Category Archives: Tea Recipes

How to Make Your Own Passion Tea

Tazo Passion Ice Tea

Passion ice tea from Starbucks -- really from Tazo!

I’m not a big coffee fan, so I don’t visit Starbucks all that often. But there are some Starbucks drinks I enjoy, and one of them is Iced Passion Tea. I love the hot version when it’s colder out, too.

The tea is herbal and mostly made from hibiscus flowers, which means it should have at least some of the blood pressure benefits of regular hibiscus tea.

These days, I only buy Passion tea when I’m traveling and need a quick, tasty drink. When I’m at home, I just make my own passion tea instead. It’s a lot cheaper than going to ‘bucks every day, and healthier, too.

So I thought I’d share with you how to make your own Passion tea, using the same ingredients.

I guarantee it will taste as good as the Starbucks one, and this way you can make it exactly to your taste.

Plus, you can also control the amount of sugar, which is the main drawback to the Starbucks version — a small (or a Tall in Starbucks language) Passion Tea contains only 60 calories, but those calories come from 15 grams of pure sugar. That’s a lot of sugar for an otherwise healthy drink.

Where to Buy Passion Tea Bags

The Passion ice tea isn’t actually produced by Starbucks. They use Tazo tea to make the infusion, and say as much on their website.

This is great, because you can buy the exact same Tazo tea that Starbucks uses, without going into a Starbucks store to pay their overinflated prices. (Yeah, I said it!)

Amazon sells a 6-pack of Tazo Passion tea bags for less than $30 — that’s a great price for 6 packs of 24 passion tea bags each, or a whopping 144 teabags in all.

This amount of tea should last you for months,  even in hot weather, and you’ll get tons and tons of iced tea and brewed tea out of it.

Passion Tea Ingredients

Tazo passion tea packaging

The main ingredient for Tazo passion tea: hibiscus flowers!

What ingredients does Tazo Passion tea have? I checked, because I’m particular about my tea, and I’m happy to say that they are all natural.

No artificial colors, weird chemical fruit flavors or E-numbers whatsoever.

Here’s the skinny, straight from the packaging:

  • Hibiscus flowers
  • Natural tropical flavors
  • Citric acid
  • Licorice root
  • Orange peel
  • Cinnamon
  • Rose hips
  • Lemongrass
  • Fruit juice extract

How to Make Passion Iced Tea

Making your own passion tea couldn’t be simpler. Here’s the recipe:

Hot passion tea recipe

  • Boil water on the stove, or in your hot water dispenser.
  • Use 2 Tazo passion tea bags for 12 oz of water, or 4 tea bags for up to 20 oz of water.
  • Put your tea bags in a tea pot or other container, like a big glass jug.
  • Pour the just-boiled water over the tea bags.
  • Let the tea steep for at least 10 minutes.
  • Add your own choice of sweetener to the tea: honey, sugar, or a no calorie sweetener like Splenda if you prefer.

You now have a strong passion tea, and it should be a beautiful red-pink color. You can drink this tea as is, if you like hot passion tea — or cool it down to make ice tea.

Iced passion tea recipe

  • Make the hot passion tea recipe above.
  • Taste the tea to check the level of sweetness, add more if you prefer a sweeter ice tea.
  • Let the tea cool.
  • Pour over  ice cubes and enjoy!
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

If you would like a sweeter tea that taste’s more like iced lemonade, you can add a splash of fruit syrup or lemonade syrup to the tea.

A great taste to try is raspberry syrup, which complements the hibiscus flavor and color really well.

Blackberry syrup also makes a fruitier, more lemonade-like tea.

 

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Filed under Herbal Flower Teas, Hibiscus Teabags, How To Steep Tea, Tea Recipes

Spribiscus: the Perfect Summer Drink

Delicious refreshing Spribiscus!

Delicious refreshing Spribiscus!

I never heard of this until today, but there is a drink out there called Spribiscus. Isn’t that a great name?

I think this is maybe a Southern thing. Or at least a Texas thing, because I found it listed on this menu for a café in Austin, TX. Makes sense, you need creative recipes for cool drinks in really hot weather.

Anyway, you can probably guess what Spribiscus is made out of, just from the name.

It’s hibiscus ice tea and Sprite, mixed together.

I had to try this out for myself, so I bought some Sprite to test this recipe.

I made my usual strong hibiscus tea from dried hibiscus flowers, let it steep, let it cool, then poured it into a glass I’d half-filled with Sprite and ice.

(If you want to know how to make hibiscus ice tea, you can find the recipe here.)

Love the taste!

Turns out Spribiscus is a really, really nice variation on basic iced hibiscus tea.

