5 Easy Steps to Make Hibiscus Tea Properly

See how to brew hibiscus tea correctly to make the perfect cup of hot or iced hibiscus tea each and every time. See step-by-step guide with photos.

hibiscus iced tea

Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea is a drink made from steeping dried hibiscus flowers in water.

The hibiscus plant is known for its large, bright colored flowers. The flower turns the water red and flavors it. 

  • It’s caffeine-free.
  • Grown in regions with tropical temperatures.
  • Use food-grade hibiscus to make sure they weren’t treated with pesticides.
  • Good quality hibiscus can be found in herbal or health stores.

RELATED: How to Make Herbal Tea Properly

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Brewing Guide

BREW IT HOT
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose hibiscus 
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
208°F
STEEP TIME:
5 minutes

BREW IT COLD
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose hibiscus 
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
Cold water
STEEP TIME:
12 hours

My Hibiscus Tea Picks:

Dried hibiscus

Questions You May Have

How do you pronounce hibiscus?
Hibiscus is pronounced HIGH-BISS-KUSS.  You can also say HEE-BISS-KUSS but that’s the British English pronunciation.

What does hibiscus tea taste like?
It tastes a little tart, like a mild cranberry.

Is there caffeine?
No, there is no caffeine in hibiscus tea. 

Are there any calories?
Nope, none! Just hibiscus tea (no milk, no sugar) has no calories at all.

Is hibiscus tea a real tea?
Hibiscus tea isn’t a real tea in that it doesn’t come from the camellia sinensis plant. Only tea that comes from the camellia sinensis is real tea. 

Hibiscus loose tea and in tea bags

What’s the difference between loose tea and tea bags?
Loose tea is higher quality and you can see the actual shape of the leaf. (In this case, the shape of the hibiscus flower.) Tea bags contain small parts of the tea leaves or flowers and are of lower quality but they are easier to use.

RELATED: How to Make Chamomile Tea Properly

Hibiscus Tea Tips

  • Use loose hibiscus flowers instead of tea bags.
  • Try variations on simple syrup by dissolving honey, brown sugar, or date syrup instead of regular sugar in hot water.
  • A glass teapot is ideal for making hibiscus tea since you can see the pretty red color.
  • Tastes great when mixed with lemonade. Sweet and tart, hibiscus and lemonade go really well together.

Free Quick Cold Brew Tea Guide

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What You’ll Need  

Hot hibiscus tea

How to Make Hibiscus Tea Properly

STEP 1: Boil water.

The better the water tastes the better the tea tastes, so go for filtered or bottled water if you can. 

I use an electric kettle with a temperature setting and set the water to 208°F.

Make sure to boil more water than needed for the cup so that you can use it to warm up the teapot.

STEP 2: Warm up teapot.
Pour some hot water into the teapot and swirl it around a bit to warm it up. Discard the water.
Warming up the teapot helps to brew the tea properly, keeping the water temperature hot.

RELATED: How to Make Tea Properly

Hibiscus tea in teapot

STEP 3: Put hibiscus tea into teapot and add hot water. 

The formula is 1 1/2 teaspoons of hibiscus tea to 1 cup of water.

If you want to make a stronger brew, put in 2 teaspoons of hibiscus tea. 

STEP 4: Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.

Herbal teas usually steep for about 5 minutes. Hibiscus is pretty forgiving so don’t worry if you steep it for 8 minutes instead of 5.

The thing with herbal teas is that they don’t really get bitter like black tea will if you steep it for too long.

RELATED: Quick and Easy Ginger Tea from Scratch

Pouring hibiscus tea into a clear mug

STEP 5: Strain hibiscus flowers and pour hot tea into a teacup.

If you want to sweeten your hibiscus tea, try sugar, honey, or date syrup.

PRO TIP: When pouring from a teapot, always put a finger on the teapot lid.

RELATED: How to Make Rooibos Tea Properly

Iced hibiscus tea

How to Make Iced Hibiscus Tea Properly

Cold brewing makes for the best iced tea! It’s super easy and delicious.

STEP 1: Put loose hibiscus tea or dried flowers and water in a pitcher or glass container.

Use cool or room temperature water. Hot water isn’t a part of the cold brewing process.

Same as for making hot tea, use filtered water for the best tasting cold brew tea.

STEP 2: Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

You can steep it for as long as 24 hours.

Use an iced tea maker like this cold brew glass pitcher to easily make cold brew tea.

RELATED: How to Make Chamomile Tea Properly

Iced hibiscus tea

STEP 3: Strain out hibiscus solids and pour tea into cup with ice.

Look at that gorgeous red!

To sweeten your iced hibiscus tea, use simple syrup. It’ll be the easiest to incorporate into your tea since it’s a liquid.

You can easily make simple sugar at home by mixing equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

Recipe with Hibiscus

 
 
 
Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus Tea

Yield: Makes 1 serving

How to make hibiscus tea properly.

Instructions

  1. Boil water.
    If using an electric kettle with temperature setting, set it to 208°F. Boil a little more water than needed so that it can be used to warm up the teapot.
    (Water quality is important so use filtered water if possible.)
  2. Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into the teapot with an infuser and swirl it around a bit to warm it up. Discard the water.
  3. Put hibiscus tea into teapot and add hot water.
  4. Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Strain hibiscus flowers and pour hot tea into a teacup.

Notes

How to make cold brew iced hibiscus tea:

  1. Put loose hibiscus tea or dried hibiscus flowers and cool or room temperature water in a pitcher or glass container.
    (Filtered water is best.)
  2. Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
  3. Strain out hibiscus solids and pour tea into a cup.
    Ice is optional with cold brew.

To sweeten your tea:

If you want to sweeten your hibiscus tea, use simple syrup. It'll be the easiest way to incorporate into your tea since it's a liquid.

You can easily make simple sugar at home by mixing equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

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4 Comments

  • 8 months ago

    This is an wonderful hibiscus tea and it looks soo delicious…i will make cold hibiscus tea tomorrow’s morning..thanks for sharing….!

  • 7 months ago

    What a lovely article! I must say that I have recently re-discovered my love hibiscus, after having tried it in loose leaf form. I just feel like it tastes much more mild and sweet than the tart tea bag version.
    Also, can I just say your recipes and your photos are absolutely gorgeous! Big fan!

    Tatjana from https://teapro.co.uk/

    • Oh, How Civilized
      7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Tatjana!

  • 5 months ago

    Thank you for posting this – I made it today with fresh flowers, and it turned out fantastic. Such a beautiful color too!

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