This hibiscus tea recipe will give you a wonderful, ruby-red herbal tea that has a sour, cranberry-like, tart taste. With the right sweetener, it is the perfect tea for winter (it has that incredible Christmas red color!).
Hibiscus or sorrel?
The hibiscus I am talking about here has the Latin name: Hibiscus sabdariffa.
So, it is the same as roselle and sorrel. The tea is sometimes called sour tea, sorrel, agua de Jamaica, Jamaica tea, karkadé and Italian tea. It is beloved throughout the world!
I’ve posted about sorrel drinks before. I had a tree a while ago that gave me so much flowers I froze several bags full. Here’s how the tree looked way back when:
Isn’t the hibiscus beautiful? Do you see those red outer petals or calyxes? They are used to make this hibiscus tea recipe and that’s why it is so Christmas red!
You can also use dried hibiscus calyxes to make this tea. But, fair warning, the dried petals make a much stronger, deeper red tea. The color is really pretty but the tea will be very sour and will require much more sweeteners.
Get dried sorrel on Amazon:
Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
Before getting into the hibiscus tea recipe, here are a couple benefits of the tea.
1. It is full of antioxidants
This 2016 study found compounds in the tea like delphinidin, cyanidin, kaempferol, quercetin, together with hibiscus lactone, hibiscus acid and caffeoylquinic acids. Many of these are anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
2. It lowers bad cholesterol
A very small clinical study from 2017 showed hibiscus extracts reduced total cholesterol better than a common statin drug called simvastatin. But, if you are taking the drug, don’t drink this tea since it causes “a significant herb-drug interaction” and reduces the effects of the drug.
Another small 2017 clinical study found drinking hibiscus lowered triglyceride levels in the blood.
Also, a 2013 review noted hibiscus tea had a “favorable influence on lipid profiles including reduced total cholesterol, LDL-C (bad cholesterol), triglycerides, as well as increased HDL-C (good cholesterol).” The anthocyanins in the tea are believed to be the cause of these benefits.
3. It reduces blood pressure
This clinical study revealed mildly hypertensive patients who had 3 glasses of hibiscus tea every day for a month saw lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
Another 2010 study also proved the blood pressure lowering benefits of hibiscus tea.
Have in moderation
The tea may have antiviral benefits as well; but too much tea isn’t good for you. High doses of hibiscus may negatively affect your liver. So, it is best to make this hibiscus tea recipe in moderation… or dilute it.
Hibiscus Tea Recipe
- 2 cups fresh hibiscus calyxes (or 1 cup dried hibiscus calyxes)
- 5 cups boiling water
- sweetener of your choice
- Add boiling water to sepals.
- Leave to steep for 15 mins.
- Alternatively, boil sepals and water over medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Strain, sweeten and serve hot or chilled.
This hibiscus tea recipe is better than the Starbucks one!
What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know. And be sure to pin this for later:
Liked this tea? Then stop by these recipes: