Hawthorn Apple Tea | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Hawthorn Apple Tea

Hawthorn Apple Tea

Once again, I read with interests an advice from one of my favorite columnists, Yim Ho 嚴浩 (a film director who also writes articles and books on healing recipes like this and this), suggesting that we should drink more water during summer to replenish the loses through transpiration. Yes, I did; I was enjoying the fragrance of two healthy foods, apple and hawthorn, in this soothing drink. And …

And … his suggestion did touch my nerves because I felt we were somehow get connected (my imagination – is not that bad). Yim in his article, written in Chinese, while sharing some tips for detecting signs of cerebral infarction 腦梗塞前兆, he also encouraged people to drink more water to reduce the risks of thickened blood due to dehydration. So happed, this tea is about hawthorn, a food as well as a herb regarded as beneficial to blood circulation. So happened!

Hawthorns aka thornapples (in Chinese 山楂, literally means ‘mountain haw’) when used appropriately is said to be able to help open (dilate) blood vessels thus increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure. Besides, with the ease of circulation problem, this may even help reduce the syndromes of having feet and hands feel cold.

Fantasizing that the film director will also be interested in reading this and sharing with his readers the benefits and the possible side effects of hawthorns, I almost had a moment of pride.

Dried Hawthorn Apple Tea

Actually a side effect of eating hawthorn (or possible benefit to some) is that it may also help to facilitate burning of body fat. Although I don’t eat it for curing obesity, I sometimes make this tea by replacing sugar with red dates for added nutritions and flavors.

I like craving drinks recently, healthy drinks in particular. This is not only healthy but also simple to prepare. Believe or not, even during such hot temperature, I store no canned or bottled soft drinks.

  • Ingredients
  • 40g dried hawthorns
  • 4 to 5 apples
  • 30g rock sugar, or to taste
  • ~2 liters water
  • yields about 4 to 5 cups

Apple ChunksHawthorns and Apples in Pot


Wash dried hawthorns a couple of times. Cover them with 2 cm water and soak for about 15 minutes. Discard water and briefly rinse them again under running water.

Peel apples, core them and cut into large chunks. I simply made slices vertically off the apples cores.

Put both hawthorns and apples in a pot with about 2 liters of water. Bring them to a boil. Over low to medium heat, keep boiling for about 30 to 45 minutes till flavors are infused into the tea. Add rock sugar and simmer a few more minutes until it is dissolved.

Serve hot, cooled, or chilled.


Hawthorn Apple Tea

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  1. lena

    i didnt know so much benefits of hawthorn.. i would think losing weight as an advantaget rather than a side effect, ha! is this drink kind of heaty? i would love some drink/soup which improves blood circulation but not heaty at the sam time..

  2. TasteHongKong

    Not that heaty, lena. I re-confirmed my memory with a book written by a Chinese Prof. She classified hawthorn as ‘slightly warm 微溫’, but ‘cool’ for apple. I should have added in the recipe that this is quite a balanced drink. You may simply skip having the ‘warm’ red date as a variation. Enjoy!

  3. Christine@Christine's Recipes

    Love the taste of hawthorn too. Don’t know it’s good for losing weight. Must tell my friend. 🙂

  4. Mary Moh

    Haven’t seen this dried fruit but the drink sure looks very refreshing. Yes, we need to drink more water. I’m trying to force myself to drink more. It’s hard living in a land where you don’t sweat cos it’s cold most of the time. The only time I sweat is when I go for badminton!

  5. Mei Teng

    I am not familiar with hawthorn. But I love certain Chinese herbal teas. Only the sweet ones. Not the strong and bitter tasting ones.

  6. TasteHongKong

    @Mei Teng,
    Hawthorn’s taste is fairly unique, it adds sourness to this sweet drink. After a heavy meal, I find it soothing drinking this.
    Hope you will also enjoy this.

  7. tigerfish

    I don’t think I can get dried hawthorns in the US..;(….I used to snack on 山楂 (in cylindrical package) but I guess those were not the “real’ stuff.

  8. TasteHongKong

    I see, so not even in Chinese herbal shops?
    Ha, that cylindrical package for haw flakes seemed to have lasted for years, I was baited with those discs to drink bitter herbal teas as a kid.

  9. Caroline

    Thanks for the recipe. I am going to boil this over the weekend. Can you please let me how often can one drink this drink.

  10. TasteHongKong

    I’m afraid I can’t be very specific; I make this occasionally as a soothing tea, and drink about one to two cups a day. So the amount here is good for two persons in a day or two. I feel that you intend to serve this drink for one who needs treatment. If so, and if the haw is taken as a herb (especially on a regular basis) than a food, he or she would need a prescription from a qualified herbalist.

  11. noobcook

    just like tigerfish, I used to eat the same 山楂 snack (flat round pieces) as a child. I think this dessert is really healthy and nourishing. I’ll see if I can get 山楂 in SG, if not I’ll buy them when I’m in HK 😀

  12. penny aka jeroxie

    Hawthorn apple? Not heard of it. I need some to cure my obesity 😛

  13. kristy

    Now, where the hell I can get those hawthorn here? Excuse me! haha…. Love this drinks so much. Hope that I can get some of those dried hawthorn here. I will try to check with the local Chinese Medical hall tomorrow. Thanks again for sharing.

  14. TasteHongKong

    Here in H.K., dried hawthorns are available in shops selling Chinese herbs, dried foods or even in some supermarkets. just to share.
    Good luck and enjoy your shopping!

  15. Tastes of Home (Jen)

    Thanks for sharing this healthy tea! I used to eat those hawthorn slices as a snack too hehe like noobcook and TF mentioned above. I must give this a try, I will try looking for these 🙂

  16. Lucy L

    Love all the health drink recipes you have put up! Reading about your “connection” & moment of pride with Yim Ho made me giggle =P

  17. lee lian

    Thanks alot for sharing..am really happy to have found this as I was looking for a
    drink recipe out of hawthorn

  18. jilli roberts

    I must point out that hawthorn and thorn apple, as mentioned in this article, are 2 totally different plants.

    Thorn apple (Datura stramonium) is not Hawthorn (Craetegus monogyna).
    C. monogyna (hawthorn) is the medicinal plant you are discussing. Thornapple is a serious poison in the same family as Henbane, also poisonous.

    It is wise to use Latin identification names rather than common names which can lead to dangerous confusion.

  19. TasteHongKong

    Didn’t mention any thorn apple in this post.

  20. TasteHongKong

    Amendment: I see, you mean the ‘thornapples’ I mentioned is different from hawthorn. Excuse me!

  21. Tan Lee Lian

    Lee Lian

    Hawthorn Tea its a healthy & refreshing drink with medicinal value & with apple added into it will gives its a unique taste….thanks for sharing

  22. TasteHongKong

    @Lee Lian,