You get the fruity, flowery taste of the hibiscus, combined with a refreshing hint of citrus and nice bubbles from the Sprite.

Add lots of ice…ahhh.

As far as I’m concerned, Spribiscus is my new favorite summer drink.

 

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Filed under How To Steep Tea, Loose Leaf Hibiscus Tea, Tea Recipes

How to Make a Hibiscus Tea Rinse for Your Hair

Sometimes it feels like a waste to use foodstuffs for non food purposes. Like an avocado face mask, a cucumber eye treatment, or a tea rinse for your hair.

Still, the hibiscus tea rinse I’m going to talk about is worth a small guilty feeling.

It’s also a great way to use up hibiscus tea that’s gone cold in the tea pot, or has steeped too long. And in that case, no need for guilt!

What Can Hibiscus Tea Do for Your Hair?

As you know if you’ve ever made hibiscus tea, the tea itself is a ruby-red, and it leaves stains if you happen to spill any.

It can also leave red color in your hair — if your hair is light enough, and if the hibiscus tea you use for the rinse is strong enough.

It’s not like a regular hair dye; don’t expect the kind of spectacular, long-lasting results you would get from unadulterated henna. After you wash your hair a couple of times, the hibiscus stain will go away.

But then, that’s also the charm of this rinse. You can try it out without worrying that it will actually dye your hair without any way to remove the color, the way henna does.

Herbal Conditioner

Several dark-haired people on the Long Hair Forum who have tried a hibiscus tea rinse have reported that it didn’t add color to their hair at all.

Instead, the tea gave their hair extra softness and shine, the kind you get from a really good conditioner.  So it’s worth trying, just for that, I think.

Hibiscus Tea Rinse Recipe

  • Make hibiscus tea from tea bags or loose tea leaves, following this recipe.
  • Do not remove the tea bags or tea infuser from the tea!
  • Instead, let the tea steep for a much longer time, at least 1 hour, but you can leave it as long as 24 hours. It won’t spoil.
  • Take out the tea bags or leaves, and pour the tea into a glass container that’s easy to pour from. Don’t use plastic, or it will stain!
  • When you take a shower, wash your hair with your usual shampoo and conditioner. Then pour the hibiscus tea rinse over your hair.
  • Leave the hibiscus rinse in your hair and let it dry naturally.

If you try this herbal rinse, please let me know in the comments or via email how it works out for you! I’d love to add some photos and make a ‘before and after’ series.

 

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Filed under Loose Leaf Hibiscus Tea, Tea Recipes

3 of My Favorite Herbal Tea Mixes

I realize you probably came to this website looking for hibiscus tea, but on the other hand, maybe you’re already a hibiscus tea fan and are looking for some variety, just like me!

I love almost all kinds of tea, especially herbal and flower teas, and I’m always looking for new brands and new tastes to try out.

These are three of my favorite herbal tea mixes. Not all of them are caffeine free, but I have marked each so you won’t buy the wrong thing by mistake. I’ve also added steeping instructions.

1. Davidson’s Earl Grey Tea with Lavender


Davidson’s has the best loose leaf tea bar none, as far as I’m concerned, and their bulk prices are great too.

Davidsons Earl Grey Lavender Tea This Earl Grey loose leaf tea is the classic English black tea infused with bergamot, but what’s special about it is the added lavender flowers. They give the tea a flowery note and a delicious scent. It’s a perfect afternoon tea, and it goes well with high tea, cake or cookies.

How to Steep Earl Grey Lavender Tea:

  • Put a teaspoon of tea into a tea pot or preferably, a tea infuser.
  • Pour 1 pint or more of boiling water over the tea and into the pot.
  • Cover the cup or pot and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Remove tea infuser.

Note: this tea contains caffeine. It’s also a strong black tea; don’t overbrew it and let it get bitter!

Buy Davidson’s Earl Grey Lavender Tea at Amazon

2. Traditional Medicinals Organic Raspberry Leaf Herbal Tea


These tea bags contain 100% organic raspberry leaves. So, technically, this is not a mix, but I love it so much that I wanted to include it.

Traditional Medicinals Organic Raspberry Leaf Tea Raspberry leaf is a special tea that is, I’m not kidding, a godsend to women. I’m not saying men can’t drink it, but they won’t get the benefit of its special properties!

For hundreds of years, women have used raspberry tea to help alleviate menstrual cramps and labor pains and strengthen the uterus. And best of all, it tastes great, not at all medicinal. In fact it reminds me of black tea, even though it’s caffeine free. You could drink this with a bit of honey, but it’s tasty enough to drink plain.

