I first tried this tea around ten years ago in Turkey where it recently started to be cultivated. I do remember a taste similar to pomegranate (with strong sourness and visually matching colour) this was possibly a result of this tea being sold as ‘pomegranate flower’ tea. Now I understand that it is completely a different species and popular across the world in both hot and cold forms. Apparently, it is available in Mexican restaurants, offered in weddings in Sudan and Egypt. A favoured version of hibiscus tea is known as the national drink of Senegal while it is consumed in China for the Chinese New Year. So, all of these signifies how important this plant and its tea is to many different cultures across the world.
It has a very tart taste which makes it to be known as ‘sour tea’. Like other herbal teas, roselle also has many health benefits. According to this website which only uses evidence-based data, roselle tea may help lower blood pressure and fat levels, its antioxidant, may boost liver health etc. These benefits are common among various teas and tisane. What I found interesting was that roselle tea may also promote a healthy pregnancy and help to remove muscle weakness, numbness, and fatigue.
Its tart taste is a not something that I like but I’d still drink this tea for its health benefits especially if it helps me get rid of any fatigue. On top of it, it has a beautiful colour to look at.
Origin: Unidentified possibly Sudan
Harvest time: 2019
Leave colour: Crimson/magentacoloured flowers
Liquor colour: Deep ruby
Tea aroma: Berry-like
Tea taste: Tangy, tart and fruity (like pomegranate)
Steeping/brewing: Put three to four full roselle flowers tea spoons of Camellia Blossom in hot water (200 ml) around 90°C and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves a couple of times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 36 months