Hibiscus & Dandelion Tea

Need the perfect sweet and hot tea for New Year's morning?  I've got the perfect treat for you!  The perfect bit of sweetness -- a hint of bitter and a wonderful contrast to all the decadent treats and drinks you've been enjoying all night long.

So you are going to need some dandelions. Yes I said dandelion. As in the little yellow pesky flowers that your neighbor is trying to eradicate with an arsenal of chemicals. They are edible and the bitter can kind of tame the sweet of some dishes. I like to use the blooms in a hibiscus tea. The tea is sugared and the hibiscus has kind of a naturally sweet taste, so the undercurrent of slightly bitter dandelion works well.

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Served hot or cold, I like this tea for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  
It is sweet and herbal, but the dandelion adds that depth of flavor with a little touch of bitter.

Now if you are making this tea in the spring, the trick to the dandelions is to pick them when the little yellow flowers first appear.  You want as much of the yellow flower, and as little of the white seed as possible.  Grab the flower at the base and pull the yellow petals out.  They will come apart as individual petals and separate completely when cooked.  Of course, if you are making this for New Year's day, you are going to have a problem sourcing dandelions in your yard. So sadly, you are going to have to use dried dandelion leaves instead, but the bitterness still comes through to highlight the hibiscus.    You can find them in health food stores or online HERE.

Here's the story on the hibiscus.  I bought a giant bag of them when we were in Mexico (Click here to read more about the Mexican Market -- hanging chickens and all!)  without knowing exactly what they were.  They smelled amazing and the vendors at the market assured me they were great as tea.  Of course, this was all over a HUGE language barrier, so the first time I tried this tea, I was a little wary, but was happily surprised with the taste.  Of course, then someone mentioned that hibiscus doesn't have a scent, so I thought that they might be roses.  A bit more research later and I learned that they are in fact a Mexican hibiscus.  Of course, I didn't really care what they were - they were delicious!   You can find them at local natural food stores or on amazon in bulk.  The best price I found is this option from Davidson's.

Here she is brewing!  I make a giant pot of tea, chill the batches in pitchers and then warm up individual cups for hot tea or just pour straight over ice for iced.  Want the recipe?  Here goes!

Dandelion & Hibiscus Tea
This recipe is based on personal taste.  Taste as you go to get the right amount of sugar!

1-2 Cups of fresh Daffodils  Start with 1 cup and then up it to two if you want more flavor. 
(or start with 2 T of dried dandelion leaves and up it to add more bitterness to the brew depending on your tastes)

2-3 cups dried Hibiscus
1 cup of sugar
Fill an 8 qt stock pot with water  Stop about 2-3 inches from the top
(I added 2 black tea bags as well for a bit of dark flavor, but omit them to skimp on caffeine)

Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring as you go a few times to keep ingredients from sticking to the pan.  Once the water boils, reduce the heat until it is just barely simmering.  Let it go until your house smells amazing (15 minutes or longer to brew a stronger tea).

Let the mixture cool, then strain all the solids out, squeezing the flowers to get all the flavor out.  When cooled, pour into pitchers and chill.

Now go pour yourself a cup of tea, sit back and relax...ahhhhh...

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Holy cow! Is this actually tasty? I've heard of dandelion gravy (actually made it...yuck) with the greens but nothing with the flowers...very cool!
I liked it Janel!! My husband didn't, but other girls have liked it, so maybe it is a girl thing...???
I love dandelions, it makes me so happy to see fields and lawns covered in them! I've had dandelion wine (more like hard liquor) and it was awful but the this looks much more tempting!

{The recipe says daffodil?}

Alecia @ ChickenScatchny.com
oh my goodness Alecia - - thanks for catching that. You would not BELIEVE the numbers of times I had to read through this post changing daffodil to dandelion...I could NOT keep them straight in my head for some reason -- drove me crazy! Can't believe I still missed one! heavens!
jess said…
oh my goodness. that picture of the steaming tea makes me so WARM. I need that gigantic on my bedroom wall in the winter. :)
Bella Bells said…
Hi, Amy! I just tried this recipe. I added honey and 'twas awesome. Thanks! Btw, do you know if hibiscus tea benefits in some ways?