How to Make Hibiscus Tea Properly (Hot & Iced)

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Hibiscus tea is a refreshing and tart red drink that’s great hot or iced. See how to properly brew it each and every time with my step-by-step guide.

Hibiscus iced tea in a cup

Hibiscus Tea

  • Hibiscus tea is a drink made from steeping dried hibiscus flowers in water.
  • An herbal tea, it’s caffeine-free.
  • The hibiscus plant is known for its large, bright colored flowers and it is grown in regions with tropical temperatures.
  • The flower turns the water red and flavors it. 
  • Use food-grade hibiscus to make sure they weren’t treated with pesticides.

Hibiscus Tea Brewing Guide

TO MAKE HOT HIBISCUS TEA
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose hibiscus or 1 tea bag
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
208°F
STEEP TIME:
5 minutes

TO MAKE COLD BREW HIBISCUS TEA
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose hibiscus or 1 tea bag
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
Cold water
STEEP TIME:
12 hours

RELATED: How to Make Herbal Tea Properly

Loose Hibiscus Tea vs Tea Bags

Loose hibiscus tea is higher quality and you can see the flower petals. Hibiscus tea bags are of lower quality since they’re filled with crushed flower petals.

The more of the whole flower you can see, the better the quality.

What You’ll Need

TO MAKE HOT HIBISCUS TEA

TO MAKE COLD BREW HIBISCUS TEA

My Hibiscus Pick:

Loose Hibiscus Tea

Photo Credit: amazon.com

100% pure hibiscus tea with nothing else added.
SEE PRICE ON AMAZON
Hot hibiscus tea

How to Make hot Hibiscus Tea properly

STEP 1: Boil water.

The better the water tastes the better the tea tastes, so go for filtered 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.

Tea Sommelier’s Tip: Warming up the teapot helps to brew the tea properly, keeping the water temperature hot.

RELATED: How to Make Chamomile Tea Properly

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

STEP 4: Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.

Hibiscus is pretty forgiving so don’t worry if you steep it for more than 5 minutes.

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

Tea Sommelier’s Tip: Whenever you pour from a teapot, always put a finger on the teapot lid.

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

How to Make Cold Brew Hibiscus tea

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

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

Use cool or room temperature water — hot water isn’t needed to cold brew. 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.

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

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 syrup at home by mixing equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

Hibiscus Tea Tips

  • Use loose hibiscus tea instead of tea bags since it’s better quality.
  • Try variations on simple syrup by dissolving honey, brown sugar, or date syrup instead of regular sugar in hot water.
  • Tastes great when mixed with lemonade. Sweet and tart, hibiscus and lemonade go really well together.
  • If you want to make a stronger brew, use 2 teaspoons of hibiscus tea. 

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.

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Hibiscus Tea

Author: Jee Choe
How to brew hibiscus tea properly to make the perfect cup every time. 
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Steep Time 5 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving

INGREDIENTS
 

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.
  • Put hibiscus tea into teapot and add hot water.
  • Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain hibiscus flowers and pour hot tea into a teacup.

NOTES

TO MAKE COLD BREW HIBISCUS TEA
1. Put hibiscus tea and cool or room temperature water in a pitcher or glass container.
Filtered water is best for a better tasting iced tea.
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 since the drink is already cold.

NUTRITION

Calories: 3kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword cold brew hibiscus tea, how to make hibiscus tea, iced hibiscus tea
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized and use hashtag #ohhowcivilized!

11 thoughts on “How to Make Hibiscus Tea Properly (Hot & Iced)”

  1. 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/

    Reply
      • I love your blog! I’ve tried so many of your recipes and the results were marvelous. How many flowers would be required to make one serving of tea? I grow a variety of these flowers in my garden.

        Reply
        • Hi Suhani, 2 whole, dried flowers should be a good starting place for a cup of water. Lucky that you grow them in your garden!

  2. I love hibiscus! I will have to try from the list you gave us. I’ve always pronounced the “hi” in hibiscus like saying “inhibit” or “hit.” Apparently I like to be different!

    Reply
  3. I love hibiscus tea. I hot brew mine and then put it in a container in the fridge (usually over night) so I can drink it cold. When I drink mine, I add a little french vanilla creamer and it gives it a sweet and tart taste to it. It’s delicious. Thank you for promoting hibiscus tea!!

    Reply

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