A few months ago I fell in love with the flavor of hibiscus. I’ll be honest, the color attracted me first, but as soon as I got a taste, there was no turning back. Hibiscus flowers are now one of my favorite dried botanicals and I use them regularly to flavor my home-brewed kombucha. A couple of weeks ago I was reading an article about taco trucks and the author mentioned that she loved purchasing a Jamaica tea to go along with her food truck tacos. I’d never heard of Jamaica tea, so I investigated. Turns out Jamaica tea is iced tea made with hibiscus flowers and flavored with lime. Even though I had never had this drink, I was instantly in love and started playing around with flavors until settling on this recipe for Cold Brewed Jamaica (Hibiscus Iced Tea)!
This drink is everything I love about summer poured into a glass of iced tea. Bright, beautiful color. Tart, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor. Cool and refreshing.
Tea made from hibiscus flowers is naturally caffeine free. Hibiscus flowers are rich in vitamin C and have been shown in studies to help lower blood pressure in mild hypertensives and in type II diabetics. Another study showed that consumption of hibiscus flowers may assist in the treatment and prevention of metabolic syndrome.
I decided to go with a cold brew for this tea. Cold brews might take a little longer (I let this infuse overnight), but the flavor is worth the wait. I found that I liked the clean, crisp flavor of the hibiscus flowers from a cold brew much better than a hot brew.
Several recipes that I saw also included optional flavorings like fresh ginger, allspice, star anise, and cinnamon. I tried a batch with cinnamon and although it was quite good, I prefer the straight up flavor of the hibiscus and lime in this Cold Brewed Jamaica. Let me know which flavors you decide to add!
Oh, and how cute are those ice cubes?! I love adding some fun and whimsy to my presentation. You can check out the mold that I used for the ice cubes here.
- Filtered water
- 2 Tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1-2 Tablespoons raw, local honey
- Optional flavorings: cinnamon sticks, freshly sliced ginger, allspice, star anise
- Pour three cups of filtered water into a quart size Mason jar and add the hibiscus flowers and any optional flavorings. Stir to combine, cover with the lid, and place in the refrigerator overnight or for about 8 hours.
- Strain the tea through a mesh strainer, pressing on the leaves to extract as much hibiscus flavor as possible.
- Pour the tea back into the mason jar and add the lime juice.
- Gently warm 3/4 cup of filtered water and add the honey to the warm water. Stir to dissolve the honey and then add the honey water to the tea. Stir to combine.
- Serve over ice with lime wedges.
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