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Hibiscus & Chamomile

Three ways

Story by The Cupboard September 18th, 2015
The plant kingdom is unquestioningly something to marvel at. It amazes me that we can consume plants in so many ways; One of my favorites being dried and steeped in the form of tea. The abundance, array, and benefits of tea is (almost) endless. A cup of tea can be warming or cooling, calming or energizing, and yet always rejuvenating. There are teas to support the liver and mineralize the body, teas to help you sleep better, calm down, gain clarity, improve memory, and... the list goes on.
The plants that we make tea out of have these effects due to their nutrient content; they are usually high in minerals, antioxidants, and other trace nutrients that support the body and help its systems to heal and maintain or gain homeostasis.

There are some teas though, that have an above-average mouthwatering kick. Hibiscus flower is one of them. It‘s tart, vibrant, and the color it produces is stunning. Hibiscus tea is full of antioxidants (which creates its color), is anti-inflammatory, and supports the immune, heart, and detox systems.

Chamomile is another one of my favorites. It's antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, relaxes the muscles, helps promote healing (everything from cuts to colds), and is used for an assortment of ailments like stomach aches, eczema, headaches, and stress.

So when these two flowers get paired up, the result is a soothing and therapeutic yet invigorating drink. I love this combination so much that when it came to writing a recipe, one just wasn’t enough.

Here are three recipe variations of our hibiscus + chamomile duo:

Granta with Coconut Cream : tart & slightly sweet

Ice tea with Ginger : Vibrant with a splash of zing

Hot Mineralizing Tea with Nettles : Sweet & Earthy



Cooling, bright, and tart, this granita recipe is my salute to the final days of summer.

Prep time: 15 minutes | Serves: 4-6


2/3 cup hibiscus leaves

1/2 cup dried chamomile flowers

4-5 tbsp sweetener (I’ve used coconut sugar)

1 lime juiced

3 cups filtered water

Coconut Cream

1 can coconut cream (I’ve used native forest)

1 tbsp maple syrup


1. Place the coconut milk upside down in the fridge for an hour or two.

2. Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan (you can also use a kettle and french press for this step). Turn off heat and let cool for a minute. Then add the hibiscus and chamomile. Let steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain.

3. Place back in sauce pan, add the sugar and bring to a low simmer until the sugar has dissolved. OR, alternatively, you can place the tea and sugar in a blender. Blend on low for 2-3 minutes minutes.

4. Add the juice of the lime. Stir. Taste. Since our taste buds aren’t as keen when eating frozen goodies, we want the mixture to have a strong flavor profile so that it’ll translate into a yummy cold counterpart.

5. Pour the contents into a glass pan (9”x 13” or the like). Place in freezer. After an hour check on it. With a fork break up any ice. Repeat another 2-3 times every 45 minutes or so, breaking up larger chunks that may have formed. The result should be light and fluffy flakes.

Coconut Cream

1. While the granita is in the freezer, make the coconut cream. Open the coconut milk can, pour the watery content into a jar and scoop out the remaining cream.

2. Place the cream and maple syrup into a blender and turn on low. Blend for 10 seconds. With a spatula scrape the sides of the blender. Blend again for another 10 seconds.* The consistency will be runny but thick. Pour the sweetened cream into a jar, place in the fridge.

Note: This is more like a cream, less airy than a whip. If you want to learn more about making a whipped cream, this recipe is great!

* Do not blend too long! The coconut fat and liquid will separate! And it will be very difficult to get the two components to consolidate again.


Spoon the granita into glasses or bowls. Top with coconut cream. Serve with fresh mint or berries.


Ice Tea with Ginger

I love making this recipe ahead and taking it with me, on a trip, or around town. I pour the tea and ginger into a 24 oz jar and I’m good to go!

Prep time: 5 minutes | Steep time: 5 minutes - 1 hour | Serves: 4


1/4 cup hibiscus

1/4 cup chamomile

2-3” ginger, grated and juiced

1 tbsp honey (optional)

1/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped (optional)

1 shot of liquor, such as gin, or vodka (optional)

2 ½ - 3 cups of water

French press


1. Heat the water to just before a boil. Add the flowers to the french press. Once the water is ready, let steep for 5-10 minutes.* Add honey and mint while tea is still hot. Let cool to room temperature, or place in fridge to speed up the process.

2. Next, grate and juice the ginger using a grater and cheese cloth (a zester works just fine). Separate the ginger juice out into the individual glasses (or one large container). Then pour in the tea.

3. This drink is also a great base for a cocktail! Just add a shot of gin, a half lemon squeezed, and some ice!

*An alternative method is to cold brew the tea. Add the flowers, mint and water into a container, leave to brew for 4-6 hours.


Hot Mineralizing Tea with Nettles

This recipe is simple and yet so satisfying. The flavor profile is deep, earthy, and slightly sweet. Nettles is high in minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, silica, Vitamin C, K, and carotenes.

Prep time: a few minutes | Steep time: 5-10 minutes | Serves: 2-4


1/4 cup Hibiscus

1/4 cup Chamomile

2 tbsp Nettles

2 1/2 cups filtered water

French press


Brew the tea as you did for the cold version, with the addition of the nettles. Strain and enjoy immediately! A slice a lemon or spoon full of honey is a nice addition.

Footnote: Nutrition information gathered from Dr. Mercola, Herbwisdom, and Organic Facts.
San Francisco, CA, United States