Several months ago my husband and I rented a garage downstairs from our apartment for the extra space. “Think of all the room we’ll have!” we kept saying. For months all that was in this garage was…….a bike. The garage had been empty for a while and badly needed de-spidering. My husband and I are both not fans of spiders. Why we chose to do it on a hot sunny day I can’t imagine. It was disgusting and dusty and spidery but its done now and we sprayed the corners with spider spray and then I sprayed everything generously with peppermint oil and water just to make sure the spiders get the hint. Now everything that is down there is staying forever because we can’t trust it not to have spiders on it. It’s the Goodwill waiting room.
Point is, it was hot and hot weather calls for BEVERAGES. I love BEVERAGES. I’m a huge fan of BEVERAGES. I like water, I like tea, I like coffee, I like hot chocolate, I like iced ones of those things, lemonades, limades, I try to stay away from soda unless there’s rum in it but you get the point, I’m well hydrated.
I love hibiscus tea. I’ve been drinking it for a long time and I’ve been drinking Passion tea for a long time. At Starbucks you could get it mixed it with lemonade, and eventually I started drinking it without lemonade, and then eventually I was drinking “real” tea and I didn’t have it much anymore.
Then we went to Mexico and the ubiquitous iced beverage of choice was Te Jamaica (“ha-MY-cah”), which is just hibiscus tea. At ElNicho restaurant in Puerto Morelos it was served with a mound of hibiscus and sliced cranberries in the bottom which was extra tasty and tasted just like Cranapple juice to me. So I kind of got a taste for it and I wanted some more.
I started a bad habit. A Starbucks opened near my house and it’s pretty quiet at about the time I leave for work in the mornings. My husband makes me drip coffee that I drink in the car in my Las Vegas tumbler, but I’ve started starting also stopping for a venti iced half-sweet Passion tea that I drink when I get to work.
Let’s be straight about hibiscus tea for a second. It’s pretty much Kool-Aid. If you throw a little sweetener in it and give it to a kid who is familiar with Kool-Aid, they will confirm for you that it is tasty Kool-Aid.
This Tazo stuff is also tasty Kool-Aid but it’s got a couple frills that make it taste a little bit sophisticated. The rose hips are tart and put a kibosh on the cranberry sweetness hibiscus has. The orange brightens it up. There’s a teensy bit of cinnamon that gives it a little depth and spice. It’s still Kool-Aid but it’s grown-up Kool-Aid.
My husband and I have been keeping a pitcher of it in the fridge since we got back from Mexico. I don’t make it very sweet, I boil up a cup of water and pour it over two bags with a little sugar and then leave it in there until its good and dark and then I pour it into the pitcher and fill it up. The pitcher has an infuser so I leave the bags in there overnight for some extra flavor. If you leave it unsweet it will be a little tart and dry but still good. A little sugar, refreshing with a little zing. Lots of sugar, grown-up Kool-Aid.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Hibiscus, Licorice, Orange Zest, Rosehips