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You’ll never guess the secret ingredient in this hibiscus tea recipe

Find out what gives this beverage its magical purple hue.

A colorful glass filled with iced hibiscus tea next to a green glass carafe filled with more of the same. Credit: Reviewed / Kia Damon / Tara Jacoby

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Kia Damon is a self-taught chef and proud Floridian woman. She is the founder of the Kia Feeds The People program and co-founder of Auxilio, two non profit organizations dedicated to combating food apartheid. She has been named one of 16 Black Chefs Changing Food In America by The New York Times and Forbes 30 Under 30 in Food and Beverage for 2021.


I’m a huge tea drinker and my overflowing tea shelf can vouch for that. One of my favorite teas is hibiscus tea—the color is gorgeous and it’s delicious hot or iced. For this recipe, I use a mixture of whole hibiscus and butterfly pea flowers for digestive support, which I grind using a coffee grinder.

A good coffee grinder is great for those who don’t have room for a food processor, but want to make smaller batches of their own tea blends or dry rubs. This tea is perfect as an addition to breakfast or after dinner and the cinnamon and citrus aromatics will leave your kitchen smelling like fall.

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What You Need

An illustration of a coffee grinder on a white background.
Credit: Reviewed / Tara Jacoby

Forget the coffee beans—your coffee grinder can tackle homemade tea blends, whole spices, and more.

Ingredients:

¼ cup dried butterfly pea flower
¼ cup dried hibiscus flower
2 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon
1 orange
Honey, to taste

Tools

Coffee grinder, like one of Reviewed's favorites, the Krups Fast Touch Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder available at Walmart
Medium pot
Medium mesh strainer
Heat-proof bowl
Optional: Serving vessel, like the Bedside Carafe available at Coming Soon New York

Time Needed

10 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

Yield

3 to 4 servings

How To Make Butterfly Pea Flower Hibiscus Iced Tea

Illustrated hibiscus flowers, a honey wand with honey dripping from it, an orange, and cinnamon sticks.
Credit: Reviewed / Tara Jacoby

This iced tea has major notes of hibiscus, cinnamon, and honey.

Step 1: Grind the flowers

Place the butterfly pea flower and hibiscus in the coffee grinder and pulse a few times until it’s roughly broken down. Be careful when opening the coffee grinder because the dust is likely to fly out and get into your nose and eyes. Will it smell good? Yes! Will it also send you into a sneezing fit? Also yes.

A close-up image of dried butterfly pea and hibiscus flowers.
Credit: Reviewed / Kia Damon

Use this butterfly pea and hibiscus flower tea blend to make hot or cold beverages throughout the year.

Step 2: Prepare your aromatics

Wash the orange and lemon with warm water and some vegetable cleaner, if you have it. With a peeler or a small, sharp knife, slice off two 1-inch pieces of the peel from each citrus fruit, making sure to avoid the pith. Save the orange for a snack and set the lemon aside for a future recipe.

Step 3: Brew the tea

Add 5 cups of water, the ground hibiscus and butterfly pea mixture, cinnamon sticks, and the citrus peels to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer for four minutes. If you want a stronger flavor, steep for an additional three minutes.

Step 4: Chill and serve

Pour the tea into a mesh strainer over a heat-proof bowl. Discard the tea blend and cinnamon sticks. Sweeten with honey and fresh lemon juice to taste—the lemon juice will change the tea to a vibrant purple hue because of a chemical reaction with the butterfly pea flower. Chill in the refrigerator, then transfer to a serving vessel of your choice and enjoy.

A colorful glass filled with iced hibiscus tea next to a green glass carafe filled with more of the same.
Credit: Reviewed / Kia Damon / Tara Jacoby

Serve your iced tea in a festive carafe, like this gorgeous green glass one.

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