What Does Hibiscus Taste Like?

Chances are that if you’ve had hibiscus, it’s in tea form. While fresh hibiscus is edible, it’s often difficult to find so you’ll likely see it dried. Often made into tea, jams, and jellies, hibiscus is worth trying if you can find it.

Hibiscus has a sour and tart flavor. It also has some floral and berry flavors as well. In addition, it can be a little acidic, especially when prepared into tea. 

Its tart flavor is somewhat reminiscent of cranberries or rhubarb

How To Eat Hibiscus

As part of a flower, it’s unlikely that you will eat hibiscus fresh, although you can.

Generally, hibiscus is made into teas and jams. In both items, you can help to balance out the tartness with the addition of some sweetness.

Hibiscus Tea

When brewed into a tea, the tartness is dampened somewhat. What tends to come through are the floral and fruity flavors. It also has a slight sweetness in addition to a slightly tart flavor.

Even though hibiscus is less tart when brewed in tea, some people still find it overly sour. It’s fairly common to mix honey into hibiscus tea to help balance out the flavors.

Hibiscus Jam

Hibiscus jams and jellies, on the other hand, definitely have a more tart flavor than tea. While a nice flavor, it can be overpowering. Often sugars or other fruits, such as strawberries, are added to tone down the tartness.

Hibiscus Syrup

Another great way to eat hibiscus is to make it into a simple syrup. This, like the jam, is ideal because you still get the nice flavor, but it’s somewhat sweeter.

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Simple syrups are, well, fairly simple. You just brew some hibiscus tea with sugar and cook until the sugar dissolves. Then you boil and simmer until glossy and thick. 

Once you have your syrup you can put on anything you like, but some popular choices are waffles and ice cream.

To Sum Up

Hibiscus is not something we tend to eat a lot. However, it does have a lovely tart, somewhat sour flavor. It also has notes of fruits, particularly berries.

If you find hibiscus a little too tart, try to make it into a simple syrup and pour over some ice cream. To get that tart flavor you can eat it fresh or brew it into some tea.