Top Pick Of The Week

June 21, 2011

Hibiscus Iced Tea

Iced tea in Key Lime Hibiscus and Blueberry Hibiscus. Photography courtesy Republic Of Tea.

WHAT IT IS: An herbal tea made from dried hibiscus flowers.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Known in the industry as a “superflower,” hibiscus is one of the planet’s best sources of vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Hibiscus has a tartness like cranberries (and it tastes very similar). It’s refreshing hot or cold, but on a hot day, a glass of iced hibiscus tea is heavenly.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Tea bags can be found at many regular food and health food retailers. Bulk dried flowers can be found at Latin and Caribbean markets and online. See the links at the right for online purchase of our favorite hibiscus tea bags, from The Republic Of Tea.

.Hibiscus Tea: Iced To Perfection


CAPSULE REPORT: What’s delicious hot or cold, has zero calories and no caffeine, is a bright ruby red color and is full of therapeutic powers?

It’s hibiscus tea, an herbal tea that’s our nominee for the tea to try this month (June is National Iced Tea Month!).

Hibiscus has complex and vibrant flavors: fruity and floral notes with a tart, red fruit backbone, like a tart lemonade that you can sweeten to taste. Well-chilled from the fridge and poured over ice, it’s a wonderful refresher.

And hibiscus is a superflower, full of potent antioxidants that do the body a lot of good (more about health benefits on the next page).

There are more than 200 varieties of hibiscus, from all over the world. The variety Hibiscus sabdariffa was brought from Egypt to Spain in the ninth century. It has large, showy, fragrant flowers and is popular as an ornamental plant in subtropical and tropical regions.

Hibiscus was brought to the New World by Spanish explorers, and used as a culinary ingredient in Jamaica, where it spread through the Caribbean. That’s why the same drink is served in Africa as in Jamaica and Mexico.

Hibiscus is a flower of many names. In Jamaica, hibiscus can be known as red sorrel; in Mexico, the drink is called flor de Jamaica; elsewhere it is called roselle, after the common name for the plant. There are different names in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. But one thing’s for sure: You can’t forget the inimitable color and taste of hibiscus.

Hibiscus is more than just a refreshing drink. You’ll find recipe ideas on the next page (and take a look at the Cooking Video Of The Week for a hibiscus punch).

Top Row: Vanilla Apple Hibiscus, Natural Hibiscus. Bottom row: Key Lime Hibiscus, Blueberry Hibiscus, Pineapple Lychee Hibiscus.

Health Benefits Of Hibiscus

Head to the next page to see how beneficial hibiscus is. But first, take  a peek at the article index below.

THE NIBBLE has been reviewing the finest foods in America since 2004.
Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories. Product reviews are by a unanimous vote of our Editorial Committee. We do not accept placement fees: All products have earned their way into our webzine due to excellence.


Republic Of Tea Natural Hibiscus Tea Bags. This caffeine-free herbal tea makes a ruby red, fruity hibiscus brew. Wonderful hot or iced. More information.

Wild Hibiscus Flowers In Syrup. An easy way to make a special occasion cocktail: Just add Champagne or other sparkling wine. More information.

Republic Of Tea Blueberry Hibiscus Tea Bags. The flavor of blueberries adds even more complexity to the hibiscus tea profile. More information.


This is Page 1 of a two-page review. Click on the black links to visit related pages:



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