Hibiscus flower tea

hibiscus flower tea, agua de jamaica, hibiscus latte

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

Tea infusion amde with fresh hibiscus flowers and flavoured with lime is otherwise called agua de Jamaica. follow this step by step recipe to make a tasty infusion.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine International, Medicinal
Servings 2 cups


  • 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.
    hibiscus tea with fresh flower
  • Pour into cups and squeeze a bit of lime.
  • Sweeten if desired and enjoy warm.
    agua de jamaica
Keyword summer recipes, Winter warmers
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Other tea varieties on our blog

We have a few more ideas for infusions on our blog. None of them uses the tea leaves. Here are links to them.
Cranberry spiced tea
Corn silk tea
Dandelion tea
Licorice root tea

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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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hibiscus flower tea
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Priya Vj
2 years ago
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I am getting a good produce of fresh hibiscus flowers these days ..glad I stumbled upon this recipe. I am definitely going to make it soon!

2 years ago
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I am coming over. Of all the flowers that my neighbor s garden boasts it lacks hibiscus. Should tell her to plant some. 😀
Love the idea of latte will try to get the flowers and try.

Mayuri Patel
2 years ago
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Seema I was just gifted a small packet of dried hibiscus flowers. Now I know what I am making this summer… hibiscus flower tea with lots of ice.

Jayashree T.Rao
2 years ago
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I have heard of hibiscus tea but never made it yet. Your post is tempting me to try it soon Seema.

2 years ago
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Hibiscus tea is so addictive. I was introduced to this tea by my Malay colleague, since then I have fallen in love with it. Making it at home is good. Love this refreshing tea. Beautiful colour too.

2 years ago
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Iced tea is just what the scorching summers here would demand, glad to find a homegrown produce to
make this hibiscus tea

Last edited 2 years ago by Kalyani
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