Hibiscus Tea also is known as Karkade Tea or Jamaica Tea is a refreshing and super healthy beverage made using fresh or dried Hibiscus Flowers. This agua fresca is considered a superfood and when drank in a moderate amount has amazing benefits to the body. Here is how to make it.
About This Recipe
Hibiscus tea is an infusion of fresh or dried hibiscus flowers in water. It is also known as Agua De Jamaica, Karkade Tea, Jamaica Tea, or Jamaica Drink.
This drink has a gorgeous deep pink color and a tart and refreshing taste. Drink it hot or chilled, it’s totally up to you.
I have a hibiscus bush growing in the garden and this hibiscus flower tea is a regular in my house. There is a different joy in making anything from scratch and this hibiscus tea gave me the same joy, when the tea just turned out perfect.
Although commonly called tea, it’s actually a tisane – a beverage made from steeping dried flowers, leaves, or other parts of a plant in boiling water. This tea has many medicinal benefits as well, so apart from just being awesome in taste, you must consider drinking it for the health benefits it brings along.
This homemade Hibiscus Tea is,
- Vegan (avoid honey)
- Easy to make
- Made from scratch
To make this super refreshing tea, you will just need 4 ingredients – Hibiscus Flower, Water, Lemon Juice and Honey.
You can either use fresh flowers to make the tea like me or use the dried ones too. If you have access to fresh flowers, you can dry a few to use later.
Lemon Juice adds a nice tangy taste which enhances the flavor, whereas honey is used to sweeten it.
Pro Tips by Neha
Hibiscus leaves stains, so keep this in mind when you are preparing this tea.
You can source dried hibiscus online. Most Mexican stores also carry these dried flowers. So check the Spanish section of the supermarket.
You can steep the hibiscus flowers in water and keep this brew in the refrigerator for upto 3 days. When ready to serve, add lemon juice and honey and serve.
How to make Hibiscus Tea?
To make this hibiscus drink, start by taking 3-4 flowers per cup of tea. I took 8 flowers to make 2 cups of tea. Remove the calyx or the green part from which the flower is attached to the plant.
Also remove the stamen, the part from which the yellow seeds are attached.
Wash the petals well under running water and add them to a medium-sized glass bowl.
Boil 3 cups of water in medium-sized saucepan water and once it comes to a rolling boil, remove it from heat.
Pour the boiling water over the petals.
Cover the bowl and let the colour from the flowers steep into the water. Steep for 10-12 minutes.
Strain the tea using a tea strainer. Add lime juice to it and mix well. Add honey or sugar if you wish to at this stage and mix well.
Now add some ice cubes to the serving glasses, pour the tea and serve.
Hibiscus flower tea is known for its many health benefits. It’s known to be good for people with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
It is good for your digestive and immune systems.
It brings down the sugar level and helps in controlling the blood sugar level of the body.
There are studies showing that this hibiscus flower tea is also helpful in weight loss.
Hibiscus flower is rich in vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants and is helpful in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety.
It is also known to have anti-cancer properties.
Although hibiscus tea has many health benefits, it is known to have some side-effects.
A high dosage of this tea can cause damage to your liver.
It is advisable that people with high blood pressure and high blood sugar level should regularly check their blood pressure and sugar level if consuming hibiscus tea, as it may decrease blood sugar and blood pressure level.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid this tea as it affects the estrogen level of the body.
If you are on any birth control pills or on any kind of hormonal treatment, please avoid taking this tea.
Hibiscus Tea Hallucination is a rare side effect caused by excess consumption of hibiscus tea.
Hibiscus tea is known to stain teeth if consumed regularly and in high quantity, over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hibiscus comes in approx 40 varieties but mostly red hibiscus is used to make tea recipes for their nutritional benefits.
All hibiscus are edible but try to use Hibiscus Sadbariffa, Rosa Sinensis, or Roselle to make the tea for the best result.
I used the regular red hibiscus (Rosa Sinensis) that we get in India.
To make the tea from the dried flowers, check for stems in dried flowers and discard. You will need ¼ cup of dried flowers per cup of tea.
There are two ways in which you can make this tea using dried flowers.
1. You can add dried hibiscus flowers to cold water and allow to rest for 1-2 days until the flowers have faded. Then you can strain the mix and make cold tea by adding sugar or honey.
2. You can also add dried flowers to boiling water and let them bleed all the colors.
Now strain the mix and add cold water, sugar, or honey and your hibiscus cold tea is ready. This is an instant way of making this tea.
You can use the dried flowers to brew the tea twice.
If you have a hibiscus bush in your garden as I do, you can dry the flowers and store them to use later to make hibiscus flower tea.
To dry the flowers, remove the stem and stamen. Keep the calyx intact.
Line the flowers on a kitchen towel and cover with a muslin cloth. Keep the towel in a shaded area for 1-2 days until the petals dry out and turn crisp.
Store the dried flowers in a glass jar. Refrigerate for up to a month.
You can also use a dehydrator or an oven at a very low temperature to dry the flowers. You can also buy the Hibiscus flower from the grocery store.
Hibiscus flower tea should be avoided during pregnancy.
Since this tea is known to alter the estrogen hormone in the body, it is advisable to not consume it while pregnant.
It is always advisable that you consult your doctor before having any herbal teas in pregnancy.
Like any other herbal teas, you shouldn’t take this tea in excess too. 1-2 cups of tea per day are good enough.
Do not go overboard since this tea has some side effects as well and can harm you instead of benefits if taken in too much quantity.
You can either serve this tea hot or you can add a lot of ice in a glass and pour this over the ice and serve chilled. Either way, it tastes delicious.
You can also choose to add honey, sugar or stevia or any other sweetener.
I like to add some mint leaves, few lemon slices, and a whole hibiscus flower in the serving glasses to make it look even more beautiful.
To serve it to kids, make popsicles of this tea. They will just love it.
You can make hibiscus tea long with dried rise flowers, any berry that you prefer like fresh strawberry, raspberry, etc, or with some lavender flowers.
You can also add some cinnamon, orange blossom water, lemongrass, basil, lemon zest, mint, or pomegranate juice to it.
Try adding some sparkling water once the tea is brewed.
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Hibiscus Tea Recipe
- 8 hibiscus flowers
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- honey (As per taste)
- To make this hibiscus drink, start by taking 3-4 flowers per cup of tea. I took 8 flowers to make 2 cups of tea. Remove the calyx or the green part from which the flower is attached to the plant.
- Also remove the stamen, the part from which the yellow seeds are attached.
- Wash the petals well under running water and add them to a medium-sized glass bowl.
- Boil 3 cups of water in medium-sized saucepan water and once it comes to a rolling boil, remove it from heat.
- Pour the boiling water over the petals.
- Cover the bowl and let the color from the flowers steep into the water. Steep for 10-12 minutes.
- Strain the tea using a tea strainer. Add lime juice to it and mix well. Add honey or sugar if you wish to at this stage and mix well.
- Now add some ice cubes to the serving glasses, pour the tea and serve.