On a recent trip to Nosara, Costa Rica, I fell in love with Hibiscus tea. I was visiting the Nosara Refuge For Wildlife and learning about the Howler monkeys. It was a humid day in the middle of the rainy season, so you get lots of sun in the morning hours and thunder showers in the evening, hence the humidity. This spells disaster for my naturally curly hair, but as Costa Rica is one of my favorite places on Earth, I always just give into bad hair for the time I’m there. As my husband likes to say, that’s “personal growth.”
At the end of seeing the adorable monkeys that were there because of unfortunate circumstances and learning about how we could help, Brenda, the women who runs the refuge, brought out a pitcher of iced hibiscus tea. Not sure if it was the heat, but this cold drink felt like a little piece of heaven. When she offered more I accepted eagerly. The truth is that I could have drank the entire pitcher. Brenda then shared that she drinks it every day and, because of it, is almost off her blood pressure medication. The power of plants never seizes to amaze me.
After doing a little research of my own, it seems that drinking this beautiful flower has tons of health benefits. I don’t have high blood pressure, but I really loved the refreshing, fruity flavor, so I was on a mission. I thought of our three Hibiscus plants back home, but instead, besides sketchy internet service, I got on Amazon and put a 8 oz bag of dried Hibiscus in my cart and hit “order.” It would be on my doorstep the day after I arrived home. Oh, how I love Amazon.
Making this tea requires minimal effort with huge rewards.
So let’s get into the recipe, shall we? And, if you want to know which leaves I ordered, here is the link. organic hibiscus flowers
hibiscus (jamaican flower) iced tea
Yield 10 cups
- 2.5 quarts water (10 cups)
- 3/4 to 1 cup maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-5 thin slices ginger (optional)
- 3/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 1-2 allspice berries allspice berries
- 1 lime, juiced
- orange slices, for garnish
- BOIL. Put 4 cups of the water and the maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Add cinnamon stick, ginger slices, and allspice berries. Heat until boiling. Remove from heat.
- STIR. Stir in the dried hibiscus flowers.
- STEEP. Let sit for 20 minutes while the hibiscus steeps. Strain into a pitcher and discard the used hibiscus flowers, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice berries.
- ADD. Add remaining 6 cups of water to the concentrate and chill. Alternatively, you can add ice and chilled soda water for a bubbly version. Add lime juice to taste.
- SERVE. Pour into a glass and top off with an orange slice.
- Make it caffeinated by adding 5 green tea bags the last 5 minutes of your steeping process. Remove them during the straining process.
- If you don't have limes on hand lemons taste just as good.
- Hibiscus is very staining. Be careful not to get on clothing or your favorite dish towels. It will stain.