Hibiscus tea, as the name suggests, is produced from the petals of hibiscus flowers. It is usually blended with some other base tea like black tea or green tea. The tea has a long and rich history which can be traced as far back as ancient Egypt. Its sweet ‘n’ sour taste was a great relief from Nile Valley’s intense heat. It wasn’t just Egypt where the tea was appreciated. It was consumed in numerous countries, known by a different name in a different country. For example it is called Bissap in West Africa, flor de Jamaica in Mexico and Gongura in India and Brazil, Karkade in Egypt. In Egypt and Sudan, it is used as an ingredient in medicinal teas and jams.
It is very easy to prepare and is brewed just like any other ordinary tea. It is steeped in boiling water for 4-5 minutes. It yields a lovely sweet, crisp taste. You may sweeten it with honey or sugar if you like it better that way. To enhance its natural crispness, you may also add spices like cloves, and cinnamon while steeping. Hibiscus tea also tastes great served cold. To make iced tea with it, let the hibiscus flower tea bags steep in boiled water sweetened with sugar. Strain the tea into glasses and refrigerate them. You may garnish chilled tea with lemon wedges before serving.
Drinking hibiscus tea is an extremely refreshing and revitalizing experience. Its sweet-tart taste is akin to cranberries. Its rich, tangy and punchy flavor tastes delicious both hot and iced. Hibiscus is also used to make many tea blends like hibiscus mint tea, which is a mixture of hibiscus, peppermint and spearmint. Hibiscus lends a deep red color to the liquor and blends well with apple juice, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon.
Hibiscus tea is also an efficacious therapeutic agent. It is an all-purpose medicine and all its parts like leaves, roots, and flowers are used in herbal medications and loose leaf herbal tea blends. It is hugely popular in Middle East where it is often used to assuage minor stomach upsets and cold. Its natural flavonoids resist free radical activity in the body while antioxidants cleanse the system of all toxic wastes. Hibiscus tea is an extremely useful weight loss diet supplement and helps shed undesirable weight. It slows down metabolism of sugar and starch in the body and decreases the rate at which these are absorbed by the body. It also helps lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. These two parameters are crucial to cardiovascular health, and by controlling these, this drink also helps maintain a healthy heart and strong blood vessels.
The beverage is also a rich source of vitamin C which bolsters body’s immune system and guards against common seasonal allergies like cold, cough, flu, chest congestion, and sore throat. It also aids proper digestion of food and lowers incidence of constipation and bladder complications. The tea is also an effective mild natural diuretic. It drains out excess liquid from the body via urinary secretions, and protects fluid retention in the body, or the risk of developing edema.
Hibiscus is an extremely beautiful flower and finds very important place in making blooming teas. Many blooming teas have a hibiscus flower sewn into the center of the tea ball. The flower blooms magnificently when brewed and lends the infusion with all the taste, aroma, and health attributes of hibiscus tea. Along with it, it carries the taste and aroma of the base tea, which is usually white tea or green tea. Hibiscus lends the tea a vibrant red tinge and a gentle zap to the palate, which deliciously balances white tea’s plain taste.
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