Hibiscus flowers are a popular herbal tea: they are often combined with other herbs or fruit juices and they impart a cheery red color and tart flavor. The tart taste of hibiscus is due to is content of 15 to 30% plant acids, including citric, malic, and tartaric acids. The wine-red color of the tea is the to anthocyans, including delphinidins and cyanidins. In tea, the herb yields mucilage and pectins.
A tea known as Agua de Jamaica, or simply Jamaica in Mexico, is usually served chilled with copious amounts of sugar to sweeten the natural tartness of the hibiscus. Recently, hibiscus has been added to many ready made teas due to its high levels of anti-oxidants, and has even become the main flavoring agent in certain sodas.