Over the Teacups

Giving Voice to the Tea Industry

Hibiscus – the new “in” herbal flavor?

Posted on | September 2, 2009 | Comments

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Hibiscus Hibiscus Hibiscus

“Its ruby red color is alluring; its flavor, lemony-tart and berry-rich. It’s not cranberry or pomegranate, but hibiscus. And judging by its appearance in supermarkets, restaurants and bars, it’s a flavor darling.
The ruby red beverage made from hibiscus sabdariffa has long refreshed folks from Africa to Latin America and the Caribbean, where it can be called bissap or agua de Jamaica or sorrel.
The “hibiscus” listed on labels of the newer products, is not necessarily the exact same plant as the one growing in your backyard, says Kyle Wallick, a botanist with the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. “The scientific name is hibiscus sabdariffa,” he said.
What’s used to brew the teas and make the beverages is the part called the calyx, or “the outer shell of the flower. They turn red and are kind of fleshy, and they have sort of a sour, lemonade-y taste.”
Judy Hevrdejs, Tribune Newspapers¬† Read More……
Wikipedia tells us:
Hibiscus tea is the infusion made from the calyces (sepals) of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, a herbal tea drink consumed both hot and cold by people around the world. It is also referred to as roselle (another common name for the hibiscus flower), flor de Jamaica in Latin America, karkady in the Middle East, bissap in West Africa, sorrel in Jamaica, and red sorrel in the wider Caribbean, and other names in other regions. Hibiscus tea has a tart, cranberry-like flavor, and sugar is often added to sweeten the beverage. The tea contains vitamin C and minerals and is used traditionally as a mild medicine.
Looking for teas that feature hibiscus as an ingredient?  Try Passion Ava, created for Ava Roasteria in Beaverton, OR, or Hula Hips, originally created for Sisterchicks.

About the Author

Jennifer Petersen is a tea enthusiast, teaches various aspects about tea as a business, and a marketing consultant to the beverage industry. Always fascinated by other people who love tea, she is a life-long student and admirer of those who choose tea as a lifestyle.