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How to Prepare Spiced Roselle Iced Tea

Updated on September 7, 2016
Roselle Iced Tea
Roselle Iced Tea | Source

This homemade, healthy, and inexpensive drink is popular in many countries. It is made with the red calyces of the Roselle plant, which is a species of hibiscus. In the Caribbean, it is called sorrel drink while the Spanish refer to it as Jamaica (pronunced hymyca). In Nigeria, it is called zobo or zoborodo in the Northern part of the country, and is served most times at children's parties. It is regarded as a healthier alternative to sodas and artificially flavored drinks. Also in the north, the leaf, which is called yakuwa, is used as a vegetable in preparing spicy soup to be eaten with tuwo (pounded yam or ground rice).

Personally, I was not a huge fan of 'zobo', but since i moved to Southern California, and found it was sold in Mexican stores here, I decided to quit drinking sodas. I started making the drink and have since developed a taste for it.

This recipe is therefore primarily based on the way i prepare my Roselle tea.

Health Benefits

Roselle tea is high in vitamin C, calcium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron. Traditionally, it is also used as a diuretic.

However, because of the sour/tartness of the tea, make sure you don't brush your teeth immediately after drinking the tea, as this might affect your tooth enamel.

Cook Time

Prep time: 2 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 7 min
Yields: For three persons
Spicies | Source


  • 1 cup red calyces, dried
  • 3 cups water, cold
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • cloves, dried
  • 1 medium size ginger, fresh
  • Honey, sweeteners or sugar to taste (optional)
  • Pineapple peels or juice (optional)
Dried roselle calyces
Dried roselle calyces | Source


  1. Wash the dried Roselle calyces to remove any sand or particles.
  2. Place the washed calyces in a cooking pot, and add 3 cups of cold water.
  3. Add the cinnamon, cloves and ginger, and boil for 5 minutes. If you like a fruity flavor or to reduce its sharp cranberry-like taste, add Pineapple peels before boiling.
  4. Remove from heat, and allow it to cool. I usually keep it overnight in the refrigerator to prevent fermentation; then sieve with a fine sift into a pitcher to remove any residue.
  5. Add sugar or honey to taste and stir properly.
  6. Put in bottles, refrigerate and drink within three days. You can drink it with or without ice.

Try out this recipe; then sit back, relax, and enjoy the refreshing drink!

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