Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Flower Iced Tea): A Berry-like Delicious Tea!
Among many other names, Flor de Jamaica or Jamaican Sorrel is also known in English as Hibiscus flower, Guinea Sorrel, and Hibiscus Sabdariffa. Flor the Jamaica is an annual plant native to Africa but brought to the Americas centuries ago. It is a very popular drink in Mexico, however, in Central and South America as well as in the Caribbean is known and drank to a somewhat lesser extent.
Besides its cranberry-juice-like delicious flavor, agua de Jamaica has been attributed many medicinal uses. Some people drink this brightly red tea for its presumably antimicrobial properties in the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTI) due to the anthocyanin (an antioxidant) it contains. Many other attest to its anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive properties (blood-pressure lowering properties).
It is important to note, that although Flor the Jamaica has long being used as a home remedy for these medicinal properties, in the scientific world, more evidence is needed to establish medicinal recommendations.
Flor de Jamaica can be safely enjoyed by most. Pregnant women are warned NOT to drink the tea as this may precipitate menstruation. As far as what I think of herbal teas —different from green tea— like Jamaican Sorrel, I think of them as a nice break from conventional tea, it is wise then to enjoy Flor the Jamaica responsibly!
Ingredients & Method (Yields: 3 liters)
- 3 liters of water
- 1 ½ cup of dried of Jamaican Sorrel flowers
- Diced apples (optional)
- Sugar OR honey OR agave (optional)
Bring one liter of water to a boil. Add the dried flowers to the boiling water, and boil for one minute.
Remove from heat, cover and let steep until it cools down. Strain the flowers.
Add 2 liters of water or even more, depending on how strong you like the tea. Sweeten to taste.
Add ice cubes and ENJOY!