Said to be very healthy, but also a tasty and ubiquitous part of Senegalese culture - don't leave without trying a cup!

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Bissap tea

The national drink, courtesy of the hibiscus flower.

Just as Italians have their espresso and Argentines their mate, so Senegalese dote on bissap tea. It has been thus since the pharoahs ruled in Egypt, and even today it's such a part of local life that you should make it a point to sample on your visit. Brewed from the hibiscus flower, with a characteristic violet color and a unique flavour, bissap is also known for its healthy properties, particularly helpful for the digestion as well as in fighting anemia and infections; parents commonly give it to kids with fever. That's just a fringe benefit, though - the point here is to get to know another aspect of Senegal's culture. You can drink it hot or cold, and we'd recommend seeking it out any mid-morning at virtually any café you come across (you can try areas like Plateu, Ouakam and around Place de l'Independence).

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