Hibiscus or shoe flower is the beautiful bloom that you find adorning many tropical flower gardens. A few varieties of this plant is also the one that is used to make the hibiscus flower tea that you buy commercially. The tea when seeped produces the most gorgeous red, slightly soft tasting liquid. Read on to find out more about how to make this agua de jamaica tea from fresh flowers or dry petals.
Hibiscus vs Roselle
There are various varieties of hibiscus. In fact, both Roselle and hibiscus belong to the same species, Hibiscus. The thin petals for the flowers that open wide on blooming are called hibiscus. Whereas the sour-tasting, fleshy calyx, slight smaller flowered, plant Roselle or cranberry hibiscus. Both these are used to make tea. Roselle is a bit stronger and sour than the hibiscus.
What is hibiscus tea?
A gentle infusion of the flower or the dried flower of hibiscus is this hibiscus tea. Mild tasting warm and soothing the tea is brilliant as such. This tea is often referred to as agua de Jamaica. If you like it a bit sweeter, add a bit of honey or stevia along with a squeeze of lime.
Make Iced agua de Jamaica
The seeped tea and boil it to get it a bit more concentrated. Add honey, stir and chill this concentrate. Pour about an ounce over a glass of ice cubes, top it up with sparkling water. Garnish with some fresh mint. Sip on a hot summer day or make a pitcher for your BBQ party.
Make a Hibiscus latte
To make it into a hibiscus latte, froth up the milk and add to the seeped tea. Sweeten in desired. To serve up pour the tea into the cup, cover with a bit of milk foam and sprinkle a few crushed hibiscus petals (dried) on top. This latte is best had warm.
What parts of the hibiscus are edible?
All species of hibiscus are not edible as many are ornamental. So choose the varieties that are actually edible. I have chosen the classic red shoe flower- Hibiscus rosasinesnes.
To make the tea, it is just the petals that are used. The pollen can be allergic and hence all these parts are discarded. The calyx affords no flavour in this case, hence not used. Unlike the Roselle leaves (gongura), the leaves of hibiscus are much slimier and not sour. My mother used these ground leaves as a conditioner for our hair or in coconut mint chutney.
Health benefits of hibiscus flower tea
Being sightly sour, Vit c is the first that consumers to your mind with this tea. Yes, it does have a significant amount of Vit C. Hydration through the quantity of water is very useful if you are seeking weight loss, have high blood pressure or planning to lower your cholesterol levels. Since this is an infusion certainly that is taken care of. They are caffeine-free, calorie-free (if not adding honey) and carb-free( *again no honey)! ( source)
Side effects of hibiscus tea
Hibiscus flower tea is a herbal tea. Hence just like any other herbal infusions, you will have to watch out for side effects. One of the commonly discussed effects of this tea is on lowering blood pressure. Hence if you have low blood pressure it is best to discuss it with your health practitioner.
It also has large amounts of liquids, so as much as it can be boon overconsumption is of no use too. If you have kidney issues or liver issues refrain from consuming these without proper medical advice.
Hibiscus flower tea
- 1 saucepan
- 1 sieve
- 1 lime squeezer
- 2 cups drinking water
- 2 hibiscus flower
- 2 slices lime
- Into the saucepan, add the water and let it come to a boil.
- Add the petals of the two hibiscus flowers to the boiling water.
- Once it come to a rolling boil, remove and sieve the liquid.
- Pour into cups and squeeze a bit of lime.
- Sweeten if desired and enjoy warm.
Other tea varieties on our blog
As usual share your thoughts and experiences with this amaranth cutlets recipe in the comments below. If you happen to make this flower tea infusion, don’t forget to rate it.
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