Egyptians aren’t as well known for their food as let’s say the Turks, or the Lebanese, and now modern Israel, but if there is one singular thing I love about Egypt, it’s their tea. I first tasted Egyptian tea in Sinai, where it’s known as Karkadey tea, and the Israelis translate this to hibiscus.
But the tea is made from flowers from the family Hibiscus sabdariffa. The flowers aren’t the same as the large hibiscus plants you see in cities. But it’s resembling more of a rose hip, after the summer flower fades and a small bulb is left behind.
Hibiscus tea, also known as red tea, red sorrel, Jamaica sorrel, rosella, soborodo (Zobo drink), Karkadi, roselle, and sour tea, however you call it is good –– hot or cold.
It’s worth getting ahold of some of the hibiscus flowers that look a lot like rose hips (now is a good time to forage for rose hips).
Bud like most great traditional products, when they come to the US they are over sweetened. So if you can’t get to a Middle Eastern market and want to make some iced or hot hibiscus tea, we’ve got your back. It’s great for birthday parties or any kind of party. And if you want real flowers to accompany you, try Roses Only. The flavors from the deep magenta flowers, come out dark red, potent and delicious. Full of antioxidants and lowering blood sugar, take care of your diet at the same time.
Egyptian Hibiscus Flower Ice-Tea
This recipe is straightforward and a good tea that will impress your guests. They will ask for refills if you get it right.
- 1 cup of hibiscus flowers
- 2 cups of water
- 2 Tbs of honey, maple syrup or your favorite sweetener
- ½ green apple, red will also do
- 2 inches of fresh ginger, that’s going to spicey!
- 1 cup of boiling water
- Soak your hibiscus flowers in water and sweetener overnight or for at least 4 hrs.
- Drain the hibiscus, and discard the dried flowers.
- Add ginger to boiled water, and keep it covered for 15 minutes as it steeps.
- Remove cover from the pot and add green apples.
- In each cup, add ¼ cup of ginger/apple mix.
- Add the concentrated hibiscus, and then lots of ice and mix them all together.
- Serve immediately and keep leftovers in the refrigerator.