Many moons ago, I lived in SoCal in a house with too many roommates. We were all broke, all the time. One day I saw one of the roomies with his usual giant pot on the stove boiling water. He pulled out a baggie and reached in to grab a handful of weird crumbly stuff. No, it wasn't weed, it was jamaica tea (pronounced: ha-mike-uh).

So I'm like "what weird stuff are you making today, Mondo?" and he explained that it was made of dried flowers and you just need a handful to make a huge pot of this red tea. It was like a really dank Kool-Aid. He told me it was super cheap and I was hooked.

Jamaica is loaded with antioxidants. According to Michael Gregor, M.D. it "may be the highest antioxidant beverage in the world," and it costs pennies to make. It's a bit of a diuretic, if you're into that kinda thing. It's also what puts the zing in your red zinger tea. The dried leaves keep pretty much forever, so I always keep a baggie in the cupboard.

#SpoonTip: Whole Food sells the same stuff for way more. Do yourself a favor and find your local carneceria and support a small business. If you're paying $20/lb you're gettting ripped off.

I like it over ice with a ton of sugar and some lemon, but up north you're welcome to have it hot, and when the sun goes down you can also add a bit of rum to keep the party going. Go ahead, experiment. Make a sangria with it.

If you can boil water you can probably handle this recipe:

Jamaica Tea

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Total Time:20 mins
  • Servings:10
  • Easy


  • 1 handful dried jamaica flowers
  • big pot water
  • your favorite sweetener optional
  • lemon optional
lemonade, cocktail, ice, juice, lemon, strawberry, sweet, cranberry, soda
Cindy Danger Jones
  • Step 1

    Get your Jamaica flowers.

    Cindy Danger Jones
  • Step 2

    Get a big pot of water boiling.

    tea, coffee, water
    Cindy Danger Jones
  • Step 3

    Throw in a handful of the jamaica and boil for about 15 minutes, until the water turns deep red.

    wine, alcohol, beer, liquor, tea
    Cindy Danger Jones
  • Step 4


    tea, dulse, pepper
    Cindy Danger Jones
  • Step 5

    Dump in your sweetener of choice. Serve it however you like, hot, cold, over ice, with rum or brandy. It should stay good for about a week or so.

    ice, cocktail, juice, soda, alcohol, tea, iced tea, vodka, liquor, cranberry
    Cindy Danger Jones