How to Make Hibiscus Tea Properly

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Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea that’s caffeine-free. See health benefits and how to properly brew this bright red tea properly, step-by-step, with expert tips from a certified Tea Sommelier.

Hot hibiscus tea in a glass mug.

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What is Hibiscus Tea?

Hibiscus tea is an herbal, caffeine-free drink made from steeping dried hibiscus calyces (the part of the plant that supports the petals and protect the bud) in water.

The tea is naturally red. The bright red hibiscus colors the water and flavors it. The hibiscus plant is known for its large, bright colored flowers and it is grown in regions with tropical temperatures.

Hibiscus tea is an excellent source of antioxidants, has been found to lower blood pressure, may help lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce high blood sugar levels. It’s also rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that’s essential for healthy immune function.

Since the tea reduces blood pressure, ask your doctor if it’s ok to drink hibiscus tea if you’re taking blood pressure medication. You should also check with your doctor if you have blood sugar issues, as the drink can affect blood sugar.

Hibiscus contains compounds that have estrogen-like properties. If you’re pregnant or have reproductive health concerns, talk to your doctor before drinking hibiscus tea.

Recipe Highlights

  • A simple herbal drink, this hibiscus tea takes 7 minutes to make from start to finish.
  • Hibiscus tea is refreshing, tart, and non-caffeinated, so you can drink it any time of the day.
  • This recipe yields 1 cup, but you can double or triple the ingredients to make a bigger batch.

RELATED: Hibiscus Syrup

Hibiscus Loose Tea vs Tea Bags

Hibiscus loose tea and hibiscus in tea bag.

The more of the whole hibiscus calyces you can see, the better the quality. Loose hibiscus tea is higher quality since you can see the shape of the flower calyces.

Hibiscus tea bags are of lower quality since they’re filled with crushed hibiscus.

Always use food-grade hibiscus to make sure they weren’t treated with pesticides.

My Hibiscus Tea Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

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Step-by-Step Instructions

Four photo collage showing steps to make hibiscus tea.
  1. Boil water.
    Using an electric kettle with temperature settings to boil water for tea makes it easy to get the water temperature just right. Boil more than needed since you want extra to warm up the teapot.
  2. Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into the teapot and swirl it around a bit. Discard the water.
  3. Put dried hibiscus into the teapot and add hot water. Cover teapot and steep.
  4. Strain hibiscus solids and pour hot tea into a teacup.

Tea Sommelier’s Tips

Use good quality water.
The better the water, the better the tea. I recommend using filtered water.

Warm up the teapot.
Warming up the teapot helps to brew the tea properly, keeping the water temperature hot.

Serve it with or without sugar.
Hibiscus tea can be served with or without sugar and hot or iced. If you want to sweeten hot tea, you can use any kind of sweetener.

Adjust as needed.
For a stronger cup of hibiscus tea, add a couple of more minutes to your steep time or add 1/2 teaspoon more of hibiscus.

Herbal teas don’t get bitter like green tea.
Herbal teas like hibiscus are a lot easier to brew than other types of teas since it doesn’t get overly bitter if brewed for more than 5 minutes so don’t worry if it steeps for longer.

Brew it in a glass teapot.
Use a glass teapot to make herbal tea so you can see the pretty herbals in water.

Store it properly.
Hibiscus tea can be brewed and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Keep it covered or airtight glass container or pitcher. Loose dried hibiscus and tea sachets should be stored in an airtight container away from light, odors, humidity, and heat.

RELATED: Hibiscus Lemonade

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. 

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4.61 from 41 votes

Hibiscus Tea

By: Jee Choe
How to make hibiscus tea properly to make the perfect cup every time. 
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup water, + more to warm teapot
  • 1 ½ teaspoons hibiscus tea

Instructions 

  • 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. Filtered water is best.
  • Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into a teapot and swirl it around. Discard the water.
    Warming up the teapot is an extra step that all tea professionals take the time to do, so that when the tea steeps, the water temperature won't drop drastically.
  • Put hibiscus tea into the teapot and add hot water. Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain hibiscus flowers and pour hot tea into a teacup.

Notes

  • Use loose tea instead of tea bags for a better quality cup of tea.
  • For a stronger cup of hibiscus tea, add a couple of more minutes to your steep time or add 1/2 teaspoon more of hibiscus.
  • Use a glass teapot to make herbal tea so you can see the pretty herbals in water.
  • Hibiscus tea can be served with or without sugar. If you want to sweeten hot tea, you can use any kind of sweetener from sugar to date syrup, but for sweetening iced tea, always use simple syrup since it’ll be the easiest to mix into a cold drink.
  • Herbal teas like hibiscus are a lot easier to brew than other types of teas since it doesn’t get overly bitter if brewed for more than 5 minutes so don’t worry if it steeps for longer.
  • Hibiscus is often used in drinks to naturally color it pink.
  • Hibiscus tea can be brewed and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Keep it covered or airtight glass container or pitcher.

Nutrition

Calories: 3Carbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 12mgSugar: 1gVitamin C: 1mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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25 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for all the information. l was recommended by my Hijama doctor to drink Hibiscus tea to lower blood pressure and using your recipe to make it.

  2. I brew hibiscus regularly and I usually drink it cold.
    It can be sorted easily up to 7 days in the fridge .
    My recipe :
    2 liter boiled water
    50 grams hibiscus leaves
    Leave it steep for 2 to 4 hours !

  3. 5 stars
    My blood pressure has been inching up and I was reminded of hibiscus tea, which I still had a jar of dried flowers from the Food Co-op. Well, years later they’re still good and I’m having a delicious cup with a little honey. I might try a little cream with my next cup.

    Thanks for the brewing tips. I only used about a tablespoon for a 16 oz mug, it was perfect.

  4. 5 stars
    I love cold tea I have been drinking it for a few years I just put the hibiscus in water and let it for a few hours or half day then strain it and sweeten it with Sevia and I drink it all day Raquel Salas

    1. I literally just found a bag of dried flowers at my grocery store and it was inexpensive!!!! I bought a bag came home and made tea. I have tea filters and filled one up when it finished steeping(I added cherry flavoured honey to my hot tea) I took the bag and put it a glass of filtered water in the fridge. I haves a collagen and electrolyte powder that is strawberry peach flavour so I added that to the cold brew. So delicious

  5. My husband got me drinking this. I didn’t know what it was and have been calling it flower water. I finally asked tonight and they told me the Spanish name (they are mexican). I love drinking it. Had no idea of all the properties of it. I normally put some water in a saucepan, add flowers, bring to a boil, let sit for a minute, then pour into a measure cup with 2 chipsof sugar, stir, pour into gallon jug, and add cold water. Shake jug after filed to stir up sugar. Husband loves it sweet. I have to add more water to mine to lose some of the sweetness.