Hibiscus Tea (Agua de Jamaica)

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Hibiscus tea (agua de Jamaica) is a vibrant, tangy beverage brewed from dried hibiscus flowers. Its ruby-red color and refreshing flavor make it a popular choice for cooling down on hot days. Brew this agua fresca on stovetop, then chill it in the fridge. Serve over ice.

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Glass of hibiscus tea.

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👩🏻‍🍳 Why This Recipe’s a Keeper

In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, we enjoy this ice-cold tropical drink at eateries, street taco stands, with friends at home, and at the beach. It’s a great alternative to soda.

  • Refreshing Flavor: Hibiscus tea has a tangy and refreshing flavor, making it perfect for quenching thirst on a hot spring or summer day.
  • Simple Ingredients: Hibiscus tea is relatively inexpensive to make, especially compared to store-bought beverages. This recipe requires only a few simple ingredients like dried hibiscus flowers, water, and sugar.
  • Easy Preparation: This recipe involves simple steps like steeping the hibiscus flowers in hot water, adding sugar, and then chilling the tea, making it a hassle-free beverage to prepare.
  • Health Benefits: Hibiscus tea is known for its potential health benefits, including being rich in antioxidants and potentially aiding in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Appealing Presentation: The vibrant red color of hibiscus tea makes it visually appealing, especially when served over ice with garnishes like lemon slices, lime slices, or mint leaves.
  • Suitable for All Ages: Hibiscus tea is non-alcoholic and caffeine-free, making it suitable for people of all ages to enjoy.
  • Longevity: Once prepared, hibiscus tea can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, allowing for enjoyment over time without the need for constant preparation.
A glass of hibiscus tea.

🛒 Ingredients

  • Cold Water: Serves as the base for brewing the tea. Cold water is preferred as it helps extract the flavors from the dried hibiscus flowers without the need for heat, resulting in a smoother and less bitter infusion. I make my tea with purified water.
  • Dried Hibiscus Flowers: The star ingredient of the recipe, dried hibiscus flowers impart a tangy and floral flavor to the tea. They also contribute a vibrant red color, making the beverage visually appealing.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness to balance the tartness of the hibiscus flowers. The amount of sugar can be adjusted according to personal preference, but it’s essential for achieving the desired flavor profile of the tea.
  • Ice Cubes: Used to chill the tea, making it refreshing and perfect for serving cold. Ice cubes also help dilute the tea slightly as they melt, which can mellow out the flavors and make it more enjoyable to drink.
  • Fresh Mint and/or Limes (optional): Garnishes like fresh mint leaves and lime slices not only enhance the presentation of the tea but also add complementary flavors. Mint provides a refreshing herbal note, while lime offers a bright citrusy zing that pairs well with the tanginess of the hibiscus.

Order Hibiscus Flowers Online:  For home delivery, order them through my Amazon affiliate link 👉🏻 hibiscus flowers.

Ingredients for making Hibiscus Tea (Agua de Jamaica).

📖 Recipe Steps

Expert Tip: Put on an apron or an old shirt before prepping this colorful recipe. Hibiscus flowers have a deep red tint that can stain fabrics. Protect porous countertops and surfaces. Don’t use wooden utensils.

  1. Gently rinse the hibiscus flowers in a colander to remove any dust or debris.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, bring cold water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat and add the dried hibiscus flowers to the pot. Use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dried flowers per quart (4 cups) of water, depending on how strong you want the tea. Cover the pot with a lid and let the hibiscus flowers steep in the hot water for about 15-20 minutes. This allows the flavors to infuse into the water.
  3. After steeping, add granulated sugar to sweeten the tea, if desired. Stir well until the sugar is completely dissolved. Adjust the sweetness according to your taste preference.
  4. Once the tea has steeped and sweetened (if desired), use a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain out the hibiscus flowers, pouring the tea into a clean pitcher or container. Discard the solids. Allow the strained tea to cool to room temperature before transferring it to the refrigerator. Once at room temperature, cover the pitcher or container and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 2-4 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
How to make hibiscus tea, step by step.

🥤How to Serve Hibiscus Tea

  1. When ready to serve, pour the chilled hibiscus tea into glasses filled with ice cubes.
  2. For an extra burst of flavor and a touch of elegance, garnish each glass with fresh mint leaves and/or slices of lime.
Three glasses of hibiscus tea on a serving board.

🧑🏼‍🍳 Recipe FAQ

In the United States, look for this product in the Hispanic aisle of large supermarkets. You can also find it at specialty Mexican markets.

