Sipping a frosty iced tea is one of the simple joys of summer, and hibiscus elevates the experience to sublime refreshment.
The dark blood red dried flowers are steeped in hot water yielding a seductively rich, brightly tart drink reminiscent of childhood fruit punch but so, so much better.
If you've ever had jamaica (pronounced ‘ham-eye-ku') at a Mexican restaurant, you most likely would have been served the syrupy fast-food version of this tea – yummy, but loaded with sugar and probably a bunch of artificial stuff. When I discovered that I could make this (tasting even better) at home for very little time, money, or effort, hibiscus tea became my new favorite thing.
Oh, and as a bonus, hibiscus tea is high in natural vitamin C and is said to be beneficial for circulation (it does look a bit like blood) and healthy digestion.
Lately, my kidlets have been begging for kombucha from morning til night. We have a fairly strict ‘none past noon' policy about the stuff lest any lingering caffeine keeps them wide-eyed past bedtime. So today I whipped up a pitcher (well a big mason jar) of hibiscus tea lightly sweetened with local raw honey to quench their thirsts on a lovely hot afternoon. Both my 5-year-old and toddler approved with resounding glee.
For the grown-ups, a snip of mint and a squeeze of lime goes in if we have it, but either way this gorgeous flower tea tastes perfect when poured over a glass of ice.
Hibiscus tea ingredients and supplies
- 4 cups filtered water, divided
- 1/4 cup (or a small handful) dried hibiscus flowers – like these
- 1-2 T. raw honey to taste – this is what I use
- lime wedges, optional
- fresh mint leaves, optional
Hibiscus tea method
- Bring half of the filtered water to a boil in a saucepan.
- Add dried hibiscus flowers and turn off heat.
- Allow flowers to steep until liquid is a dark inky red.
- Add remaining two cups of cool water to concentrated tea before adding raw honey. (This will prevent destroying the good enzymes and probiotics in the raw honey.)
- Add honey to achieve desired sweetness while tea is still warm but not hot.
- Pour sweetened hibiscus tea into your serving pitcher.
- Fill glasses with ice, pour tea, and garnish with optional lime and mint.
I love using this tea to make my homemade healthy finger jello, and it also makes great grown-up wine coolers mixed with a white wine over ice. Just be forewarned – hibiscus tea is dark red and will stain if spilled by kids and grown-ups alike!