose petals smell and taste like a cupful of roses, uplifting for your nerves and spirit, the chamomile is light, mildly bitter and herbal (with hints of apples) and is calming, while the mints are soothing and refreshing.

One of Steenbergs’ organic teas, it contains organic chamomile flowers, organic rose petals, organic peppermint and organic spearmint.

Sophie comments: “This is one of my favourite teas. It looks beautiful with the chamomile and rose flowers but is also a delicious relaxing caffeine free herbal tea which we all drink in the evening.”

This tea was also a favourite with our taster panel, with 80% saying that they really liked at and 67% saying that they would drink it again.  One taster described it as ‘all of my favourite teas in one – awesomeness!’ Many commented that they loved the beautiful smell and colourful appearance of the tea, and with the new see-through panel on the packaging, we hope customers will be equally impressed.

The name of the tea was cause for comment with the majority of our panel (70%) really enjoying the uplifting and fun element to it.

Chamomile was one of the strong flavours picked out, along with rose and mint although strong hints of meadows, flowers and hay came though.  This was then reflected in where people imagined themselves to be with eyes closed, as 57% imagined themselves outside in a garden or meadow.

Overall 90% of our tea tasters really enjoyed the tea, with 90% describing it as ‘delicious’ (47%) or ‘pleasant’.  Drinking the tea also made 89% of our panellists feel relaxed and contented – so it seems to be doing its job!

Happy Hippy Tea

 

STEENBERGS ROSE & BERGAMOT BLACK TEA (PERSIAN STYLE)

rose-and-bergamot-black-tea-125g-persian-styleSteenbergs Rose & Bergamot Black Tea is a light brewing beautiful floral tea made with Ceylon and Chinese teas, which is ideal for the afternoon or evening.  Axel’s idea behind this tea was to make something evocative of classical Persia – tea and damask rose with hints of orange blossom.  “I imagine fun walking in gardens with tinkling fountains and peacocks strutting their fancy stuff.  So I have devised this recipe that uses light black teas, plenty of rose petals, cornflower petals and orange blossom, then added some cardamom and bergamot for that orange and sweet cardamom taste.  Relax and enjoy life with pleasant dreams.”

This was a very popular tea with our panel with over 90% really enjoying it, describing it as ‘a lovely afternoon brew’; ‘really very good and pretty’; ‘perfume is amazing’.  Interestingly only 58% of our panel were regular drinkers of flavoured black tea so maybe we have some converts!

It was definitely seen as an afternoon (53%) or evening drink (18%), with only 8% drinking it in the mornings.

When asked to highlight words that they felt best described this Persian style black tea, the favourite description was ‘floral’ (24%), with ‘delicious’ (21%) close behind. ‘Mellow’, ‘exotic’, ‘refreshing’ and ‘light’ all featured highly as well.

Regarding the flavours and aroma, rose and bergamot were predominant tastes and smells but cardamom also ranked high up on everyone’s taste buds.  Some of you did find that a bit strong but the majority could be summed up by this comment: ‘The balance of flavours is spot on. I don’t like Earl Grey but I love this’.

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Recipe For Fragrant Rose Rice Pudding or Rose Kheer

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Rose Rice Pudding With Raspberries

Rose Rice Pudding With Raspberries

I have recently finished reading “The Architect’s Apprentice” by Elif Shafak, starting while on our holidays in Portugal.  It is a lovely read about unrequited and so a forlorn love between a lowly architect’s apprentice and the Sultan’s daughter,  It’s slightly magical, but with a far fetched end that sees Jahan, the main character, living a very long life to stretch his influence across the centuries.  Based in Turkey, it is redolent with the smells of roses and rose water, e.g.

“Jahan tried to utter something to raise her spirits, but he could find no words that she would follow.  A while later a servant brought her a bowl of custard, flavoured with rosewater.  The sweet scent…”

It turned my thoughts to roses, so I made today a Rose Rice Pudding that we ate warm because outside it was raining again – summer where have you gone.  I then let it cool and made the leftovers into a Raspberry & Rose Kheer per the photo.

Rose Rice Pudding or Rose Kheer

Ingredients

1 litre / 1¾ pints / 4¼ cups full fat milk
100g / 3½oz / ½ cup pudding rice
50g / 1¾ oz / ¼ cup golden caster sugar
½tsp organic cinnamon powder
Pinch of sea salt
½ teaspoon of vanilla powder or a vanilla pod, slit lengthways
150ml / 5¼ fl oz / ½ cup double cream
½tsp organic rose blossom water
1tsp ground dried rose petals (optional)

How to make rose rice pudding

Put the pudding rice, caster sugar, organic cinnamon powder and salt into a heavy bottomed pan.  Give it a quick stir to mix it up a tad.

Add the milk and the vanilla pod, then bring to the boil.  When it starts to boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for 35 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

Add the double cream, rose water and rose petals, then cook for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly until nice and it has thickened.

If you want to eat it warm, sprinkle some caster sugar over the top and either caramelise it with a blowtorch or under the grill.

For rose kheer or a nice cold rice pudding, leave to cool for around 30 minutes, then place into the fridge for at least an hour.  To make it into a Raspberry & Rose Kheer, I put some raspberries in the base of the glass and three delicately on the top.

Rose Kheer With Raspberries

Rose Kheer With Raspberries