What is your favorite homemade tea recipe?

Andres Nava 
Tea enthusiast and owner of Tao Te Tea

My every-day tea recipe is simply premium tea leaves and water. However, when I'm in the mood for something special, I like to make agua de jamaica.

Where I’m from, deep South Texas, jamaica is a very popular refreshment. In English, it’s called hibiscus tea.

Agua de jamaica is an infusion of dried Hibiscus sabdariffa flowers. The spanish word "agua fresca" literally translates to english as “fresh water.” Aguq fresca de jamaica is loaded with Vitamin C and even said lower blood pressure.

It has a tart, cranberry-like flavor. But when sweetened with cane juice, it makes for a delicious iced refreshment that can quench any hot summer thirst. It’s also a healthy alternative to cool-aid, kids do t know it’s healthy!

Step 1: Gather your ingrediants

To make agua de jamaica, you will need:

  1. Hibiscus Flowers - 2 Cups
  2. COLD water - 2 Quarts
  3. Sweetener - 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup sugar (or 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup Holy Hive Honey Powder)

Fresh hibiscus flowers produce the best tasting drink. If the flowers are pliable they are fresh. If they are hard and brittle they aren’t fresh and your jamaica won’t be as tasty, but it’ll still be worth making.

Be sure to use COLD water, it makes a difference. Cold water has a tendiancy to retain disolved gasses. Water rich in disolved gasses makes for better tasteing tea.

Step 2: Prepare the water for tea

The water needs to be heated up to 212*F. At first thought, it may seem rediculus to start with COLD water and then heat it up, but this ensure that we start with water that is rich in disolved gasses and tathwe do not loose those dissolved gases due to over boiling or reboiling.

 As soon as the water reaches 212*F, add the 2 cups of hibiscus flowers. Be sure to not overheat the watter, this may result in the loss of disolved gasses and will not allow your tea to be brewed to its full potential.

Start with COLD water and be sure not to overboil your water.

Heat the water up to 212*F before introducing your hibiscus flowers. It is a good idea to use a thermometer.

Try to maintain 212*F while steeping by turning off the heat source. Water retains heat very well.

Step 3: Introduce the hibiscus flowers to the hot water

Introduce the hibiscus flowers to your hot water, gently stirring untill completely submerged.

It is not nessisary to continue stirring. In fact, we will use the hibiscus flowers as a guage to determine when out tea has been properly steeped.

Generally, 10 minutes of steeping is sufficieant. The hibiscus flowers will begin to sink to the bottom of your steeping pot when the flowers are ready to be strained out.

Step 4: Strain and sweeten your agua fresca de jamica

Strain your tea using an available straining device. I reccomend a wire mesh type strainer for tea.

Now to sweeten and chill your hibiscus tea. Once chilled, you will have offically prepared agua fresca de jamica!

Use a strainer to remove the hibiscus flowers from your hibiscus tea.

Sweeten to taste!

I recommend using at leaset 1/4 cup sugar to 2 quarts tea. In Mexico, agua fresca is traditionally served with as much as 1/2 cup sugar to 2 quarts tea.

Holy Hive Honey Powder | Tao Te Tea

With Holy Hive, you can sweeten your aqua fresca naturally, without processed sugar!

Step 5: Enjoy!

Content from the Tao Te Tea website and blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general consumer understanding and entertainment only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

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