How to make Zobo Drink (Hibiscus Tea, Bissap )

Zobo ( A brief introduction and how Zobo is made)

Zobo is made from the the dried  calyces (sepal)  of the hibiscus plant flower. Zobo leaves are also called; sorrel, flor de Jamaica and rosemallow. Although the drink is  known by different names all over the world (Zobo, Hibiscus tea, bissap, wonjo), the flavor profile is very similar, the drink usually has a tangy flavor profile.

Nutrition Profile:

“100 g of hibiscus fruit contains 49 calories, 12.3 g of carbohydrates with 2.3 occurring as dietary fiber, 1.9 g of protein, 14 mg of vitamin C, 300 mg of beta carotene, 57 mg of phosphorus, 2.9 mg of iron and 1.7 mg of calcium”

Health Benefits:

Zobo contains 15-30% organic acids, including citric acid, maleic acid, and tartaric acid. It also contains acidic polysaccharides and flavonoid glycosides, such as cyanidin and delphinine.

The tea is popular as a natural diuretic and is used traditionally as a mild medicine. Dieters and people with kidney problems often take it without adding sugar for its beneficial properties and as a natural diuretic. A 2008 USDA study shows consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure in a group of prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults


Recipe for Zobo ( Hibiscus tea)


  • 1 cup dried Hibiscus Sepal ( Zobo Leaves)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Sugar to taste



  1. Set the leaves in a large bowl, cover with boiled water. Set aside for 2-4 hours (this will allow the drink to steep)
  2. Pour the drink through a sieve or strainer to separate the fluid from the leaves
  3. Add some ice, lemon juice and sugar to taste.  Combine.


Note: The drink can be served hot or cold.  Also, the amount of water used is based on preference, you can adjust the water down or up.  Also experiment with food flavors like Pineapple, vanilla and berries for some diversity.

PS: The drink stains easily, be mindful when handling it.


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Lose It Nigerian

By |January 29th, 2012|91 Comments


  1. nana September 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Great piece.
    I have a question though. For how long can the sobolo juice be stored, whether refrigerated of frozen?

  2. Abimbola F Olukoga Adu February 15, 2016 at 5:23 am - Reply

    I so much love zobo but the only challenges I have is how to preserve it if doing large quantities and without refrigerating. Thanks for the post

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 15, 2016 at 7:54 pm - Reply

      That’s an interesting question. I will have to think about it. I know the zobo will start to ferment after a few days without refrigeration.

  3. Chioma January 21, 2016 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Well I add fresh ginger to mine when boiling. I still leave the ginger roots there until the drink is finished. And it’s so nice that I prepare it every weekend to last a week. I fetch to the office daily and drink from it when I crave for soft drink. This replaces other carbonated drinks.

  4. quin.A January 6, 2016 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Hi i really learnt from,ur blog especially your fried rice recipe everybody liked it wen i cooked and i prepared it for my bufdai…pls asides sugar what do i use to make my zobo sweet as a dieter?

  5. Joy December 11, 2015 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Hi. I love this drink. Keep up with the good work!

  6. Fatima ajus September 11, 2015 at 4:45 am - Reply

    Love this site.. I make the zobo with cucumber extract,pineapple, watermelon n ginger gives it a wonderful taste, n as a food supplement.

  7. Bola September 4, 2015 at 4:42 am - Reply

    love this site, educative indeed. I’m getting set to preparing it for sale. Thks for the enlightenment, get back to you to learn more and how to market it.

  8. esther August 29, 2015 at 3:14 am - Reply

    Very interesting drink, Pls what other health valve do we need to learn about zobo

  9. dazzling_akis June 23, 2015 at 3:38 am - Reply

    Ii love this drink!! 9jafoodie well
    done oo!

  10. chydip November 18, 2014 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Zobo drink is good for d health , I sell d drink to students and adults they enjoy it. Zobolizing ur system is d word I use for my customers.

  11. sam September 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    your a star!!!, i have a few more questions i would love to ask you about this drink. if i can get your email or something

  12. Amaka Amaechi C November 26, 2013 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Pls i dnt kw how to do it, pls teach me how to do it pls amd pls.

  13. samlova July 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Great post and Image.
    In Cameroon we call this drink Folere, Bissap or jus d’ausier (not sure of this French spelling)!
    It is the best drink ever and it is best served cold.
    It is a very lucrative business in the hot regions of Northern Cameroon, which is predominantly Islamic and in most big cities like Douala and Yaoundé where it is the favorite drink during the Moslem Ramadan fasting period. During this period kids and adults make a lot of money selling it at the entrances of mosques after evening prayers.
    We do not add sugar to make it sweet nor do we use any artificial flavoring. We use whole natural fruits.
    Most national hotels offer this drink as a welcome drink to guests who sojourn there.
    I always serve this drink to my kids in wine glasses at dinner when me and my spouse are having red wine so they think we are drinking the same drinks hahahahaha
    The greatest thing about this flower is that when dried, it can last for many years. It is cheap (in Africa) and all natural.
    It is a must have in my home in summer.
    My friend built a house from selling this drink in Northern Cameroon.

