Buying Guide for Hibiscus Tea
Why buy hibiscus tea?
People who aren’t normally big tea drinkers may enjoy a cup of hibiscus tea. One benefit of this drink is that it tastes equally delicious when served hot to warm the bones on a cold day or when chilled as a refreshing treat in hot weather. It blends well with sweeter fruits, so it’s a popular choice among tea drinkers who like tart and sweet flavor combinations. Hibiscus tea also contains antioxidants, and some people find that it makes their skin look fresher and smoother. Hibiscus tea is thought to offer health benefits like helping to lower blood pressure and promote liver health, though these effects are still being studied.
What should you look for in hibiscus tea?
- Format: No matter if you prefer to steep your tea from a bag or loose-leaf form, there are plenty of hibiscus teas. Some people prefer tea bags because they’re easier to use and don’t risk unintentionally leaving behind debris. Others find that loose-leaf tea offers a more robust flavor and better aroma. If you prefer bagged tea, look for larger tea bags that give the leaves inside more room to expand. If you prefer loose-leaf, look for teas made of whole leaves that haven’t been broken down, and make sure you have an infuser to steep it in. You can even find pod versions of hibiscus tea that work in Keurigs and other similar coffee machines, but they are far less common.
- Flavored: Hibiscus tea is plenty tasty on its own, but many options are blended with another flavor. Mixed flavor hibiscus teas are usually flavored with fruits like blueberry and pineapple for a nice blend of tart and sweet in one. If you’re a fan of extra flavorful teas, you may prefer a blended hibiscus tea to an unblended one.
- Caffeine-Free: If you like a soothing cup of tea in the evening or right before bed, consider buying a caffeine-free hibiscus tea. Unlike decaffeinated tea, which still contains some trace amounts of caffeine, a caffeine-free tea naturally lacks caffeine. Caffeine-free hibiscus teas won’t disrupt your sleep or keep you awake—sometimes, they provide a calming effect, which may help relax and soothe you to sleep faster.
How much hibiscus tea should you buy?
It depends on how often you generally drink tea. If you’re a daily tea drinker, you’ll want to opt for a larger bag or number of tea bags or pods. Loose-leaf hibiscus tea is often sold in bags and weighed in ounces or pounds. Also, consider how strong you like your tea if you opt for loose-leaf, as you’ll go through the tea faster if you use an extra teaspoon or two each time you brew a cup. Boxes of hibiscus tea bags are available in as small packs as a dozen or so per box or as many as 100 or more. Keep in mind that it’s generally recommended not to drink much more than a quart (four cups) of hibiscus tea a day, and it should be avoided altogether by anyone pregnant or breastfeeding.
Our Picks for the Best Hibiscus Tea
Davidson's Tea Bulk Hibiscus Flowers
An organic loose-leaf hibiscus tea that comes in a bag designed for optimal freshness.
Pros: This loose-leaf hibiscus tea has the classic tart flavor, is full of vitamin C, and is free of caffeine. This tea is certified organic by the USDA and the State of Nevada’s Department of Agriculture, so you know that it’s made of pure hibiscus flowers and nothing else, ideal for those trying to be conscious of what they put into their body. The loose-leaf tea comes packed in a resealable pouch lined with aluminum foil to maintain the tea’s freshness for longer. Each bag holds 16 ounces (1 pound) of hibiscus tea. Brewing instructions and measurements are printed on the front of the bag. While the benefits are still being studied, this hibiscus tea is also thought to help lower blood pressure.
Cons: Since this is loose-leaf tea made from hibiscus flowers, there is a chance you’ll get some extra debris in your cup—twigs or stamens or leaves floating around with the flowers themselves. Also, remember not to overdo the number of flowers you put in one cup, as they are pretty strong.
Bottom Line: This is an excellent hibiscus option for those who prefer loose-leaf teas. It’s fresh-tasting, organic, has no added ingredients, and comes with a good amount of hibiscus flowers for your tea brewing needs—you should get dozens of cups of tea out of this single bag.
FGO Organic Hibiscus Tea Bags
A bag of organic, high-quality, and high-volume hibiscus tea bags that will keep you supplied for a good long while.
Pros: Perfect for those who use tea bags instead of loose-leaf tea, this high-quality, verified, non-GMO hibiscus tea is guaranteed to come from an ethical source with a fair trade certification. You get 100 tea bags with your purchase—enough to last you more than three months (assuming you drink one cup daily). The bags are made from hemp without artificial dyes, glues, or other ingredients and don’t have any wrappers, strings, or staples. Small packs are available if you don’t need as many, and a specialty iced tea version is available.
