Beverage The tea made of the calyces of Hibiscus sabdariffa is known by many names in many countries around the world and is served both hot and cold. The beverage is well known for its red colour, tartness and unique flavour. Additionally, it is highly nutritious because of its vitamin C content. It is known as bissap in West Africa, “Gul e Khatmi” in Urdu & Persian, agua de jamaica in Mexico and Central America (the flower being flor de jamaica) and Orhul in India. Some refer to it as roselle, a common name for the hibiscus flower. In Jamaica, Trinidad and many other islands in the Caribbean, the drink is known as sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa; not to be confused with Rumex acetosa, a species sharing the common name sorrel). In Ghana, the drink is known as soobolo in one of the local languages. In Cambodia, a cold beverage can be prepared by first steeping the petals in hot water until the colors are leached from the petals, then adding lime juice (which turns the beverage from dark brown/red to a bright red), sweeteners (sugar/honey) and finally cold water/ice cubes. In Egypt, hibiscus tea is known as karkadé (كركديه), and is served as both a hot and a cold drink. Food Dried hibiscus is edible, and it is often a delicacy in Mexico. It can also be candied and used as a garnish, usually for desserts. The roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is used as a vegetable. The species Hibiscus suratensis Linn synonymous to Hibiscus aculeatus G. Don is noted in Visayas in the Philippines as being a souring ingredient for almost all local vegetables and menus. Known as labog in the Visayan area, (or labuag/sapinit in Tagalog), the species is an ingredient in cooking native chicken soup. Hibiscus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some lepidopteran species, including Chionodes hibiscella, Hypercompe hambletoni, the nutmeg moth, and the turnip moth. Organic hibiscus tisane herbal tea has a taste that is very similar to cranberry juice. You can also try adding spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mint leaves, lemon wedges, or ginger depending on your taste. Hibiscus ginger tea is one of the popular flavours as it gives the tea both a balance of tartness (of the flower) and spiciness (of the ginger). It is very easy to make hibiscus tea; all you need is a pot, water, hibiscus flowers, and sugar or honey. Let us take a look at the step by step process of making the tea at home. Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes Servings: 4 cups Ingredients • 2 tsp dried hibiscus flowers • 1 cup boiling water • cinnamon stick optional • clove optional • tea bag optional • lime wedges optional • ginger optional • mint leaves optional Instructions 1. On the stove, keep a pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, keep all the ingredients ready for the recipe, if you haven’t. 2. Take 2 tsp of dried hibiscus flowers, which equals to 10 ml of the same (to be more accurate) and add it to the boiling water. You are free to add more or less of the hibiscus flowers, depending on how strong you want your tea to be. It’s important to note here that hibiscus tea doesn’t have caffeine, so adding a lot of it won’t have an adverse effect on your health. 3. Once the water is boiled, pour the water slowly and steadily into a teapot. Make sure you have worn mittens/gloves to protect your hands from any kind of burns. 4. If you want to add caffeine to your tea, add a teabag to the concoction. Allow it to steep for five minutes. While you wait, the hibiscus flowers will give the water a somewhat sharp, zingy taste. If you wish your tea to be strong, allow it to steep for more than 5 minutes. 5. Once done, pour the tea into your cup, using a metal strainer. If your teapot has an in-built filter, the process will be way easier. Some people like to chew the hibiscus petals and don’t prefer to strain them. You can try that as well if you like. 6. Don’t forget to add your preferred sweetener to the beverage. Try it with honey if you can, as it goes very well with the zestfully tart flavor of the tea. You can add sugar or stevia as well, depending on your choice.