Thursday, November 22, 2007

Jamaica and Hibiscus tea

The infusion made from the Hibiscus sabdariffa (Roselle) flower is called "jamaica" when it is served as a cold drink and "hibiscus tea" when it is served hot.
Jamaica is a drink popular in Southern California, Mexico and Central America. There it is called Agua de Jamaica. It has cranberry-like flavour. It is good for people who have tendency toward water retention. It is a mild diuretic.
Jamaica is prepared by steeping calyces of Hibiscus sabdariffa in boiling water, straining the mixture, pressing the calyces (to squeeze all the juice out), adding sugar, and stirring. The drink is served chilled.
Hibiscus tea or Karkade (pronounced "Kar-kah-day") is a sweet tea. Karabe is an Arabic word for Hibiscus sabdariffa (Roselle). It can be served served hot or chilled with ice. Then it is often called Einab. Karkade is very popular in North Africa.
In Thailand people use Roselle to make a tea which is believed to reduce cholesterol.
Roselle can be used to make kind of wine. There it is combined with Chinese tea leaves at ratio 1:4 by weight. Drink made or Roselle is famous in West Africa too. Drink called Jus de bissap is known as "national drink of Senegal".
Finally, how to brew it...Heat 0.5 liter of water in a pot. When it starts boiling add a fistful of Hibiscus flowers and boil for four minutes. Remove from the stove and sift to a pitcher. Add 0.5 liter of cool water to the pot and let it stand for about 10 minutes so the flowers release all their colour. After the 10 minutes have passed sift again to the pitcher. The Jamaica should be neither too red nor too clear, but rather the colour of non-concentrated cranberry juice. Add sugar to taste, then chill until cool.

1 comment:

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