Hibiscus “Tea”

by Lisa Richardson [reposted from our sister blog]

Hibiscus petals
Hibiscus petals

Hibiscus “tea” is a very popular beverage across the globe, with incarnations ranging from the Middle East all the way to the Caribbean. It is a sour, fruity infusion made from hibiscus flowers, which thus classifies it as an herbal “tea,” since it usually doesn’t include any Camellia Sinsensis, the traditional tea plant.

You’ll find cold hibiscus “tea” served in Jamaica, where it is known as “sorrel” and served in small glasses mixed with sugar to counter the sour natural flavor. Often, ginger and rum are added to this mixture to give it a both a spicy kick and an alcoholic one, as well.

Hibiscus “tea” takes several different names across the African continent, but it is highly popular there as well. It is served both hot and cold, and is quite common in Egypt, where is it known as “karkade”. It is found in Asia as well, known by yet another name, “roselle”.

Hibiscus “tea” is usually sold in loose form, and though it’s not nearly as popular in the United States as it is in other countries around the world, you can still find it in tea shops and online. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find this tasty “tea” being served in the United States, unless you’re lucky enough to find a specialty tea café or a specialty restaurant which serves it.

This herbal “tea,” like true teas, contains antioxidants, and has also been known to be a good reducer of blood pressure.

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