A sip of hibiscus

A sip of hibiscus

Also known as sour tea, this infusion from crimson or deep magenta-coloured calyces of the roselle flower offers a unique and tart cranberry-like flavour that tastes great when savoured hot or cold, writes Sharvani Kashyap

Hibiscus tea

Hibiscus, which is grown in warm and tropical weather, is a flower that has immense medicinal properties that could stupefy anyone. This wonder flower can help one boost their immune system and prevent cell damage caused by free radicals in the body. Since hibiscus contains antioxidants, like anthocyanins, it helps one to reduce the risk of developing heart diseases, diabetes, and hypertension. Not just that, the plant’s brilliant colour is due to anthocyanins. These anthocyanins have antimicrobial properties and may help to avoid a variety of chronic illnesses.

Research says that it is essential to incorporate hibiscus in everyday routine to improve one’s health. Tea is one of the common ways to take in hibiscus. Known for its fruity flavour, it can be consumed as a cool beverage or a hot tea. It might be staggering to know that this tea contains Vitamin C, which plays a vital role in the body. It aids in tissue growth and repair, wound healing, the formation of collagen, and iron absorption. Without further adieu, let’s delve into the making of hibiscus drinks.

Gorgeous crimson-coloured
hibiscus cooler

Everybody loves coolers. But what if the coolers have medicinal properties and taste good? Amazing, right? This hibiscus cooler can be prepared at home easily. It doesn’t have any preservatives, added colours, or sweeteners. With only a few ingredients, you can brew this deliciously soothing flower tea.

Time: 1 hour 10 minutes (Serves 6)


5 litres of drinking water

½ cup dried hibiscus flower petals

One cinnamon stick

Two cloves

¼ cup sugar

Rose syrup (optional)

The rose syrup’s rich sweetness negates the hibiscus’ faint tartness. So, it is recommended to add one teaspoon of rose syrup.


In a saucepan, add water and let it heat.

Add dried hibiscus flower petals, cinnamon sticks, cloves, sugar, and
stir well once the water starts

After the water boils and absorbs the flavour of the hibiscus, bring the heat to medium-low.

Simmer for 10 minutes or longer for a more robust flavour.

Bring the tea to room temperature.

To remove the hibiscus petals, strain the mixture through a fine-meshstrainer. Refrigerate the tea for
one hour.

Add one teaspoon of rose syrup and ice cubes.

Serve chilled.

Optional garnishes

One can add mint or basil leaves to give it a more refreshing flavour. You can also add cherries and cream on top.

Perfect refreshing
hibiscus tea/ latte

Who doesn’t want a refreshing drink on a winter evening? Hibiscus latte/tea is a perfect drink that is allergy-free, caffeine-free, and full of antioxidants. Hibiscus tea is also known as Agua de Jamaica, Jamaica tea, or Karkade tea. This tea is also easy to make.

Time: Under 30 minutes (Serves 2)


Four teaspoons of dried
hibiscus flower petals (approximately half a cup)

½ cup of hot water

1 ½ cups of milk

1 cup of fresh cream

½ tablespoon agave
nectar (optional)

Agave nectar is sweet in flavour, which nullifies the sour taste of the hibiscus. To cut down the strong flavour of the tea, one can use agave nectar or honey.


In a saucepan, bring the water to boil and add hibiscus dried petals.

Let the dried petals steep into the tea for five minutes.

Add the milk to a resealable container to froth it. Mix thoroughly until a large number of bubbles appear.

After that, heat the milk for 45 seconds to 1 minute to aid in producing stable bubbles.

Strain the tea with a mesh and add the frothed milk and agave nectar or any other sweetener if need be.

Top it with fresh cream for a rich flavour.

Serve hot.

Optional garnishes

One can add dried rose petals and hibiscus powder to the tea. Vanilla essence or almond milk can be added to give it a more solid and rich flavour.

Tip: Do not overheat the water as it can become bitter and lose its medicinal properties. 

However, research shows that incorporating hibiscus is not ideal for pregnant women since it might stimulate the menstrual cycle and cause abortion.

Even for breastfeeding mothers, hibiscus might be possibly unsafe and might affect the infant.

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