How To Make Hibiscus Tea: 3 Easy Step-By-Step Recipes

Hibiscus tea is made from the leaves of the hibiscus flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis). 

You can buy dried hibiscus leaves to make loose-leaf tea or use premade tea satchels.

You make hibiscus tea by soaking the leaves in hot water, which extracts some of the flavor and nutritional compounds in the flower leaves.

There are many benefits of drinking herbal teas like hibiscus tea, which, unlike black, green, white, and oolong tea, doesn’t contain caffeine. 

If you want to make your own hibiscus tea at home and learn more about the potential benefits of drinking hibiscus tea, you’re in the right place!

Keep reading to learn different hibiscus tea recipes.

Basic hibiscus tea recipe using dried flowers


  • ¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 4 cups (1 quart) cold filtered water
  • Ice for serving (optional)
  • Sweetener of choice, optional (sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave, etc.)
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint (garnish)
  • ¼ cup raspberries (garnish)


  1. Place the dried hibiscus flowers in a quart-size Mason jar or pitcher of your choice.
  2. Pour in filtered water and stir to combine.
  3. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until the tea is bright red (at least 20 minutes). Store the mixture overnight if you want to allow it to steep longer and develop a darker color and stronger flavor.
  4. Strain the mixture into a pitcher to remove the hibiscus petals. Serve over ice (or hot) with mint and raspberries for garnish.

Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Iced Tea)


  • 2 quarts (8 cups) water, divided
  • ¾-1 cup sugar, depending on your preference for sweetness
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon stick (optional)
  • A few thin slices of ginger (optional)
  • Allspice berries (optional)
  • Lime juice (optional)
  • Orange or lime slices for garnish


  1. Boil 4 cups of water and the sugar in a medium saucepan. Add cinnamon, ginger slices, and/or the allspice berries (all optional).
  2. Heat until boiling and the sugar has dissolved. 
  3. Remove from heat, and stir in the dried hibiscus flowers using a spatula. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes. 
  4. Strain into a pitcher and discard the used hibiscus flowers and optional spices if used.
  5. Add the remaining 4 cups of water and chill in the refrigerator.
  6. Serve with ice and garnish (orange or lime slices).


  • Add carbonated water or ginger ale for a bubbly version.
  • Add lime juice to give the hibiscus tea a more “punch-like” flavor.

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Hibiscus lemon tea (using tea bags instead of tea leaves)


  • 6 hibiscus tea bags
  • 2 medium lemons
  • ½ cup sugar 
  • 7 cups of water, divided


  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the tea bags and let them steep for 30 minutes. 
  3. Gently squeeze tea bags to release any excess liquid and discard. 
  4. Pour tea into a pitcher.

To make lemon syrup (while the tea is steeping):

  1. Slice the lemon peel into strips.
  2. Squeeze the lemons to yield ¼ cup juice and set aside.
  3. Bring sugar and ½ cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  4. Cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. 
  5. Remove the sugar water from the heat and add lemon strips. 
  6. Let cool for 30 minutes. Remove and discard lemon strips. 

Combine the tea and lemon syrup

Stir the lemon syrup, lemon juice, and 4 cups of water into the tea. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. Serve over ice. 

Benefits of drinking hibiscus tea

Health benefits

Hibiscus tea has several potential health benefits thanks to the compounds in hibiscus flowers. According to a study, here are some of the potential health benefits of hibiscus tea:

  • May help lower blood sugar levels.
  • Might support healthy blood pressure levels.
  • Supporting healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Reduce insulin resistance, which is the key cause of type 2 diabetes

Hibiscus tea is very high in a type of antioxidant called polyphenols (more specifically, anthocyanins).

Anthocyanins give hibiscus tea its rich red color and are known for their health benefits such as:

  • Reducing the risk of health problems like cardiovascular disease, cancer, bone loss, and more.
  • May reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, according to studies.

Hibiscus tea is also a good source of nutrients like vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, supports a healthy immune system, and aids in wound healing.

Lower sugar drink alternative

Homemade hibiscus tea is generally much lower in sugar compared to store-bought tea and other sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks.

When you make homemade hibiscus tea, you can control how much sugar goes into it, or you might choose to use a sugar alternative like Stevia, monk fruit sweetener, or an artificial sweetener to make it sugar-free.

