Hibiscus Tea (Agua de Jamaica)
by Purple Herbal
Besides being stunning to look at, hibiscus flowers can be made into a healthy and delicious herbal tea. The deep red color of the tea indicates that it is packed full of vitamins and minerals. Hibiscus is especially high in vitamin C and acts as a natural diuretic. There is a 2008 study that shows drinking hibiscus tea helps lower blood pressure.
Known as Jamaica (ha-mike-ah) flowers in Central and South America, Agua de Jamaica, is a popular refreshing drink that is usually served cold. Hibiscus is steeped in sugar water, sometimes with ginger. After it is chilled, lime and/or a little rum may be added as well.
I made my own version of Agua de Jamaica tonight and swear I felt my cheeks get rosier from drinking it’s rich red nourishment. It is thought that foods that are dark red in color work as potent blood purifiers. Cherries, cranberries, and pomegranates also fall into this category.
Here is the recipe that I used to make Agua de Jamaica:
5 cups of water
Heaping 1/2 cup of dried hibiscus flowers
1/4 cup organic cane sugar or honey
Heat water and sugar in large sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Turn off heat and add hibiscus flowers to water mixture.
Cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
Strain tea into pitcher. Pour over ice.
Place pitcher in refrigerator to chill.
This version of Agua de Jamaica is not as sweet as some other Jamaica teas I have tried, but I prefer my tea to be more on the tart side. If you like your tea sweet, add more sugar to taste. Sugar may be omitted altogether from this recipe, if desired.
Warm hibiscus tea is very soothing to drink, so don’t forget to have a cup or two before placing the tea in fridge or pouring over ice.