Box of "poppy pods" in the Flower District (Gothamist)

Last night the second episode of Girls aired, but we're going to revisit the pilot again, particularly the scenes where Hannah and her friends drink some opium pod tea, with pods procured from New York's very own Flower District. Today we wandered over there and found out a few things worth knowing before trying to make the tea on your own:

  • Rule #1 of opium pods: do not call them opium pods. When asking for them in the Flower District, you should call them poppy pods. Be cool. Don't bring the law down on everyone.
  • Purchasing these dried pods is legal, it's when you extract the opium that things get sketchy.
  • The people at Jamali told us they haven't carried them in three years because they "attract the wrong kind of people."
  • Rule #2 of opium pods: do not try to smoke the pods.
  • Fun fact: these can also be used in flower arrangements, as the woman at Dry Nature told us, she likes them for arrangements because they are large and good for filler purposes.
  • Price points: each pod will cost you 3 bucks, and it seems that most people brew batches of tea with 3 to 5 pods.
  • They make a fun noise when you shake them, so we expect them to hit the underground Brooklyn indie psychedelic scene as a valid instrument, any day now.
  • It will taste like twigs, not Twix, the candy bar.

Poppy tea, when brewed under certain conditions, offers up a narcotic, and possibly hallucinogenic, high; the walls of the dried pods contain small amounts of opiate alkaloids, mainly morphine (but be warned, the morphine content can vary a great deal).

One experimental Gothamist staffer tells us, "I've had it, and it just makes you dizzy. REAL opium is the way to go. Or smoke dope instead." However, others have sworn by it, noting "the best way to enjoy a decent opium high, is through dried poppy pods. I find it is preferable and much more euphoric to grind up the pods (I use 3-5 pods). The affect is on par, for me, with a large dose of codene, or a pair of vicodin."

Preparing opium tea on Girls

In Girls (video), the character brewing the tea informs the rest, "I'm making a little brew... a tea of opium pods. This stuff is pretty mild, this is much milder than the stuff you smoke. It's legal, I got it down at the Flower District, you can just go down there and buy the pods." After Hannah drinks the tea she suffers an overdramatic reaction to it in front of her parents, resulting in her dad screaming at her mother: "I don't need to Google that, it's tantamount to smoking banana peels for chrissakes." Still, we're gonna play it safe and stick with Betty Crocker's recipe for almond poppy tea cookies.

Additional reporting by Carrie Dennis.