In Mexico, Flor de Jamaica (hibiscus flower) is a common ingredient sold in bulk. It’s often packaged in clear cellophane bags. At the grocery store look for it in the produce section near the fruits and veggies.

Yes, you can use fresh hibiscus flowers if available. Simply rinse them well and remove any stems or debris before steeping in cold water. Keep in mind that fresh flowers may result in a slightly different flavor profile compared to dried ones.

The amount of sugar can vary depending on personal preference. Start with a smaller amount and taste the tea before adding more. You can always add more sugar gradually until you reach your desired level of sweetness.

Yes, you can omit the sugar entirely if you prefer a tarter flavor or if you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake. The natural tartness of hibiscus flowers can be enjoyable on its own, especially when served cold.

Starbucks has 2 types of hibiscus iced tea. The blend for their Hibiscus Tea Starbucks includes water, dried hibiscus flowers, lemongrass, mango, rose hips, passion fruit, and ice.

While it’s possible to reuse the hibiscus flowers for a second batch of tea, the flavor may be weaker compared to the first batch. If you choose to reuse the flowers, steep them for a longer duration or add fresh flowers to enhance the flavor.

Store any leftover hibiscus tea in a clean, airtight container in the refrigerator. It can typically be stored for up to a few days. Before serving, stir well as flavors may settle over time.

Here’s a link to SpanishDict.com: ah-gwah deh hah-may-kah.

Agua de Jamaica contains Vitamin C and is known for lowering blood pressure. Read about the study on Hibiscus Tea on the USDA site.

A wooden serving platter with 3 glasses of agua de Jamaica garnished with fresh mint and lime.

More Refreshing Beverages

If you love hibiscus sweet tea, you’ll also enjoy these refreshing summer drinks! Each beverage is family friendly, and quick and easy to make.

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Ice cold glass of agua fresca. This hibiscus iced tea is garnished with mint and lime.

Hibiscus Tea


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 11 reviews

  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes
  • Yield: 5 Servings 1x
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Description

Hibiscus tea is a vibrant, refreshing beverage made from dried hibiscus flowers steeped in hot water. It has a ruby-red hue and a tangy floral flavor with a touch of sweetness. Serve chilled over ice. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and/or lime.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For Hibiscus Tea

  • 8 cups water (purified)
  • 2 cup dried hibiscus flowers, firmly-packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, or to taste

For Serving

  • Ice cubes
  • Fresh mint and/or lime slices (optional)

Instructions

Recipe Prep: Gently rinse the hibiscus flowers in a colander to remove any dust or debris.

  1. In a medium-sized pot, bring cold water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat and add the dried hibiscus flowers to the pot. Use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dried flowers per quart (4 cups) of water, depending on how strong you want the tea. Cover the pot with a lid and let the hibiscus flowers steep in the hot water for about 15-20 minutes. This allows the flavors to infuse into the water. But avoid steeping the flowers too long or the tea will have a bitter taste.
  2. After steeping, add granulated sugar to sweeten the tea, if desired. Stir well until the sugar is completely dissolved. Adjust the sweetness according to your taste preference.
  3. Once the tea has steeped and sweetened (if desired), use a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain out the hibiscus flowers, pouring the tea into a clean pitcher or container. Discard the solids. Allow the strained tea to cool to room temperature.
  4. Once the hibiscus tea is at room temperature, cover the pitcher or container and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 2-4 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
  5. When ready to enjoy, carefully pour the chilled hibiscus tea into glasses filled with ice. If desired, garnish each glass with fresh mint leaves and/or lime slices to enhance the flavor and presentation.

Notes

Where to find hibiscus flowers: In the United States, look for this product in the Hispanic aisle of large supermarkets. You can also find it at specialty Mexican markets, or buy a package online. In Mexico, Flor de Jamaica (hibiscus flower) is a common ingredient sold in bulk. It’s often packaged in clear cellophane bags. At the grocery store look for it in the produce section near the fruits and veggies.

Alternate sweetener: Instead of granulated sugar, feel free to use honey instead.

Want to add more flavors to the tea? Steep the hibiscus flowers along with fresh basil or lemongrass.

  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cooling Time: 2 Hours
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

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11 Comments

  1. I make something similar to this as a syrup for cocktails, but have never made pre-sweetened tea. This sounds fabulously refreshing. Thank you!






  2. OMG _ i have a bunch of hibiscus (they’re my favorite) – i’m saving all the flowers this year to make this!






  3. Such a flavorful and good-for-you tea. So glad I made this easy recipe. It was delicious! Thank you for sharing it.