persian-style iced tea with rosewater

quietude (or not) and tea :::

 I read somewhere that there is a lull in conversation every 22 minutes. Undoubtedly, these data were collected from single people or couples without children. Although I sometimes joke with other parents, I am also absolutely serious when I state my social abilities have waned since becoming a mother. There is not a single conversation in the last four years where I have not been interrupted by a child or baby. As such, if placed in a social situation where I and another adult are expected to carry on a spritely conversation for 15 minutes without our kids flitting around us, I am sure I would not know what to do with myself, my ears ringing in the gaping silences, coffee cup clunking the tabletop, palms sweating, trying to think of something to say to fill the void.

 My attempts at uninterrupted conversations  are usually filled with factoids floating aimlessly in the air: “Did you know that Steve Jobs dropped out of college?” or “My daughter likes to eat peeled apples,” The factoid first floats like a downy feather, with me fiercely trying to keep it afloat, “Yeah, Reed College,” or “Green and  red apples,” before it just falls like dead weight. I try to go forth with a topic, then halted with distraction of Peach’s need to ‘pee-pee’ and announce it to everyone or the need to chase a quick moving crawler from heaving himself into the trash bin. How do you go back to talk about the new iPhone apps when your baby just spit up all over your neighbor’s carpet? How do you talk about your friend’s ungainly dinner guest when your child is eating twigs at the park?

We move on, that’s what. We move through these cursory conversations, like Cliff’s Notes trying to cover the novel in a few pages. A few pages and a few diapers. Here is my tribute to our disjointed communions, our piecemeal chatter, and our tornadoes of multitasking. Drink this tea with a friend and listen. Listen to your words and build more than a staggering, crooked staircase of thread-bare conversations, that seem to lead to nowhere. Revel in the interludes of quiet between, no need to be filled, even if they happen more than every 22 minutes.


persian-style iced tea with rosewater
Recipe type: drink
  • 3 ounces rose water*
  • 1-2 bags of black tea (depending on how strong your brew it and the type of tea you use -- I used 2 because I knew the ice cubes would dilute it some)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons honey (You may want more, if you like a very sweet drink.)
  • 4 pods of green cardamom
  1. Brew the tea with 3 cups of boiling water.
  2. Add cardamom pods and honey after 2 minutes.
  3. Allow to steep for a few minutes. Remove tea bags and cool to room temperature.
  4. Add rose water. Remove cardamom pods. Pour in tall glasses with ice and serve. Serves 3.
* I like the Carlo brand of rosewater, as it doesn't taste artificial. I once bought another brand years ago that tasted so plasticky, that I ended up throwing away the bottle. I unfortunately don't remember the brand.


  • Constance Campbell April 20, 2015 Reply

    Where do you find Carlo Rosewater? I used to buy it regularly, & found some less expensive brand I am unhappy with. But now I cannot find Carlo brand anymore. I see Cortas every time I google Carlo. I am afraid to tray Cortas for fear I’ll be unhappy with it. Thank you.

    • story April 20, 2015 Reply

      Good question. I first made this tea in 2011 when I posted this, and was living in the Bay Area. I found it at a specialty grocery store, Piazzi’s, in Mountain View, California. Just like you, I can’t find the Carlos brand online either. I think the key is to find the rosewater in a glass bottle, rather than plastic. Glass is inert and doesn’t impart plastic flavor if stored improperly. Though I have not used it, the Nielsen-Massey brand is reputable for essences, so that rosewater may be worth the money. I also don’t know anything about Cortas, but you could try it if in a glass bottle.

  • […] benefit from the addition of rose water – from teas and tonics to cocktails and coolers. This Persian Style Iced Tea is sure to cool and refresh on a summer’s day, as is a pitcher of Rose Water Lemonade. Smoothie […]

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