Rose Khawa

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A very simple three ingredient lightly floral black tea that is a light and refreshing end to a heavy meal.

What is Khawa?

Khawa, qehwa, kehwa or kahwa is basically a light tea that is traditionally served after a meal in a small cup – almost like a shot glass of tea – to aid in digestion. It is quite popular in south asian communities like India, Pakistan and Iran.

Khawa is normally made with green tea as a digestive aid after the meal, sometimes infused with spices that are good for digestion like cardamom, saffron, and/or cinnamon. Like in my traditional kashmiri khawa. Rose water is a popular flavour infusion as well.

This version is more of an Arabic twist using black tea. A spin on Ghawa or Qahwa which is a bitter Arabic black coffee, this rose khawa uses black or orange pekoe tea steeped in hot water and infused with rose water so it is a balance of slightly bitter and floral flavours.

The tea is normally served black without any milk or sugar and the tea bag is left in to continue to steep in the hot water as it sits. This does make the tea take on a slightly bitter flavour but that is on purpose. Serve khawa with a little something sweet on the side to cut through the slightly bitter taste of the tea.

How to Make Rose Khawa?

This tea is low on caffeine but full of light floral flavours. All you need is a tea bag of your favourite orange pekoe or black tea. I prefer the flavour of an orange pekoe. Steep one tea bag with 6-8 cups of boiling water. Yes, you need a lot of water! Leave the tea bag in the hot water and add a splash (about 1-2 Tbsp) of rose water. Allow to steep for 5 minutes for the flavours to combine and serve!

I like to make this in a thermos and leave the tea bag in so the water stays warm and the tea bag continues to infuse tea flavour into the khawa. As time goes on the khawa will get a little more bitter, so if you like you can remove the tea bag. But I prefer the taste of khawa after it has been sitting for a bit. Especially when served with something sweet.

Rose Khawa

A simple three ingredient black tea that is lightly floral and slightly bitter. Perfect served after a heavy meal with a little something sweet.
Prep Time5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: pakistani
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, keto, Paleo, sugar free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole30
Servings: 6


  • 1 orange pekoe or black tea bag
  • 1-2 Tbsp rose water
  • 6-8 cups boiling water


  • In a thermos or kettle place 1 tea bag and pour 6-8 cups boiling water.
  • Add 1 Tbsp rose water (more if you want a more floral flavour). And allow to steep for at least 5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with something sweet on the side.


Leave the tea bag in and the flavour will continue to deepen as it sits. Best to drink this within 1-2 hours of making it.

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