Cons: While the lack of excess waste makes these tea bags more eco-friendly, the lack of a string at the top makes them harder to remove than the average tea bag.
Bottom Line: If you prefer to steep your tea out of a bag instead of in loose-leaf form, consider these hibiscus tea bags. The tea inside is certified organic, free of caffeine, and will taste just as tart and tangy as the loose-leaf version.
U.S. Wellness Naturals Caffeine-Free Hibiscus Tea
Loose-leaf hibiscus tea made of full petals that are organic, free of pesticides, and caffeine-free, so it won't disrupt your sleep schedule.
Pros: This loose-leaf tea is made of whole hibiscus petals rather than trimmed-down ones to ensure that the tea has as robust and full a flavor as possible. Certified organic by the OEFFA and USDA as well as fair trade from reliable sources in Egypt that the FDA registers, the high-quality hibiscus flowers are grown free of pesticides and herbicides, so you won’t be putting any traces of harmful chemicals into your body. Tart and fruity to the taste, this tea is full of nutrients and retains its rich flavor, whether brewed hot or cold. There are several quantity options to choose from, depending on your tea drinking habits.
Cons: Due to the size of the petals, you may find a bit of sandy residue at the bottom of your cup of tea, and the petals are a bit tough to grind down into small pieces if you like smaller chunks in your loose-leaf tea. And as is always a risk with organic loose-leaf teas, you may find some extra debris mixed in as well.
Bottom Line: For those who want a soothing cup of hibiscus tea before bed, this caffeine-free brand won’t keep you awake past bedtime or throw a wrench into your sleeping schedule. And since you get full petals, you can sprinkle them over salads, jams, or jellies for extra flavor.
The Republic of Tea Natural Hibiscus Tea
Choose between standard hibiscus tea or five hibiscus-fruit blends with these healthy, caffeine-free hibiscus tea bags.
Pros: Regular, otherwise unflavored hibiscus tea isn’t your only option with these tea bags. In addition to plain, natural hibiscus tea, you can also buy hibiscus-blueberry, hibiscus-coconut, hibiscus-key lime herbal, hibiscus-pineapple-lychee herbal, and strawberry-hibiscus options. All of these crisp, fruity, refreshing flavors taste great brewed hot or chilled and served over ice. The tea is free of gluten, carbohydrates, and sugar and is naturally caffeine-free. The round tea bags are unbleached to avoid an odd taste seeping into the petals, and they aren’t made with any extra strings, tags, or staples. The tea bags come in a specialty airtight tin to help keep them fresh for longer. You can buy a tin of 36, 50, or 250 tea bags at once, with a 36 or 100 tea bag refill also available.
Cons: Most of these flavored hibiscus teas are mixed with Stevia for extra sweetness, so they’re sweeter than you might expect and not as easy to sweeten to your specific liking. The Stevia may also create an odd aftertaste that most hibiscus teas don’t have.
Bottom Line: While hibiscus tea is plenty flavorsome and tasty on its own, it also tastes great when mixed with other flavors. Whether you prefer straight-up hibiscus tea or a hibiscus-fruit blend, these tea bags offer you both.
FGO Organic Hibiscus Herbal Tea K-Cup Pods
You've probably never thought of using your coffee maker to brew hibiscus tea, but with these pods, you can do exactly that.
Pros: Ever wished you could brew tea in your coffee maker? This hibiscus tea is here to grant that wish. Rather than the usual tea bag or loose-leaf form, this tea comes in a unique format—K-cup pods that go in Keurig coffee machines. Thus brewing them takes almost no effort on your end. The tea itself is organic and caffeine-free, and the pods are recyclable. A larger 100-pack is available if you enjoy the convenience of these hibiscus tea K-pods and plan to drink them frequently.
Cons: The pods are only compatible with Keurigs and, unfortunately, may not work in other similar types of coffee makers. You also can’t adjust the strength of the tea to your liking.
Bottom Line: Tea isn’t exactly known for its ability to be brewed in coffee machines, but if you already have a compatible Keurig machine at home, why not give these hibiscus tea pods a try? You won’t have to worry about measuring out and stirring and boiling water to get a tasty cup of tea. All you need to do is insert the pod into your machine and hit the right button.
Hibiscus tea is perfect for anyone who loves a tarter drink rather than a sugary-sweet tea or enjoys tarter flavors but doesn’t always enjoy citrus. It’s not only tasty and refreshing but may very well come with some excellent health benefits that other teas don’t always provide.