Roselle Tea comes from the Roselle plant but it carries many names. Here are just a few: Florida Cranberry, Hibiscus, Jamaican Sorrel, Jelly Okra, Red Sorrel, Rosella, and Roselle. It is a member of the Mallow family and it has 5 petals and looks like a hibiscus flower. Many parts of the Roselle are used in various ways such as the leaves added to salads and the seeds roasted. However, the most popular is the fleshy red calyxes that we’ll be using to make delicious tea filled with beneficial properties.
This is an amazing plant and if you live in Zones 8 – 11, I highly recommended that you give it a try and grow yourself some Roselle. Now, this plant does take several months to flower and produce, so be patient. I almost gave up on mine this year and image my surprise when I was giving it a last look over before having my husband cut it down and it was loaded with little pods just waiting for the right moment to explode into those beautiful pink to creamy pale yellow flowers. So while you just have a really big bush for several months, trim some leaves and chop up to add a little zing to your salad. Roselle is full vitamins, minerals, and so good for you.
If you plant in the spring, when October rolls around you too will see those beautiful calyx begin show up all over your plant. And they grow, and bloom, and wither, and are ready to pick before you know it.
Preparing the Roselle for Tea
- Begin by cutting off the bottom portion of the calyx that includes the stem.
- Remove the fleshy red calyx from the seed
- Add the calyx to a colander.
As for the seed you have choices. You can carefully cut open the green pod and remove the seeds for seed saving/drying. You can also remove the seeds and roast them in the oven (which is not covered in this blog), or you can compost or trash.
- Rinse well.
When making roselle tea, it’s actually easier to fill the sink with cold water and rinse that way, especially if you have a large amount. Add a bit of salt to the water and you can be sure the bugs won’t survive the rinse.
- Pour 8 cups of water into a pot.
- Add 2 cups of the Roselle. I like to pull my apart so I don’t lose a lot of space to air.
- Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain tea through a fine sieve into a pitcher.
- Pour in 1/4 cup of honey and the juice from half a lemon.
- Stir well and serve hot or chilled. It’s delicious either way!
And viola . . . you have Roselle tea.
NO Roselle In Your Garden!
Not a problem. You can purchase dried roselle here. But instead of using 2 cups of fresh Roselle petals, substitute with 1/2 cup of the dried Roselle.
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- 8 cups water
- 2 cups fresh Roselle petals
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 lemon juice
- Place water in a medium sized pot. Add Roselle and bring to a boil. Once the water has begun to boil, cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain tea through a fine sieve in a pitcher. Add honey, lemon and stir. Your tea is ready to be chilled or you can serve it hot.