Start to finish: At least 1 hour, includes chilling time

Servings: 4 8-ounce servings

Difficulty: Beginner

Bursting with color and layers of flavor, hibiscus tea may be served hot or cold. Use hibiscus tea bags rather than loose, dried flowers to make a quick, low-mess iced version of the berry-tasting beverage. Look for decaffeinated pure hibiscus flower tea bags because some brands sell hibiscus blends, which may reduce hibiscus tea’s natural fruity flavor, depending on the other ingredients used.

  • 4 decaffeinated hibiscus-flower tea bags
  • 32 ounces water
  • 1 teaspoon mint leaves, any variety (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 1/2 lime (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • Sprig fresh mint leaves

Bring 32 ounces of water — which equals 1 quart — and four hibiscus tea bags to a boil in a regular pot or heatproof teapot.

Remove the pot from the stove as soon as the tea starts to boil. Cover the pot and let the tea bags steep for at least five minutes, or longer if you like, until the tea has a deep reddish-purple color. Unlike some teas, leaving hibiscus tea bags to steep longer than five minutes causes no adverse flavors to develop.

Remove the tea bags, squeezing them between two spoons to extract as much flavor as possible.

Stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar or the comparable amount of your sweetener of choice while the tea is warm. Taste the tea and add more sweetener as desired.

Cover the pot and let the tea cool until it reaches room temperature, which takes about one hour.

Add ice to a clear pitcher and pour in the tea. Stir the beverage to chill it with the ice quickly. You may skip adding ice and chill the beverage in the fridge if you plan to serve it later.

To enhance the flower’s berry taste, squeeze a few drops of lime juice, lemon juice or both in the pitcher and stir it before serving.

Pour the tea into glasses and garnish them with fresh mint leaves.

  • 8 ounces water
  • 1 hibiscus tea bag
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar or sweetener
  • Herbs and spices to taste

Bring 8 ounces of water to a boil in a microwave-safe cup or in a kettle on the stove.

If you microwaved the water, drop one tea bag and 1 teaspoon of your favorite herb or spice in the cup. If you boiled the water in a kettle, put the tea bag and herb or spice in the cup and slowly pour in the water.

Let the tea bag and spices steep for approximately four minutes. Remove the tea bag. Scoop out the herb or spice with a spoon or leave them in the cup — as you might do with a cinnamon stick or whole cloves — for presentation.

Add sweetener to taste.