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How to Make Hibiscus Tea (2 Ways)

You may be familiar with the hibiscus flower, Hibiscus sabdariffa, which is made into a popular tea and makes for a refreshing summertime drink. In other parts of the world, it is also known as bissap, roselle, red sorrel, agua de Jamaica, Lo-Shen, Sudan tea, and sour tea.(1) It does indeed have a sour taste, similar to cranberry juice. But it’s low in calories and caffeine-free – making it a fantastic choice for every day (and all day) consumption.

Hibiscus imparts a vibrant red color when steeped that not only looks beautiful but also boasts beneficial health properties. Published research on hibiscus have focused on its effects on blood pressure and cholesterol, in particular:

  • Blood Pressure: One study found that consuming hibiscus sadariffa (HS) tea was just as effective at lowering blood pressure as a common blood pressure medication known as Captropril, but less effective than Lisinopril.(2)
  • Cholesterol: A 2009 study looked at HS tea’s ability to support cholesterol maintenance.(3) Participants were given either HS tea or black tea for one month. After the month, researchers saw that participants who drank HS tea were able to help maintain total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol levels. Black tea on the other hand only impacted HDL levels.

Hibiscus is safe and has shown no adverse side effects.

However, positive studies have used the following doses:

  • For blood pressure maintenance: One cup of hibiscus tea 2x daily
  • For cholesterol maintenance: One cup of hibiscus tea 2x daily

This is my current go-to tea when I want something refreshing. I even make a big batch of it iced (recipe below) and take it in my water bottle to the gym or on hikes. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Lemon Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea is just as wonderful cold and can be made into a refreshing lemonade, too!

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword hibiscus,lemon,tea
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Calories 8 kcal


  • 1 tsp hibiscus flowers dried, organic
  • 1 – 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh, organic
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Hibiscus Tea
Amount Per Serving
Calories 8
% Daily Value*
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Vitamin C 12.5mg15%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. Using a single serve tea steeper or tea bag, place hibiscus flowers in the steeper.
  2. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into your cup.
  3. Add hot water.
  4. Let steep for 5 minutes (or longer for strength). Enjoy!
Lemon Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus Mint Ice Tea

Refreshing and healthy!

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword hibiscus,mint,tea
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Calories 239 kcal


  • 1 tbsp hibiscus flowers
  • Handful of ice
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup to sweeten (optional)
Nutrition Facts
Hibiscus Mint Ice Tea
Amount Per Serving
Calories 239
% Daily Value*
Sodium 52mg2%
Potassium 117mg3%
Carbohydrates 64g21%
Sugar 62g69%
Vitamin A 480IU10%
Vitamin C 6.3mg8%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 4.9mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. Place hibiscus flowers in a tea bag.
  2. Add tea bag, mint leaves and water to a pitcher.
  3. Stir briefly to combine and then place in the fridge overnight to steep.
  4. When the tea is finished steeping (when the flavor and color are to your liking) add your ice and serve!
  5. If you’ve decided to sweeten, use simple syrup as regular honey and sugar won’t dissolve well in the cold tea. To make simple syrup heat equal parts sugar (I use coconut sugar) and water in a pan. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then add to your ice tea.

Have you tried hibiscus tea before? Let me know in the comments below.

Want more refreshing drink recipes like this one? Download your FREE Recipes for Stronger Bones Ebook now.

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Author: Monica Straith, BS

Monica is the PR and Outreach Manager and Fitness Lead at AlgaeCal. She’s an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist, and has a B.S. and B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she played varsity soccer for four years. Monica pulls from her experience in athletics and health to contribute to AlgaeCal and has also been featured on myfitnesspal blog, Prevention, and Huffington Post.