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!
This post can be seen at the following blog carnivals: GAPS Friendly Fridays, Friday Food Flicks, Freaky Friday, and Monday Mania. Hop on over to check out some other posts you may enjoy!
Holistic Squid via Facebook says
Tiffany Thomas via Facebook says
Oh I so do love this stuff!!! Time to head to my tea guy lol
Ofelia Rivera via Facebook says
yes delicious !
Kerrie Arrow via Facebook says
I like a hot hibiscus tea, and especially when I’m not well, it seems to boost up my energy and make me feel good..
Sasha Violette via Facebook says
Mix it with some fresh Apple juice. So delicious 🙂
Holistic Squid via Facebook says
That sounds yummy, Sasha!
I live in San Antonio now and I always see big piles of plastic bags of hibiscus flowers at the grocery store. Finally, someone told me they were for making a drink, so I bought some. Definitely an acquired taste.
Yummy! Thanks for posting. What a simple, summery treat!
Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures says
Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.
Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! 🙂
Bella Bells says
I also love hibiscus tea and I make it almost everyday! Has anyone tried it partnered with a chocolate cake, though? That’s my favorite snack! 🙂
Does anyone know if you can pick and dry flowers off your own plant. I have two different plants/trees in pots that I overwinter in our solarium for the past 3 years. They did come from a nursery/garden shop. If I can do you what when is best to pick them?
The variety used for tea is called hibiscus sabdariffa or ‘Thai red’. Here is a great article on growing it yourself. http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/how-to-grow-hibiscus-zw0z11zsto.aspx#axzz34KgSMG6w
Joy at The Liberated Kitchen says
This looks like just the thing for a hot day! Thanks for sharing with GAPS Friendly Fridays!
I started drinking it to lower blood pressure. I’m addicted to it now. Good stuff!
I have the hibiscus flowers steeping as I write! In Colombia, hibiscus or flor de jamaica, is also know for its dieuretic properties. I was just wondering…at what point do I remove the leaves? If at all? I know leaving in tea bags for an extended period gives tea a stronger but bitter flavour.
I’m doing Nutrition Response Therapy right now and can’t have honey. I was wondering if Stevia would work.
What would be the difference in using flowers from my own hibiscus? Any?
Hi Dawnnell, thanks for your question! I am not sure what the difference would be. Why don’t you try it out and let us know how it turns out?
Love, Love, Love hibiscus tea! Definitely reminiscent of my childhood!
Sounds delicious! I never tried Hibiscus tea, but after seeing your recipe, I will definately try it!
Rose Midsummer says
Yes, hibiscus tea is quite common in my country, Singapore. We import them across the border, Malaysia, bcos they are grown commonly there. This drink is even more common in the middle-East. Before I got to know about hibiscus drink being so common in the middle-East and commonly grown in Malaysia, I thought I finally found a unique souvenir of hibiscus in syrup in Australia. Yes, I was stupid to have bought that expensive hibiscus in the jar in Australia.