Hibiscus tea is an infusion made from the dried sepals of the Hibiscus plant. It is a wonderful tea to drink alongside cakes at afternoon tea.
It has the most amazing red colour. It's so beautiful. I like to use pink glass teacups to serve it in, just so that you can see the colour.
It's quite a strong tea, and you don't need much to make a good cup of tea. I use between 3-4 teaspoons of the dried sepals to one litre of water. You should leave it to brew for five minutes before you drink it.
As it is herbal, you can just leave the sepals in the pot to continue brewing. It will not grow bitter, just slightly stronger in strength.
I love the taste of this tea on its own, but I know many people like to sweeten it with sugar or honey.
If you prefer to sweeten the tea, you should just add sugar to your taste. I have seen some recipes that call for huge amounts of sugar, and I think that's a shame. You can't taste the flavour of the hibiscus if you put too much sugar in.
It's a very smooth tea that is more thirst-quenching than some other fruity teas. Some people say it is tart, like cranberry tea, but I don't think it is as tart as that. It has a softness about it that is more fruity than tart.
If you drink it without sweetening, then this is a great tea to drink
to keep hydrated during the day. We all know that drinking water is a
good idea, especially in hot weather. But sometimes, it's nice to drink
something different.You can drink any tea to quench your thirst, but I find that I don't want to drink too much black tea because of the caffeine.
You can avoid caffeine altogether, of course, by drinking herbal teas.
I like to alternate between hibiscus, mint and rooibos for hydrating during the winter. In the summer, I drink the hibiscus and mint tea cold and indulge in iced teas.
Hibiscus tea, like most tea, is good for you. It is said to be good to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and to strengthen the immune system.
The hibiscus plant is indigenous to North America and grows almost everywhere from Southern Canada right down to Mexico. The flowers are gorgeous, similar to mallow flowers. They can grow to be very big and beautiful.
They are very showy flowers that can grow in a huge variety of colours. I found this beautiful picture at a great website called freenaturepictures.com.
To make your own hibiscus tea with a homegrown hibiscus plant, you can wait until the flowers have just fallen off, and then you can collect the sepals that are left on the plant.
If the sepals are ready to be picked, they should just snap off easily. You can then dry them in the sun or in a dehydrator.
Hibiscus tea tastes very good with chocolate cake. We served it at our pink summer party along with white chocolate raspberry cakes and tiny meringues. It was perfect.
I also like hibiscus in the winter, slightly sweetened with honey, when it tastes fantastic with pikelets or soft gingerbread cookies for a lovely afternoon snack.