This hibiscus tea recipe, also known as karkarde, is an herbal tea popular in Egypt. We start by steeping dried hibiscus flowers and sprinkle in just the right amount of sugar to sweeten the tea. Then, it’s strained and garnished with fresh mint, making it both gorgeous to look at and absolutely delicious to sip!

Served chilled, it’s a refreshing drink full of sweet, tart flavors that quench your thirst and cool you off! 

What Is Karkarde? 

Hibiscus tea is a type of herbal tea made by steeping water and dried hibiscus flower petals known as hibiscus sabdariffa or roselle. The hibiscus plant is native to Africa and is believed to have originated in ancient Egypt. 

The plant’s vibrant red flowers were highly prized by the ancient Egyptians not only for their beauty but also for their medicinal properties. There are many versions of hibiscus tea recipes around the world, but ours is an Egyptian version, known as karkarde, handed down by our mom. 

We loved drinking karkarde when we were younger, especially during hot summers in Egypt. Now, we make it at home, and our kids love it just as much as us! 

What Is Hibiscus?

Hibiscus is a type of flowering plant found in parts of the world with a warm climate, like Egypt. There are many types of hibiscus plants, ranging in size and color from white, yellow, pink, orange, and red. 

The pedals of the flower are the edible portion used in cooking. This includes the stamen, calyx, and pistol. 

Health Benefits of Hibiscus 

Not only is hibiscus beautiful in color, but it adds a tart, almost cranberry-like flavor to recipes. In addition, hibiscus is full of health benefits, too! For instance, including the plant in recipes like this karkarde recipe can: 

  • Boost your immune system thanks to the antioxidants like vitamin C. 
  • Fight inflammation. 
  • Lower blood pressure. 
  • Lower cholesterol. 
  • Fight bacteria. 
  • Support liver health. 

How to Make the Best Hibiscus Tea Recipe

Below is an overview of the ingredients and instructions to make this recipe. Don’t forget to scroll down to the recipe card below for the complete details and nutrition information! 

Ingredients

  • Water – You can’t make tea without water! Using filtered water ensures the best flavor. 
  • Dried Hibiscus Flowers – Sometimes called Flor de Jamaica, these are easily found online or in the tea section of your local grocery store. 
  • Vanilla Extract – This adds extra depth and a subtle sweetness. 
  • Granulated Sugar – This helps remove some of the bitter, earthiness of the hibiscus, creating a well-rounded, smooth flavor. Feel free to substitute any sweetener you prefer such as honey, agave, or even monk fruit. 
  • Fresh Mint Sprigs – Used as a garnish, these give your hibiscus tea recipe a beautiful appearance and add a bright, refreshing taste. 

Instructions

  1. Boil. Add the water to a tea pot, and bring it to a boil over high heat on the stove. 
  2. Combine. Mix the dried hibiscus flowers and granulated sugar in a heat-safe bowl. Then, pour the boiling water into the bowl. 
  3. Steep. Set the mixture aside until the water is a deep pink or purple color. 
  4. Flavor. Strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer, and discard the flowers. Next, stir in the vanilla, and adjust the sweetness to taste. 
  5. Serve. Allow the tea to cool completely. Then, transfer it to the fridge to chill for a few hours. Pour glasses of tea over ice, garnish with mint, and enjoy! 
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Flavor Variations

Feel free to experiment with different ingredient ratios and mix-ins to make this hibiscus tea recipe your own. Some fun ways to switch it up include: 

  • Add sparkling water and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Stirring in a cinnamon stick or two for a bit of warmth.
  • Skipping the chilling for a hot tea recipe. 

Serving Suggestions

Hibiscus tea makes for a refreshing afternoon treat and is a great way to curb your soda cravings. Or, you can make a big pitcher to serve at brunch, lunch, or as part of a snack! 

It pairs fabulously with options like: 

More Easy Egyptian Recipes

If you’re looking for more recipes to transport your taste buds to Egypt, we’ve got you covered! Check these out:

Hibiscus Tea Recipe (Karkarde)

5 from 2 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Steep Time: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Make this easy hibiscus tea recipe (karkarde) with just five ingredients for a sweet, tart, refreshing drink full of health benefits, too!

Ingredients  

  • 10 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar adjust to taste
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Fresh mint sprigs for serving

Instructions 

  • In a tea pot, bring the filtered water to a boil.
    10 cups filtered water
  • In a heat-safe bowl, combine the dried hibiscus flowers and granulated sugar.
    1 cup dried hibiscus flowers, 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Once the water is boiling, pour it over the hibiscus flowers and sugar in the heat-safe bowl.
  • Let the mixture steep for 15-20 minutes until it reaches a deep pink/purple color.
  • After steeping, strain the mixture using a fine-mesh strainer over a heat-safe glass pitcher or bowl. Discard the hibiscus flowers.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract.
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Taste the tea and adjust sweetness if necessary by adding more sugar, stirring until dissolved.
  • Allow the tea to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, transfer the pitcher or bowl to the refrigerator and chill for a few hours.
  • Serve the chilled hibiscus ice tea over ice, garnished with fresh mint sprigs.
    Fresh mint sprigs

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 10mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.05mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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