  14. Anonymous June 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I luv the drink. Its nutritious

  15. Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Just made my own zobo drink now!

  16. sweetness June 10, 2013 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Oh my God,I so much enjoy dis site and d comments.Tks to 9ja foodie.I do make it 4 sale wen I was in nigeria.I make also 4 my family and visitors every weekend,dey love it.And d funniest tin is dat I don’t knw hw to drink it.strange [email protected],tks 4 d addition of ginger and garlic.will try it.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie June 11, 2013 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      wow.. you are welcome dear. you need to learn how to drink it oh

  17. nwachukwu hezey May 30, 2013 at 3:36 am - Reply

    in how many form can zobo be produce and how can we produce it?

  18. Bumble Bee May 27, 2013 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    According to WebMd: “Be careful not to confuse sorrel (Rumex acetosa) with roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), which is known as Jamaican sorrel or Guinea sorrel.” … I think they’re still being mistaken, one for the other! However, I’d like to experiment with both to differentiate by taste though!

  19. Anonymous May 16, 2013 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    I will advise that you don’t boil at all or if at all, not for long as it will lose its nutritional value.A biochemist advised that if possible,put on the cooker but before it boils, remove it, and repeat for a few times so that the nutrients are left intact. you can also add kanofuru to it.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie May 21, 2013 at 10:48 am - Reply

      That is very interesting…. I will have to look further into the claim

  20. Anonymous May 16, 2013 at 3:10 am - Reply

    Its very Good

  21. Fintan May 15, 2013 at 8:46 am - Reply

    We boil the leaves with slices of pineapple and water melon. In that way, we get the natural taste of both fruits in the zobo drink.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie May 21, 2013 at 10:54 am - Reply

      I will try that! thanks for the addition

  22. BECKY May 14, 2013 at 6:10 am - Reply

    This is true! In my own drink, I boiled it with ginger and garlic. To which I believe its more medicinal.
    I love this piece, I will try this out

  23. CALEB May 9, 2013 at 5:15 am - Reply

    i love this.

  24. Anonymous April 2, 2013 at 5:51 am - Reply

    Comment…i lik dis site o i get alot of info frm dere.10thks

  25. nelly February 23, 2013 at 4:51 am - Reply

    I love zobo drink, i prefare it to minerals n other can drinks. apart from d nutritional values, d taste is sorting

  26. Festus February 17, 2013 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Zobo drink is great. We produce and sell. You can order for your parties etc.

  27. adesinaolusola February 14, 2013 at 6:42 am - Reply

    zobo drink is very very fine, especially for blood. I will advise many people to always drink zobo

  28. Funmi December 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    I love ds site ve learnt so much ad also educated d drink

  29. Ikegwuonu Sunday November 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Am a great producer of zobo drink, I love it.

  30. Isabella November 2, 2012 at 4:40 am - Reply

    Just made myself some nice Zobo/Sorrel drink right now. Come sip with me [email protected]

  31. octavia September 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    This is a lovely piece, try and add ginger and little garlic to it while boiling. its cool

  32. Perpetual September 6, 2012 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Am a constant n consistent fan of Zobo drink, infact evry member of my family prefer it to d usual botled drinks. Am happy to knw dat people enjoy d drink also n thank God am gud in preparin it bt I ve also learnt of oda methods. N I was always scared of drinkin it hot…

  33. Omobola Lawal August 14, 2012 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Yayyyy,thank Ʊ so much for this,been wondering how to make this ƒσя a long time,now am free ƒяom my “feeling like a boss” sis who won’t teach me how τo make Zobo.

  34. Christy July 26, 2012 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Zobo is ma favourite juice.. I have it stock in ma fridge(i prepare it by ma self)

  35. Jan June 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    “Zobo” is called “shakpa” or “sorrel” amongst the Krios of Sierra Leone. Even the grocery stores in Minnesota sells them, nicely packed and called “sour kraut'(as a German / Scandinavian food I believe)….hmmm small world aye.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie June 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      Really? I thought sour Kraut was sour cabbage?

  36. Mary June 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Hmmm!!! Zobo drink brings a fortune.i prepare it at times with natural fruit and sometimes with artificial flavour.Zobo purifies the body system.

  37. Verony June 20, 2012 at 3:40 am - Reply

    Yeah…… zobo is a very nice drink for diebetic patient(no sugar),it purifies the blood and makes them look healthy! It is part of my weekly meal.

  38. ruth June 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    in cameroon we call it folere 🙂

  39. Olayiwola Abimbola Stephen March 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    I have interest in making zobo drink

  40. Nollywood REinvented March 12, 2012 at 10:12 am - Reply

    I remember this from when I was young back in Nigeria… aww damn! some things you post on here bring back memories

  41. Smallie February 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    It is not made from Hibiscus flower. The leaves are dried sorrel. This is a common misconceotion by Nigerian – I am Nigerian. Hibiscus flower and Sorrel are two totally different things. Just an FYI..

