Benefits of Zoborodo and Karkade Drink

Delighted to share the benefits of Zoborodo, a Nigerian African drink made using Zoborodo leaf. We have many easy Nigerian recipes, but this popular drink offers you a taste of two cultures. Zobo is also called Egyptian ice tea (Karkade tea), which is made of dried hibiscus leaves (Zobo leaves). Some people call it Hibiscus iced tea. Zoborodo is relative to Nigeria and Karkade to Egypt. Our ancestors passed on many delicious gifts to us, and this beverage is one of them. Learn how to prepare hibiscus tea below. Subscribe to be notified monthly of recipes around Africa that features plant-based and vegetarian meals.

Zobo or Karkade is made from dried hibiscus flowers and we can confirm that the zoborodo leaf is also a dried hibiscus flower. Regarding the taste, you can expect a tart flavor similar to cranberry juice except it is not sour. How to prepare hibiscus tea has many options so add spices or leaves you love; dazzle your friends with this African drink by using its native name (Nigeria or Egypt).

Egyptian iced tea, Karkade,  is preferred on most occasions and events including weddings, festivals, and other major life events because it’s easy to create and has an exquisite taste. Now you see why this is a popular African drink?

Why do Nigerians love Zobo?

Zobo has great health benefits and you could create big portions from a small batch of the Zoborodo leaf. We all know language differences allow us to have different names for things, which is why Nigerians call dried hibiscus leaves Zoborodo Leaf. Of the many easy Nigerian recipes we present, you might notice this as well.

Have you been to Nigeria? It’s hot and humid! Which makes this Nigerian African drink the perfect beverage on a toasty day. 

In preparing Zoborodo, some Nigerians use pineapple peels to give it flavor or add artificial flavors or sweeteners like Foster Clark (not sponsored). People like their zobo drink more or less concentrated.  Keep in mind, concentrated zobo is sour and ferments quickly. 

Nigerians can amp up the flavor in tea drinks with just about any spice to create unique tastes. I wouldn’t be surprised if this beverage is used in cocktails…wink wink.

Nigerians call Zoborodo and Egyptians call Karkade tea. Learn how to prepare hibiscus tea, a popular African drink among easy Nigerian recipes.
Use whole leaves not the crushed petals

Egyptians Adore Karkade

Drinking Karkade or hibiscus iced tea is like taking a journey to the land of Pharaohs (Egypt).

It is no surprise people in hot climates love cold refreshing beverages. You’ve probably caught on by now that Karkade is simply a translation for dried hibiscus. Duh, right?  

Have fun with it by adding spices from the region, such as cardamom, mint, or sesame, when you create yours. 

Benefits of Zoborodo or Karkade

The medicinal benefits of hibiscus tea are numerous. Research shows it aids in the regulation of blood pressure, and reduces cholesterol levels. Some claim it helps with reducing menstruation cramps, while others use it to speed up digestion. 

Personally, I  have not experienced any of these things, but if it works for you, please comment below and share your truth.

Research also shows that hibiscus drink has more vitamin C than most fruits and vegetables. I don’t know about you but I still want to eat my fruits and veggies separately. 

I would like to hear from you after you’ve made this recipe. Did you create a tropical flavor by adding pineapple or orange peels? Or did you make it spicy by adding ginger or cayenne pepper?  Comment below.

Check out the video tutorial:


Zoborodo Nigerian Drink

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

Zobo or Karkade is made from dried hibiscus flowers and we can confirm the zoborodo leaf is a hibiscus flower. Regarding the taste, you can expect a tart flavor similar to a cranberry juice except it is not sour.


  • 2.5 cups hibiscus petals
  • Ginger-Desired amount
  • Pineapple- Desired amount
  • Cardamon pods- Desired amount
  • Water- Huge Jug
  • Sweetener – Honey, sugar, agave OR maple syrup (OPTIONAL)


    1) Using cold water, rinse the Zobo or dried hibiscus leaves. Do not worry, the cold water will not remove all the colors from the leaves.

    2) Whole ginger should be cleaned, peeled and cut in bits. Pineapple can be store bought or use whole pineapple.

    3) Add the washed Zobo or dried hibiscus leaves to a pot with enough water to completely cover them.

    4) Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, then remove from the fire.

    5) Add the ginger and pineapples after that, add more water if needed and continue to boil for at least 30 minutes.

    6) Sift the mixture when it is cooled. The juice should then be strained through a sifter to remove any chunky particles, leaving only a smooth juice.

    That is it that is your Zoborodo drink, enjoy!!

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