Homemade Honey Citron Tea

If you’re looking to boost your immune system – and warm your bones a little, too – give this healthy Homemade Honey Citron Tea recipe a try. Sweet Meyer lemon and local organic honey provide important health benefits, including antioxidants, Vitamin C and antibacterial properties. This is a soothing tea base that can be stored in the fridge for up to one month.

What is Honey Citron Tea?

This Homemade Honey Citron Tea recipe is inspired by Korean yuja cha, also known as yuza tea. It’s important to note that traditional honey citron tea is made from the yuzu, or yuja, fruit, which is very difficult to find in most parts of the United States. Many popular Korean food bloggers use different citrus fruits to re-create the concept of honey citron tea. That’s what I’ve done here using Meyer lemon. 

Have you ever seen little glass jars with a bright yellow or orange marmalade in the international section of your grocery store? That’s likely yuja tea concentrate, or one of its many varieties. Koreans drink yuja tea to boost their immune systems, help bust colds and kick nagging coughs, among other ailments.

I tried yuja tea for the first time in 2008 when I was living in Seoul, South Korea. Drinking a tea in which the rind of the fruit was consumed along with the tea itself was new to me. All it took was one cup of traditional honey citron tea on a chilly fall day and I was hooked. Yuja tea saw me through several frigid Korean winters. Back then it was a novelty to find Korean yuja tea in the U.S., but these days it’s readily available in stores and on Amazon. I highly recommend trying traditional honey citron tea at least once. 

My challenge is that store-bought versions of yuja tea tend to be high in sugar. Even many homemade yuja tea recipes call for a 1-to-1 ratio of citrus to sugar. While my Homemade Honey Citron Tea is not free of sugar, I like that I can control the ingredients and I know exactly what I’m drinking. This tea tastes bright and fresh and I can adjust the flavor with each cup I make based on personal preferences. For example, if my throat hurts I’ll add an extra teaspoon or two of honey to my tea. And while I would love to make a version of Homemade Honey Citron Tea using fresh yuja fruit, it’s extremely difficult to find where I live in Georgia. Meyer lemon is a great substitute for yuja fruit and is a popular choice among my favorite Korean food bloggers, too.

Health Benefits of Honey Citron Tea

Meyer lemon and local organic honey are the two primary ingredients in this Homemade Honey Citron tea. Meyer lemons tend to be sweeter and less tart than regular lemons. The rind is also softer, thinner and less bitter, making it perfect for this nourishing tea recipe. Here’s a quick overview of the many health benefits of Meyer lemons and honey.

  • Meyer lemons are similar to what we know as ‘regular’ lemons (Eureka or Lisbon lemons). They pack a nutritional punch: high levels of Vitamin C and folate offer immune-boosting benefits while fiber helps with digestion and gut health. Meyer lemons are also rich in antioxidants and cancer-fighting flavonoids, which aid in the removal of free radicals from the body and keep our cells healthy. Learn more about the power of antioxidants in this article from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

  • Honey is a healing superfood that is best when organic, raw and local to where you live. Highly processed and filtered honey is often stripped of the pollen and health properties that make it so good for us. Local honey means it is sourced from plants that are native to where you live, which is why honey can help with allergies. Honey also contains antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and may serve as a sugar substitute. Read more about the health benefits of honey in this article from the Cleveland Clinic.

How to Make Honey Citron Tea

Making Honey Citron Tea from scratch is easy and takes less than an hour. The most tedious part of the process is slicing the lemons into thin half-moon shapes. It’s about 45 minutes out of your day that will provide you and your family numerous cups of this wellness tea that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month. 

Below is a quick guide for how to make Honey Citron Tea. Before you get started, make sure you’ve sterilized your 8-ounce glass jar and scrubbed your Meyer lemons. It’s easy peasy from there!

Wintertime is always rough on our little fam but recent winters have been brutal with so many of our family and friends of all ages fighting coughs, flu and upper respiratory infections that they can’t seem to shake. In no way am I suggesting that this tea will cure what ails you, but I hope it gives your body a little boost this season.* 

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Homemade Honey Citron Tea

Homemade Honey Citron Tea is a soothing and nutritious wellness tea that contains less sugar than store-bought versions of traditional Korean honey citron tea, also known as yuja cha or yuza tea. It’s important to note that traditional honey citron tea is made from the yuzu, or yuja, fruit, which is very difficult to find in most parts of the United States. It’s common to substitute other citrus fruits when yuza is unavailable. In this recipe, sweet Meyer lemons, honey and a touch of sugar create a bright and flavorful tea that can be enjoyed hot or cold.

  • Total Time: 45 mins.
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x


  • 3 Meyer lemons
  • 1/4 cup organic local honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar


Make the Tea Base

Make the Tea


  • The rind and pulp of Honey Citron Tea are edible. For a pulp-free tea, steep 2 tablespoons of tea base in hot water for 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
  • The taste of your Honey Citron Tea is a direct result of the sweetness or tartness of your lemons. Feel free to adjust the amounts of honey and sugar based on personal preference. You can also use a sugar substitute of your choice. Read the label to ensure the measurements are accurate.
  • Any bitterness or tartness of this tea will begin to dissipate after about 1-2 weeks.
  • Author: Cortney Sparkman
  • Prep Time: 45 mins.
  • Cook Time: 0 mins.
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: By Hand
  • Cuisine: Korean Inspired

Keywords: honey citron tea, korean yuja cha, health benefits of honey citron tea, yuzu tea, yuja fruit

*Medical Disclaimer: All content and information on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Sweet New Roots, LLC. is not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this website. 

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