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm - Reply

      Yes, they are not made from the flowers, they are made from the calyces of the flowers. There are two variations of Hibsicus plant, hibiscus sabdariffa and hibiscus cannabinus. The drink is made from the calyces of the former. There is a popular soup made from the fresh white variety amongst the Yoruba people of Nigeria, the soup is called Ishapa.

  42. Muse Origins February 8, 2012 at 7:03 am - Reply

    My Mum has been killing me with zobo for the past few weeks. I won’t rest until those leaves are all gone. I prefer it iced though- like, so iced i can crunch the little pieces of zobo.

    Your photographs are getting better and better

    Muse Origins

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks boo… your mum is doing your health a favor. lol.

  43. Destiny88919 February 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    love the new site, very beautiful. I have some leaves at home, will make it sometime in the summer.

  44. Jovie Onyema February 5, 2012 at 10:29 am - Reply

    as an engineering student i’ve been wondering what it would take to mass produce zobo and package it for sale around nigeria. after all, we now have bottled palmwine, packaged garri, pounded yam etc.

    i actually saw an M.Eng project of a zobo making machine. if someone could take a machine like that and begin to make zobo into commercial quantities, we could be making more people get this good source of nutrition while popularizing a local drink. abi no be so?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Please Inbox me, we have to talk business :D.

      • Myckl August 12, 2014 at 10:00 pm - Reply

        Hi dear where did the conversation with the engineer Jovie go? I make a tea bag version from Ghana. Let’s talk more business

        • nserebecca September 1, 2014 at 11:50 am - Reply

          Myckl I would like us to talk more about the tea bag version. You can contact me through my facebook search for Rebecca.

  45. rhapsody February 5, 2012 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Blessings my friend.
    You know when i saw the name zobo i thought hmmmmm, let me see what that is, i never heard, that is until i start reading. Soon i realized yeah i know it. In Trinidad and Tabago we call it sorrel. We have a couple of ways of making it and one of those ways is to ferment it into wine. The other to boil it with some other specific spices and drink.

    Thanks its nice to see that as different as we are, we are the same, use the same things just its called by a different name.

    Have a blessed and heart nourishing week

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Very similar!!!

    • Tiki September 11, 2012 at 10:00 am - Reply

      In Cameroon we call it “folerie” (pronounced foo-leh-ree). Some people use a banana flavoring – it’s really nice when ice-cold.

  46. MzT February 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Gosh. Haven’t had this is forever! Where you get your Hibiscus leaves from?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 4, 2012 at 9:21 am - Reply

      I got mine from a local African store in the city. You should try south American food stores, they carry them (Flor de Jamaica).

  47. Relentless Builder January 31, 2012 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Well, well, well! Not too long ago, I was laughing when someone told me that roses were edible. Lo and behold, I came here and discovered that Zobo leaves are actually dried Hibiscus flowers. Wonderful! I had heard of Sorrel and thought it was some exotic drink; turns out it is made from Zobo leaves. Thanks for the info, ma’am (especially the nutritional aspect). I won’t look at Hibiscus flowers the same way again 😀

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      They are actually not Hibiscus flowers but Hibiscus petals. But yeah, pretty neat on the nutrition scale. Add in a hint or vanilla or mango flavoring and you will be sure to please all your summer guests.

  48. auntie January 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    you can also boil the leaves and then strain with a cloth sieve … i strain mine twice to make it totally smooth if im using a regular sieve… its really good with a hint of vanilla essence

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      Hooooooo Vanilla sounds yum!! I will get me some from the health food market.

  49. auntie January 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    you can also boil the leaves and then strain with a cloth sieve … i strain mine twice to make it totally smooth if im using a regular sieve… its really good with a hint of vanilla essence

  50. auntie January 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    you can also boil the leaves and then strain with a cloth sieve … i strain mine twice to make it totally smooth if im using a regular sieve… its really good with a hint of vanilla essence

  51. Nat January 30, 2012 at 11:52 am - Reply

    I need to go home!!Thanks for posting 9jafoodie!!

  52. TeeEhm January 30, 2012 at 5:12 am - Reply

    Nice nice nice! I wonder where I can get the leaves in the UK.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm - Reply

      Check your local Africa store. South American food stores also carry it.

    • awosope micheal December 17, 2012 at 6:10 am - Reply

      @teeehm u don’t need 2 look for it in d uk i will be glad to send it 2 u from nigeria…. My name is awosope micheal. U can also get me on facebook @prince awosope number is +2348169459398. Pls call me…

  53. Missy Tee January 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Hmmmmmmm. 9jafoodie you just brought memories about this back. I can actually remember the conc. taste. Memories 9jafoodie memories! I shall try this soon.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      LOL…good memories I hope. I didn’t drink much of it when i was in Nigeria, cant get enough now.

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