How to Steep Raspberry Leaf Tea:

  • Put the raspberry leaf tea bag in a tea cup or pot.
  • If you’re using a larger tea pot, put two tea bags into the pot.
  • Single tea cup: pour 1 cup of boiling water over the tea bag and into the tea cup.
  • Full tea pot: pour 1 pint of boiling water over the tea bag and into the pot.
  • Cover the cup or pot and steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Gently squeeze tea bag to get the last bits of raspberry goodness out.
  • Remove tea bag.

Note: this tea is caffeine free.

The manufacturer of this tea, Traditional Medicinals, recommends drinking 3 to 4 cups between meals.

Buy Traditional Medicinals Raspberry Leaf Tea from Amazon

3. Davidson’s Herbal Cranberry Orange Tea


I know, I know, it’s another Davidson’s tea. But they are so good!

Davidson's Cranberry Orange Tea This mix of flowers and fruits is perfect if you want to drink a healthy herbal tea that’s full of Vitamin C. The tea contains organic cranberries, chamomile, rooibos, rosehips, hibiscus and orange peel, with sweet orange essence for extra flavor.

As a fellow enthusiast wrote on Amazon,

“You can feel a touch of sourness of the cranberries and hibiscus flowers, the refreshing taste of the orange peels, and the pleasant taste of the camomile.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself. You can also combine this tea with pure hibiscus tea if you want to make a tea that’s a little fruitier and sweeter than plain hibiscus, but still has all the wonderful health benefits of hibiscus tea.

How to Steep Cranberry Orange Tea:

  • Put a teaspoon of tea into a tea pot or preferably, a tea infuser.
  • Pour 1 pint or more of boiling water over the tea and into the pot.
  • Cover the cup or pot and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Remove tea infuser.

Note: this tea is caffeine free.

Buy Davidson’s Cranberry Orange Tea from Amazon

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Filed under Herbal Flower Teas, How To Steep Tea, Loose Leaf Herbal Teas, Medicinal Tea, Tea Recipes

How To Make Hibiscus Ice Tea

Hibiscus Ice Tea (photo: texascooking)

A big pitcher of ruby-red Hibiscus Ice Tea is incredibly refreshing when it's hot.

I love to drink hibiscus tea as a hot drink when it’s cold out, but in summer, I prefer hibiscus ice tea. It’s refreshing and cool, it looks beautiful, and has a flowery, slightly tart, delicious taste and aroma. I think it tastes much better than plain ice tea made from tea bags.

When I serve this ice tea for the first time, people often think it’s lemonade or a cocktail or some kind of fruit punch — the jewel-like, deep red color of hibiscus doesn’t make anyone think of tea! Then they taste it, and fall in love. I honestly haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love hibiscus ice tea. The only difference is that some people like it sweeter than others. Personally, I like the tart refreshing taste of hibiscus tea, and I don’t want to overwhelm it with sweetness, so I let people who like sweet tea add honey to their taste.

Here’s how I make hibiscus ice tea, two ways: a simple recipe for hibiscus ice tea and a fancy recipe with added spices and garnish. The fancy ice tea is what I usually make for company.

One important tip: the deep red of hibiscus stains easily, so take care not to use plastic lemonade pitchers or anything that will stain. Glass pitchers and metal saucepans are fine.

Simple Hibiscus Ice Tea Recipe

(serves 6)

6 cups cold water
1/2 cup hibiscus flower tea leaves
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups ice

  • Bring water to a light simmer in a large saucepan.
  • Add the hibiscus flower tea to the water, then simmer for 5 minutes over moderate heat. Remove saucepan from heat.
  • Cover the saucepan and let it steep for half an hour.
  • Pour the liquid into a pitcher through a sieve. Discard the flowers.
  • Add sugar and ice, and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Chill the tea and serve in a glass when it’s cool enough.

Fancy Hibiscus Ice Tea Recipe

(serves 6)

6 cups cold water
1/2 cup hibiscus flower tea leaves
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups ice
fresh mint leaves
orange slices
lime slices
honey

  • Bring water to a light simmer in a large saucepan.
  • Add the hibiscus flower tea, the cinnamon sticks and a handful of fresh mint leaves to the water, then simmer for 5 minutes over moderate heat. Remove saucepan from heat.
  • Cover the saucepan and let it steep for half an hour.
  • Pour the tea into a pitcher through a sieve. Discard flowers and spices.
  • Add sugar and ice, and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Chill the tea.
  • When it’s cool enough, serve in a tall glass with a long spoon. Garnish the glass with one orange and one lime slice, and set out a pot of honey so people can sweeten the ice tea to their taste. You can also add extra sprigs of fresh mint leaves.

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