This easy cold-brew hibiscus tea is a refreshing herbal drink steeped overnight in the fridge. All you need is dried hibiscus, water and (optionally) sweetener.
The first time I tried hibiscus tea was years and years ago in Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea.
Later, I fell in love with Tazo's Passion Tea, especially when it was mixed with lemonade.
More recently, at a wedding in Arizona, I happily discovered that jamaica tea is, you guessed it, also hibiscus tea.
I mention this in case you think you've never tried hibiscus tea. There's a decent chance that you've already tried it and loved it, without even knowing what you were drinking!
This recipe for cold-brewed hibiscus tea is made with dried hibiscus flowers and water. Like other types of infused water, it's a refreshing low-effort drink that's perfect for hot summer days.
Where Can I Get Hibiscus Flowers?
You might be able to find them at your local grocery store, but I've never seen them at mine.
I like to buy dried hibiscus flowers online.
As with most flowers, if you're buying them to use in any type of food or drink, make sure to buy food-grade (preferably organic) flowers. Some dried flowers are intended for non-food uses (such as potpourri) and may have been grown with pesticides.
Cold-Brew vs Hot-Brew Herbal Tea
Often when we think of tea, we think of using hot water to steep tea or herbs. This process extracts lots of flavor in a short amount of time.
Cold-brew tea is a simpler, but admittedly slower, process.
You simply add cold water to tea or herbs and place everything in the fridge.
With herbs, the process is even simpler than with black or green tea, because you don't have to worry as much about the timing. Tea leaves can become bitter when left in the water too long, but (most) herbs won't.
Hibiscus flowers are perfect for cold-brewing because they are potent!
Even without using heat, they'll turn the water a deep dark pink within just a few moments.
How to Make Cold-Brew Hibiscus Tea
Add hibiscus flowers to an infusion ball. I usually just use a large tea ball.
Place the infusion ball inside a glass pitcher and fill it with water.
Another option is to use a French press, and simply push down on the plunger to hold the flowers back when you pour your tea.
Put the pitcher (or French press) in the fridge.
Quickly, the liquid will turn dark pink.
I like to leave mine to infuse for at least four hours before serving. You can drink it sooner but the flavor will be slightly milder.
Check the recipe card for an optional simple syrup if you prefer sweet tea.
Ways to Use Cold-Brew Hibiscus Tea
It's probably obvious that you can simply drink your cold-brew hibiscus tea without doing anything else! But I love using this tea to flavor other drinks.
Here are some of my favorite ways to use the tea:
- Mix it with sparkling water.
- Use it to flavor homemade kombucha or hard kombucha.
- Mix it with lemonade (like this mint lemonade or this basil lemonade).
- Mix with homemade cranberry juice or cranberry tea.
Cold-Brew Hibiscus Tea
- ¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 8 cups water
Simple Syrup (Optional)
- ½ cup sugar or honey
- ½ cup water
- Add hibiscus flowers to a large tea ball or add to the basin of a French Press. If using a tea ball, place inside a glass pitcher.Fill the pitcher (or French Press) with about 8 cups of water. If your pitcher is smaller, that's fine. You'll be able to refill the pitcher later using the same flowers.
- Cover the pitcher or French Press and steep in the fridge for about 4 hours (or longer). Timing isn't critical: the flowers can stay in the water for up to a few days if desired.Optionally, remove the flowers. (If you brewed your tea in a French Press, you'll need to transfer it to a carafe or pitcher to remove the flowers.) Because the flowers do not become bitter in the water (like tea would), I often opt to leave them in the water and refill it with water one or two more times.Sweeten with syrup if desired (recipe follows). Store tea in the fridge and use within a week.
- Optionally, make a syrup while the tea steeps.Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat and stir in the sugar or honey until dissolved.Cool to room temperature and store simple syrup in a glass jar (or airtight container) in the fridge. Use within a month.