Hibiscus is a flower (photo #2) that is brewed into an herbal tea, a caffeine-free tea also called a tisane.

Tisanes are infusions of flowers, herbs, roots, spices, or other plant material.

Long used in homeopathic medicine, they are now enjoyed by people seeking a caffeine-free beverage.
 
 
THE TASTE OF HIBISCUS

We first tasted hibiscus as a hot tea when we were coming down with a cold.

We had picked up a tea bag sample at a trade show, and knew hibiscus was rich in vitamin C and antioxidants—many more than green tea (here are more benefits of hibiscus).

So we decided to try some homeopathic tea and brewed a cup, deep red in color (photo #1).

It was fragrant, but with one sip we puckered up.

Hibiscus is tart, not unlike like unsweetened cranberry juice.

We decided we wanted a more comforting cup of tea, and stuck the cup of tea in the fridge while we brewed some Dragon Well.

The next day, we opened the fridge, saw the cup and took a sip. We found the iced hibiscus to be delightfully refreshing.

A teaching moment: If you don’t like the way something tastes, figure out how to make it taste better.

  • You can also add gin, tequila or vodka to the hibiscus iced tea.
  • Don’t like the taste of the champagne and white wine? Add some liqueur.
  •  
    Want to try it before you buy it? Hibiscus iced tea is available at Starbucks.

     

    Hibiscus Iced Tea
    [1] Hibiscus iced tea (photo © Bittersweet Blog).


    [2] The hibiscus flower (photo © Siam Garden | Amazon).

     
    TYPES OF TISANES OR HERBAL TEAS

    Tisane ingredients come from different parts of the plant, and have been used for millennia as homeopathic remedies.

    Some examples:

  • Bark: black cherry, cat’s claw, cinnamon, white oak
  • Fruit: apple, berry, citrus peel, peach
  • Leaf: lemon balm, lemongrass, mint, verbena
  • Flower: chamomile, hibiscus, lavender, rose
  • Root: chicory, dandelion, ginger, licorice
  • Seed: anise, caraway, cardamom, fennel
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