Agua Flor de Jamaica/Agua Fresca flor de Jamaica/Hibiscus Tea

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 If you been to Starbucks, Panera bread, or any Mexican restaurant you may encounter this delicious drink. Agua fresca in Spanish means water. Agua fresca can be made with sweet fruits as well as citrus, tamarind and also with seeds or flowers. If you want to read more take a look over here. While writing my post on cooking with Gongura/ Roselle/ Florida Cranberry/Indian sorrel leaves and lentils, I researched a little bit of the gongura plant. Thus I came to know about the interesting factor that, leaves are consumed mainly in India and Burma. Rest of the world is happy to consume its calyx, flower bud cover to make an infusion and use as tea. Flower bud cover/Calyx of gongura is dried and called flor de Jamaica. In the streets of Mexico you can see street vendors selling huge jars of Hibiscus tea.

 Even though it is called Hibiscus tea, it is not made from our common Hibiscus plant, but it is made from calyx of Gongura/Roselle/Indian sorrel/Jamaican sorrel plant which is also a Hibiscus plant belongs to another species. It is called Hibiscus sabdariffa

 Health benefits of Hibiscus tea are known to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and to reduce blood sugar in type two diabetics. Also it has high concentration of organic acids (15-30%). The three organic acids that have been identified are citric, malic, and tartaric. These have been known to give an overall boost to the immune system. However, this not is good for women how are pregnant or trying to get pregnant as it known to cause miscarriage, read more here and here. It also known help to weight loss and depression.
 On my trip of Fiesta I found a packet of flor de Jamaica, bought it, and after coming home goggling yielded a tons of recipes for making hibiscus tea. Some are asking for keep the infusion overnight. Others say about keeping for few hours of infusion. I like the overnight version. Most of them make it into sugary version. Both I and husband liked the sugarless version. It has tart flavor like cranberry juice, beautiful color. I think once you add sugar or any other sweeteners it will change the taste of tea. However if you can’t stand in front the tartness of hibiscus tea, try with sweetener.
 My 4 year old got attracted to color of the drink, but she doesn’t like taste. We both husband and wife loved it. You can flavor this drink with ginger, cinnamon, all spice etc. I like without any add on. Try it is excellent drink compared to any bottled drink. In Jamaica, they like to add rum along with hibiscus tea.
 I made Hibiscus tea like this:
Wash the dried calyx in running water for 1 minute to remove dirt. Then boil in1 cup of water about ¼ cup dried flower calyx for 3 minutes and let sweep in flavor for overnight. Next morning drain the flower and 2 cup of water to make two drinks. You can also make tea with fresh calyx too.
Here comes the recipe.

Agua de Flor de Jamaica/Hibiscus Tea 

 Preparation time: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 3 hours to overnight refrigeration
Yield: 2 serving

 Ingredients 

  • 1/4cup dried flor de Jamaica/Hibiscus flower
  •  3 cup Water 
  • 2 tablespoon Sugar /Sweeteners like splenda of your choice (I didn’t use) 
  • Ice cubes.

Directions 

  • Place the dried flower in running water to remove the dirt for a 1 minute In a medium sauce pot add washed flower as well as 1 cup water, bring it to boil for 3 minutes.
  •  Transfer the both flower and water to bottle and chill it for 3 hours or overnight for better infusion. If you are using sugar, add to the infusion now. 
  • When you are ready to serve, strain the flower and squeeze the juice well and dilute with water enjoy with ice. 

 Notes 

  • You can flavor this drink with ginger, allspice, and cinnamon whiles you chilling the infusion. 
  • You also increase the sugar /or any sweetener if you want to use. I used without any sugar.
  •  I don’t advise to add any tea flavors as it will spoil the flavor to Hibiscus. 
  • You also make simple syrup to  sweeten the drink. 

     Recipe inspired  from here 

     I am linking this delicious drink to Health and Soul Blog Hop hosted here

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