Tea Lover Lessons

Hibiscus Tea: Everything You Need To Know

Glass of Hibiscus Tea with Mint

Have you ever tried the striking crimson herbal infusion that’s naturally caffeine-free, packed with health benefits, and tastes marvelous? You might be familiar with the hibiscus flower, but how much do you know about hibiscus tea or its potential health benefits? If you’ve never tried hibiscus tea or you’ve always been curious about the lovely floral drink, we’re here to convince you: embrace the flower power!

Hibiscus tea is an herbal drink that enchants with its deep-red hue and delights with its tangy and unique flavor. An almost sour tea with a cranberry-like flavor, this tea has a taste to match the beauty of hibiscus flowers. Served hot or iced, hibiscus tea is often sipped on its own as a delicious drink or blended with other herbal teas to create healthy infusions. Read on to find out why wellness professionals love hibiscus tea, how much hibiscus tea you should drink, and the potential health benefits of this floral tea.

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Enjoy exotic and unique flavors with our selection of the best-rated hibiscus teas from premium tea brands. Relax and sip these teas to keep yourself hydrated while enjoying the ample health benefits of hibiscus. Brewed as hot and cold, these hibiscus teas are a refreshing staple, especially during the summertime.

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What Is Hibiscus Tea?

First, we need to clarify one thing: hibiscus tea isn’t really a tea at all. Technically, it’s an herbal tisane. A tisane is an infusion of dried herbs that are brewed as a tea and contain functional wellness benefits or are sometimes used medicinally. Herbal tisanes vary from true teas, such as black tea or green tea, which are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.

Hibiscus tea is made from the Hibiscus sabdariffa (roselle) shrub, which is actually a relative to okra! But don’t worry, it tastes completely different so don’t let that deter you from trying this tasty tea. While all parts of the roselle plant are edible, from flowers, leaves, and stems, only the calyx is the part of the plant used to make fruity hibiscus tea. It is the lotus-shaped bud that grows underneath the beautiful hibiscus petals and supports it.

This calyx and its petals are often referred to as hibiscus flowers, but according to plant scientists, dried hibiscus flowers aren't technically flowers. The calyx of the hibiscus plant contains a bounty of natural antioxidants, such as flavonoids and anthocyanin (a natural red pigment) that are infused into hibiscus flower tea.

Besides tea, the hibiscus plant, including the hibiscus "flower", is also used for food coloring, liquors, extracts, jams, jellies, sauces, and in baked goods. You can even make homemade candied hibiscus as a tasty snack or use hibiscus flowers as a pretty garnish in cocktails or baked goods!

Try these premium hibiscus tea blends from the Sips by Tea Shop!

Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

While more research needs to be done to understand the full scope of the potential health benefits of this amazing beverage, hibiscus tea, hibiscus extract, and hibiscus flowers have undeniably been used as traditional medicinals for centuries all over the world with positive results. Research shows that drinking hibiscus tea can improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Hibiscus tea may even support the immune system, prevent chronic diseases, and strengthen liver health. Thanks to the antibacterial properties of Hibiscus sabdariffa, hibiscus tea may also help fight bacterial infections.

Along with these benefits of hibiscus tea, it’s also full of vitamin C and other antioxidants that can boost collagen, which promotes healthy hair growth, stronger nails and hair, and clear skin. To incorporate hibiscus into your self-care or beauty routine, drink hibiscus tea while also trying this DIY brightening hibiscus mask or clarifying hibiscus hair rinse.

Drinking Hibiscus Tea Safely

Drinking hibiscus tea in reasonable amounts is not only completely safe but also good for you. As we've discussed so far, it may help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, help prevent liver damage, and has helpful antibacterial properties. However, sometimes there may be a few risks associated with it for some people if you consume high doses, take certain medications, or have pre-existing health conditions. It is advised to avoid consuming hibiscus tea if you have diabetes or low blood pressure because it could lower your blood pressure too much which may cause dizziness or fainting.

