“Rosa Sinensis, Red tea, Hibiscus tea”
I was asked to write a little article on a product of excellence from Egypt for the Live Inspire project by the Intesa Sanpaolo Group. On their page is information on the Milano 2015 EXPO, as well as recipes from different countries and inspiring stories about sustainability and nutrition. It also has a competition with a trip to Italy for one lucky person. Just click on the link below to take you there:
The product I was drawn to is also one of my particular favourites since I particularly source this from Egypt over being grown from any other Country. Karkadé is my product of excellence from Egypt. It is a tea known for its remarkable ruby red colour and subtle floral flavour. Karkadé has been produced in Egypt for centuries and is made from the dried calyces which form around the seed-pods of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower.
Since ancient Egyptian times this tea has been enjoyed hot in winter and as a refreshingly cool drink in summer. Karkadé is grown in the optimum conditions and climate of Egypt giving the tea a rich dark, almost purple-black colour overflowing with health benefits and having a wonderfully floral aroma and flavour.
Hibiscus tea is often blended with other tea types due to the lovely red colour it produces however, lighter red coloured Hibiscus teas on the market are more acidic and leave a bitter aftertaste as well as being lower in antioxidant levels so the darker tea is best.
For centuries, and to this day, Karkadé is drunk in Egypt for its medicinal benefits due to its high vitamin C content, high antioxidant properties and scientific studies have confirmed it reduces blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes or mild hypertension.
The drink is made in much the same way as a cup of tea. In a tea pot take a full handful of the tea and add a litre of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for three minutes. Strain off what is now a bright red liquid. Add cold water to cover the tea and boil again to extract all you can. Add a teaspoon of sugar for each glass (or to taste), stir and serve hot.
Alternatively, in a jug pour boiling water. Add tea and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Leave until the water becomes dark red. Strain the tea and cool in the refrigerator until serving. Tea made this way is believed have the most beneficial effect on blood pressure.
Red tea Karkadé, Photography by Dy na Eldaief (dynaeldaief.com)
Red tea Karkadé, Photography by Dyna Eldaief (dynaeldaief.com)