First – let me start of by saying – Roselle (for those of you who don’t know) is a species of Hibiscus (MORE INFO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roselle_%28plant%29) and is popular in Australia.
The plant is considered to have antihypertensive properties. Primarily, the plant is cultivated for the production for bast fibre from the stem of the plant. The fibre may be used as a substitute for jute in making burlap.1 Hibiscus, specifically Roselle, has been used in folk medicine as a diuretic, mild laxative, and treatment for cardiac and nerve diseases and cancer.2
The red calyces of the plant are increasingly exported to America and Europe, where they are used as food colourings. Germany is the main importer. It can also be found in markets (as flowers or syrup) in some places such as France, where there are Senegalese immigrant communities. The green leaves are used like a spicy version of spinach. They give flavour to the Senegalese fish and rice dish thiéboudieune. Proper records are not kept, but the Senegalese government estimates national production and consumption at 700 t (770 short tons) per year. Also in Myanmar their green leaves are the main ingredient in making chin baung kyaw curry.
In East Africa, the calyx infusion, called “Sudan tea”, is taken to relieve coughs. Roselle juice, with salt, pepper, asafetida and molasses, is taken as a remedy for biliousness.
The heated leaves are applied to cracks in the feet and on boils and ulcers to speed maturation. A lotion made from leaves is used on sores and wounds. The seeds are said to be diuretic and tonic in action and the brownish-yellow seed oil is claimed to heal sores on camels. In India, a decoction of the seeds is given to relieve dysuria, strangury and mild cases of dyspepsia. Brazilians attribute stomachic, emollient and resolutive properties to the bitter roots.3
Above are the uses
Here is what they say about the TEA infusions…
In Africa, especially the Sahel, roselle is commonly used to make a sugary herbal tea that is commonly sold on the street. The dried flowers can be found in every market. Roselle tea is also quite common in Italy where it spread during the first decades of the 20th century as a typical product of the Italian colonies. The Carib Brewery Trinidad Limited, a Trinidad and Tobago brewery, produces a Shandy Sorrel in which the tea is combined with beer.
In Thailand, Roselle is drunk as a tea, believed to also reduce cholesterol. It can also be made into a wine – Hibiscus flowers are commonly found in commercial herbal teas, especially teas advertised as berry-flavoured, as they give a bright red colouring to the drink.
NOW…For my thoughts on THIS specific TEA from TEVIVRE***
It smells like a combo of Blueberries, Raisins, Cherries, Currants, and/or other berries! There are tarty, sweet, juicy, and bitter fruit aromas morphing while infusing! It has a slight roasted aroma to it too!
The post infusion color is different than I expected! I was assuming since Roselle was in the Hibiscus family it would be intense purple or pink or red in color but it’s a bit of medium brown, purple, red, blue-ish.
It has a vibrant fruit-tart flavor but it’s a different kind of a tart…it’s a good kind of a tart! It’s fruity and berry. I can taste the Currants, Blueberries, AND Grapes – individually but also together – blending nicely. I really LOVE the grape addition. It really contributes to the overall flavor! I think the Currants help tone down that stereotypical hibiscus flavor unless this Roselle is NOT as intense as your “default hibiscus used in most teas”…if that is the case…I prefer Roselle to Hibiscus and hope more companies start using THIS species of it in teas and tisanes they feel they need to add hibiscus to.
So…apparently…I want to ramble about this tisane.
I feel I need to point out different ingredients when they are used to give respect to not only the ingredient itself but the companies that use them, promote them, and bring them to the forefront. I love things I have to Google and Wiki…I LOVE learning about them!
At first I was thinking I would like this better iced…which still may be the case…but the more it cools at room temp and the more I sip on it…the more I am enjoying and appreciating this fruity tisane. I don’t over infuse my fruit tisanes so I only let this one go for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Because this different in many ways I am scoring it a bit higher than I would “average” fruit tisanes…I like this. I think it’s a neat offering. I am sure it could be tinkered with to your liking, but I like it just fine this way – my first attempt – and I appreciate the ingredients they way they are placed in there and how they work with eachother.