Similarly, some tests show that hibiscus tea may interfere with the overall effectiveness of the medications chloroquine and acetaminophen.

Finally, it is advised that consuming hibiscus tea and other foods made from the roselle plant should be avoided for pregnant women or breastfeeding women, as it contains estrogenic properties. For the same reasons, you should avoid hibiscus if you're on birth control pills, as it may lower the effectiveness.

As always, talk to your doctor or medical professional if you have concerns about drinking hibiscus tea. If they have no concerns and none of these conditions apply to you, hibiscus tea is a safe, healthy, and delicious tea to drink daily.

What Does Hibiscus Tea Taste Like?

The tart and fruity taste of hibiscus tea is reminiscent of cranberry juice, and similar to raw hibiscus flowers. Hibiscus tea tastes naturally lightly sweet, but if you're worried about a sour tea, you can enhance a cup with a drizzle of honey or agave, a sprinkle of cane sugar, or a spritz of lemon or lime juice. Delicious iced, hot, or cold-brewed, this bright tea also blends well with herbs and roots like mint, ginger, rose hips and added spices like clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

A more sour tea, hibiscus tea can be an acquired taste, but with countless ways to prepare it, we’re certain there’s a perfect cup of hibiscus tea for everyone just waiting to be discovered (if you haven't already!). Experiment with different flavor combinations, like adding mint leaves with hibiscus flowers, or adding hibiscus extracts to various tea blends.

For the ultimate hibiscus tea fans, try out a few hibiscus tea-infused recipes. Tea time dessert calls for a batch of these hibiscus shortbread cookies or hibiscus ice cream, while happy hour isn't complete without trying a refreshing hibiscus highball. Or, for an easy-to-make summer refresher, mix equal parts hibiscus tea with lemonade and garnish with a sprig of mint leaves!

Try different hibiscus teas with your own Sips by Box.

Where to Buy Hibiscus Tea

As hibiscus tea becomes more popular, so is the ability to find high quality hibiscus buds. When buying hibiscus tea in stores or online, make sure to buy natural, whole bud hibiscus for loose leaf tea and tea bags free of chemicals. Also, make sure you pay attention to whether you’re purchasing a hibiscus infusion blended with other ingredients or a 100% hibiscus flower herbal tea. Both options are delicious, it just depends on how potent you want your hibiscus tea to be!

Try these premium hibiscus tea blends from the Sips by Tea Shop!

How to Make Hibiscus Tea

Learn how to make a delicious cup of hibiscus tea with only three simple steps. Follow the directions to steep a warming cup of hot hibiscus tea, or pour over ice for a refreshing glass of iced tea. Plus, learn how to make a smooth hibiscus cold brew tea overnight!

Steeping Hibiscus Tea

Makes 4 glasses // Total Time: 5-10 minutes


  • Hibiscus tea or dried roselle calyx buds. We recommend this pure hibiscus tea by Shari's Tea.
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • Optional: sugar, honey, agave or alternative sweetener


Measure 1 heaping tablespoon of loose hibiscus tea leaves or use 2-3 tea bags/sachets.

Boil water in a kettle or pot on the stove.

Steep tea for about 3-5 minutes, or until it has a deep red color and full-bodied taste. Of course, you can adjust to your taste and steep for 1-2 minutes less for a weaker flavor or a 1-2 minutes longer for a stronger flavor. Add honey, sugar, or sweetener of your choice, if you desire.

How to Make Cold Brewed Hibiscus Tea: To make a smooth cold brewed hibiscus tea instead, simply steep it in cold water in a pitcher or jar with a lid for 4-6 hours or overnight. Enjoy!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Interested in trying these teas and others? Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more about our tea subscription box or explore the loose leaf tea shop.

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About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate. 



2 Comment

Quiero conocer estos tes

Liliana Ramírez

I love herbal teas. Have been drinking them most of my life, but as time has gone on I’ve realized the ones I haven’t like have all had hibiscus in them. I guess I’m one of those that never acquired the taste…


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