Choosing lower-sugar drink options like hibiscus tea in place of highly sweetened drinks can help your health in many ways. 

Some of the benefits of reducing your sugar intake can include:

  • Reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes, especially if you already have risk factors for diabetes.
  • Aiding in weight loss by reducing excess calories. 
  • Lowering levels of inflammation, which can worsen health conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and more.

Increased fluid intake

Drinking tea counts towards your fluid intake. Staying hydrated is important for your health, and not just in the summer months!

Staying hydrated can help prevent headaches, promote good digestive habits, reduce the risk of urinary tract infections, increase energy levels, promote healthy skin, and much more.

If you have a hard time drinking enough water, drinking tea like hibiscus tea is a great way to meet your fluid requirements – and it tastes great!

A good rule of thumb is to aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water and clear fluids (like tea) every day. For a 150-pound person, that would be 75 ounces (a little over 9 cups) per day.


If you drink too much caffeine, it can cause adverse side effects like jitters, headaches, trouble sleeping, fast heartbeat, and other symptoms. Caffeine is in drinks like coffee, sodas, and energy drinks.

Unlike “true” tea made from the camellia sinensis plant (black, green, white, pu-erh tea, purple, and oolong tea), herbal teas like hibiscus tea are caffeine-free. 

Caffeine-free drinks like herbal tea are safer for those sensitive to caffeine, who are pregnant, or if you want to serve it to children.

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What does hibiscus tea taste like?

Unsweetened tea (brewing tea leaves or tea bags with water) isn’t naturally sweet. Plain hibiscus tea tastes a little tart, similar to cranberry juice.

Adding a sweetener can counteract the tartness of hibiscus tea, which makes hibiscus tea more palatable. 

You can use regular sugar, honey, agave nectar, or sugar substitutes like stevia, monk fruit sweetener, or artificial sweeteners to sweeten hibiscus tea.

If you use a sugar alternative like stevia or monk fruit sweetener and haven’t used them before, be aware that they can have a different aftertaste compared to regular granulated (table) sugar. 

They are considered natural sugar alternatives, unlike artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame.

You can add spices like cinnamon and allspice to hibiscus tea, as well as orange, lemon, or lime slices. 

Adding these optional spices and garnishes will alter the taste of hibiscus tea a little, but usually in a good way!


  • Hibiscus tea is made from dried hibiscus flowers or hibiscus tea bags.
  • There are many recipes for hibiscus tea that call for whole hibiscus flowers or hibiscus tea bags.
  • You can add different spices to hibiscus tea, like cinnamon and allspice, as well as fruit like oranges, lemons, and limes. Hibiscus tea can be served hot or cold.
  • There are potential health benefits from drinking hibiscus tea, such as reduced risk of diseases, reduced sugar intake, and boosting hydration, to name a few. 
  • The health benefits of hibiscus tea are related to the antioxidants in hibiscus flowers, as well as the lower sugar nature of herbal teas compared to sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and energy drinks.

Explore More

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  1. Hair R, Sakaki JR, Chun OK. Anthocyanins, Microbiome and Health Benefits in Aging. Molecules. 2021 Jan 21;26(3):537. doi: 10.3390/molecules26030537. PMID: 33494165; PMCID: PMC7864342.
  2. Mattioli R, Francioso A, Mosca L, Silva P. Anthocyanins: A Comprehensive Review of Their Chemical Properties and Health Effects on Cardiovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases. Molecules. 2020 Aug 21;25(17):3809. doi: 10.3390/molecules25173809. PMID: 32825684; PMCID: PMC7504512.
  3. Dennis KK, Wang F, Li Y, Manson JE, Rimm EB, Hu FB, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Wang DD. Associations of dietary sugar types with coronary heart disease risk: a prospective cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2023 Nov;118(5):1000-1009. doi: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.08.019. Epub 2023 Sep 1. PMID: 37659725; PMCID: PMC10636232.
  4. Ma X, Nan F, Liang H, Shu P, Fan X, Song X, Hou Y, Zhang D. Excessive intake of sugar: An accomplice of inflammation. Front Immunol. 2022 Aug 31;13:988481. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.988481. PMID: 36119103; PMCID: PMC9471313.

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