Many years ago, Ava did an internship in a New York firm, and one image that stood out in her memory was a coworker who all summer long drank a bold pink iced drink from a clear glass cup. The drink looked irresistible. The woman had grown up in Trinidad, and she explained that the drink was a strong iced, sweetened hibiscus tea that Trinidadians would drink to cool down on hot days, the same way we drink lemonade in the United States. The memory of that bright dark-pink color and the swirls of wavy hibiscus roselles in the beverage stayed with Ava for many years.
Now that we have a tea line at Earthwise Beauty, we had an opportunity to apply ourselves to a serious search for a supplier of premium quality hibiscus roselles so that we could add this tea to our offerings. We searched for the most deliciously tart hibiscus, and for roselles that are hand-collected and then carefully and slowly dried. After a lengthy several-months-long search, we have found a superior quality, certified organic supplier of this Egyptian delight to share with you.
Hibiscus flowers are traditionally associated with femininity and are a symbol of youthful beauty. Our tea is not made from petals or small pieces, but rather from whole hibiscus roselles (the roselle is the calyx of the flower that remains after the petals drop). The fragile red calyxes have a high concentration of the antioxidant anthocyanin, as well as a plethora of other nutrients.
While hibiscus is very rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients including beta carotene, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to describing the health benefits of drinking hibiscus tea. Hibiscus is a sour food according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, and health-enhancing sour foods are greatly lacking in most modern diets. In the United States, we hardly eat any healthy sour foods (lemons, limes, and grapefruit are sour, but we eat them more sparingly, and they can be harsh on weaker digestive systems). There are tremendous benefits to adding the sour flavor to our meals: healthy sour foods greatly enhance absorption of minerals and the digestion of fats and protein, and they detox the liver. If you have ever traveled in a country where the cuisine includes a wide range of flavors including sour (and bitter), you may have found that you develop fewer cravings for sweets and other simple carbohydrates, and it becomes much easier to eat less and to lose excessive weight.
Another benefit of drinking hibiscus tea is that it almost instantly helps refresh and focus the mind when one is tired yet still has studies, homework, or other mentally demanding work to complete. Strong hibiscus tea revives us somewhat similarly to coffee, yet it contains no caffeine and causes no sleep disturbances. There is an interesting idea in Chinese Traditional Medicine that sour flavor has a gathering, collecting effect on the body and mind; it is recommended for aligning the heart and mind, which results in a focused mental action, as opposed to feeling scattered and uncentered.
Healthy sour foods are also recommended in Chinese Medicine as tissue astringents, to counter flabby or saggy tissue appearance with an action that is contracting, lifting, and firming. We have experienced no other sour foods that exemplify the benefits of the sour flavor as profoundly and accurately as hibiscus tea.
There are more and more studies being conducted of hibiscus as a health food, and they have linked hibiscus with a plethora of other uses and benefits, such as promoting healthy cholesterol levels, speeding recovery from colds and flus, and helping with mood swings and other unpleasant menopause symptoms. As a topical treatment, hibiscus is traditionally used in India and the Middle East to tighten skin pores and give the skin a youthful glow, and as a hair rinse to add shine and strength to the hair.
Tart, cool, and astringent, reminiscent of rhubarb, tart berries, and red currant.
Whole certified organic Hibiscus rosa roselles. Gluten free. Caffeine free.
If undergoing hormonal treatments, taking hormonal birth control, or if pregnant, consult your health care practitioner before consuming.
Measure out 1 to 3 teaspoons of the roselles and place inside a teapot, tea mug, or French press. Brew strong using filtered, freshly boiled water. Steep, covered, for 10 to 30 minutes, then strain. Add raw sugar, honey, or agave nectar if desired. Drink hot or chilled.
Our teas are packaged in eco-friendly clear bags made from cellulose, which is a naturally abundant organic material, then in cardboard boxes for shipping. The cellulose used in the bags is derived from renewable wood pulp that is sustainably harvested from FSC-managed plantations. The bags are certified 100% compostable, meaning they can be composted both by individuals at home and in industrial composting facilities, and are marine degradable, which means that, unlike many other "biodegradable" products, these bags can break down not only in landfills, but also in marine environments.
And perhaps even more important than the materials we have chosen are the materials that we have opted not to use. Our teas are never packaged in individual tea bags or pouches, which produce an enormous quantity of waste that typically ends up in landfill sites. Most tea bags are made from wood pulp or vegetable fiber that is bleached using potentially toxic chemicals, and contain noncompostable metal staples, and many are lined with heat-resistant polypropylene plastic in order to prevent them from bursting open when in transit or in the cup. This means that even tea bags labeled “biodegradable” or “compostable” will, for the most part, not completely break down in a compost heap. We also avoid aluminum tea pouches, which are not compostable, and metal tea tins, which in many cases are not accepted for recycling.
Full size 100 g (3.5 oz).
Due to the very high cost of our ingredients and the labor-intensive (highly time consuming) small-batch production process, we are unable to accept returns of opened or unopened products at this time.