If you’re looking to boost your immune system – and warm your soul a little, too – give this Homemade Honey Citron Tea recipe a try. Sweet Meyer lemon and organic, unfiltered honey provide important health benefits, including antioxidants, Vitamin C and antibacterial properties, and result in 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 yuzu tea. 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 one of the many varieties of yuzu tea in a jar. Koreans drink yuzu tea to boost the immune system, help bust colds and kick nagging coughs, among other ailments.
How do I know about citron honey tea benefits? I came to love yuzu tea and appreciate its many health benefits when I was living in Seoul, South Korea. It was the first time I’d ever had a citrus tea in which the rind of the fruit was consumed along with the tea itself. All it took was one cup of yuja tea on a chilly fall day and I was hooked.
Traditional Korean honey citron 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 – that’s all it will take to fall in love!
A Note On Authenticity
Traditional yuzu tea is made from the yuzu fruit, also known as yuja. This fruit is difficult to find in many parts of the U.S. Popular Korean food bloggers use different citrus fruits to re-create the concept of honey citron tea for those times when yuzu is not available. That’s what I’ve done here using Meyer lemon.
Why I Make Honey Citron Tea (Instead of Buying It)
Store-bought versions of Korean yuja tea tend to be high in sugar.
Even many homemade yuja tea recipes call for a 1-to-1 ratio of yuja 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’s in it.
It’s easy to make and stays fresh for weeks.
Homemade honey citron tea requires less than an hour of my time and I can enjoy it for up to one month. In my opinion, it gets better as the days go by and the sugar and honey break down with the lemons.
Citron honey tea is versatile.
It 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 extra honey to my cup of tea.
It’s chock full of good-for-you nutrients.
Have you ever enjoyed a healthy food or drink that just makes you feel good? That’s how I feel when I drink this homemade Korean honey citron tea. The best part? It doesn’t just feel good going down – it actually is good for you.
Let’s dive further into the health benefits.
Eat the Meyer lemon rind to reap the full benefits of honey citron tea! It’s delicious and nutritious.
Honey Citron Tea Health Benefits
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.
- Meyer lemons – Tend to be sweeter and less tart than other varieties of lemons
- Unfiltered, organic honey – Local and raw honey is recommended
- Sugar – Just a little to help break down the citrus
It’s Called “Tea” But …
Honey citron tea is more of a concentrated base from which tea can be made. So what we’re making here is a tea base that can be stored for up to one month in the refrigerator. A spoonful of the base is added to hot water to create a soothing citron tea.
How to Make Honey Citron Tea Base
Making citron tea with honey from scratch is very 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 clean.
It’s easy peasy from there!
Cut three Meyer Lemons lengthwise and remove the seeds. Thinly slice.
In a clean bowl, combine the sliced Meyer lemons with local organic honey and the small amount of sugar.
Gently stir to create the tea base. Adjust the honey and sugar to taste. Stir the mixture into a clean 8-ounce jar and let sit overnight or for 12-24 hours. Refrigerate and enjoy for up to one month.
Honey citron tea can be enjoyed hot or cold. Hot honey citron tea is particularly soothing on cold days or when you’re feeling under the weather. Iced honey citron tea is bright and zingy – like a refreshing cup of happiness on a hot summer day.
Honey Citron Tea Recipe FAQs
What is honey citron tea good for?
Citrus fruits are full of essential vitamins, including Vitamin C, and antioxidants, making it a popular choice for those looking to boost their immune systems, help bust the common cold and kick nagging coughs, among other ailments.
Is honey citron tea healthy?
The ingredients in honey citron tea – primarily citrus and honey – come with an array of health benefits. The caveat is that traditional honey citron tea or yuzu tea contains sugar. This homemade honey citron tea recipe uses less sugar, making it a good option for anyone looking to enjoy yuzu tea while watching their sugar intake.
How do you drink honey citron tea?
This tea can be enjoyed hot or iced. Simply add 1-2 tablespoons of citron tea base to hot water, steep for several minutes and enjoy warm or served over ice.
What does honey citron tea taste like?
Honey citron tea has a consistency almost like a marmalade. It’s subtly sweet and citrusy. When served warm, it’s very soothing – think of it like a hug in a mug!
Is citron tea the same as yuzu tea?
Yes, citron tea and yuzu tea are essentially the same thing. The caveat is that Different fruit is used depending on where in the world you live. Yuja fruit, also known as yuzu fruit, is difficult to find in the U.S.
Is there caffeine in citron tea?
No, citron tea is caffeine free.
What Else Should I Know?
I’m so glad you asked! Skim these notes before you dive in:
- Repeat after me: I will drink this tea and eat the rind – and then I will feel nourished and refreshed.
- But in case pulp and rind are not your thing, make a pulp-free honey citron tea by steeping 2 tablespoons of tea base in 8 ounces of hot water for 5 minutes. Run the tea through a fine mesh strainer and enjoy.
- The flavor profile of your honey citron tea will be a direct result of the sweetness or tartness of your citrus. Adjust the amounts of honey and sugar based on personal preference.
- Any bitterness or tartness of this tea base should dissipate after 1-2 weeks.
- 3 Meyer lemons
- 1/4 cup organic local honey
- 1/4 cup sugar
Make the Tea Base
- Sterilize an 8-ounce glass jar in boiling water. Meanwhile, scrub the Meyer lemons clean. Cut the Meyer lemons lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the lemons into very thin, half-moon shaped slices, removing more seeds as you slice.
- Place the lemons in a clean bowl and add the honey and sugar.
- Gently stir in the honey and sugar to create the tea base. Use a clean spoon to taste and adjust to your preference. Scoop the tea base into your sterilized jar and close the lid tightly. Let sit overnight or about 12-24 hours to allow the sugar to dissolve. Keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Make the Tea
- Combine 1 tablespoon of the tea base with about 6 ounces of hot water and stir. Remember, part of the benefit of this tea is that you can also consume the pulp and rind. Enjoy!
- 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.
- 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
Article originally posted January 16, 2023; Last Updated August 19, 2023.
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