August Tea Blend - Hibiscus Ice!
August has arrived and we’re having long sunny dry days here in the Pacific Northwest, just like most of the country right now.
One of my favorite ways to cool off in the summer is with ice cubes. They aren’t something I normally partake of because they are so internally cooling that they can be tough on digestion. However, they are perfect for hot days when I just can’t seem to cool down.
Freezing herbal tea into ice cubes to pop out later for long afternoons siting on porches or evening garden parties is a lovely way to add energetically cooling herbs to beverages. I personally like to add them to plain filtered water, but sparkling water is also fun.
Last month’s tea blend of Chrysanthemum and Elder Flower lend themselves well to this method, but my favorite tea to make ice cubes with is Hibiscus. The intense red pigment of the tea creates a beautiful swirl in any glass as it melts, leaving a sweet and tangy flavor.
The flowers can also be used as a dye and I do in fact have a Hardy Hibiscus bush growing in my garden that I hope to harvest from this year. (I'll post pictures when it blooms!)
Hibiscus flowers are cooling to the body, reducing heat and fever. In Yoga of Herbs, Frawley says “[They] help purify the blood and the heart, physically and spiritually, and enhance attention in meditation. They also improve skin complexion and promote hair growth.”
Making ice cubes from this beautiful tea is simple, but you will need ice cube trays. In a small saucepan, add enough water to fill your ice cube trays. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, then add 2-3 Tbsp of Hibiscus flowers. Let it steep about 10 minutes. Strain the tea into another vessel to continue cooling for another 10 minutes.
Alternatively, you can put the 2-3 Tbsp of flowers in a large tea ball and pour boiling water over it into a large jar or glass pitcher (as I've done here). Once the tea has cooled down enough to touch pour it into your ice cubes trays and set them in the freezer to solidify. Don’t worry if you have extra. You can just chill it in the fridge.
Once they’re frozen, you can use them whenever you like Enjoy this sweet summer treat for both its visual beauty and tangy flavor!