All About Lemon Tea

This post may contain affiliate links. When you purchase through the affiliate links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, check out our Affiliate Disclosure page.

Traditional tea, which originated in China, is made from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Depending on when the leaves are plucked and how the leaves are prepared after harvest determines what type of tea is produced. Traditional teas come in six different varieties: green, black, oolong, white, yellow, and dark (also known as fermented tea).

On its own, tea comes in a wide range of flavors and is believed to have many health benefits. Mixing with certain additives elevates the flavor to new levels and increases the potential health benefits. Lemon tea is one type of plain tea that’s been jazzed up. According to herbalists and people who practice traditional medicine, lemons are both flavorful and delicious and highly beneficial for the body. 

The History of Lemons

Lemons are native to Assam, a northeast region of India. Grown on a small evergreen tree belonging to the Rutaceae family, lemons are thought to be a hybrid produced from bitter orange and citron, a large citrus fruit with bumpy skin.

Lemons were introduced to the Mediterranean in 100 AD and were planted in Spain around 400 AD. By 700 AD, this citrus fruit was introduced to Persia, Iraq, and Egypt, and evidence of lemons being cultivated in Europe was recorded during the 15th century. It is also believed that lemons were introduced to the Western Hemisphere during Spanish conquests starting in the late 1400s.

Lemon & Nutrition

In one ½ cup of lemon juice, there are 31 calories, 1 gram of protein, zero fats, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of sugar. Lemons are also considered an excellent source of vitamin C, as whole lemons also have approximately 50 mg of vitamin C (approximately 12 to 13 mg of vitamin C per fluid ounce). In addition, lemons are high in citric acid, which gives the fruit its signature sour taste.

Potential Benefits

Despite the lack of scientific studies, since lemons are high in vitamin C, it is believed that they could be beneficial in boosting one’s immune system. Those who also practice traditional medicine regard lemons as tools for weight management and heart health.

What is Lemon Tea?

This type of tea is made by simply adding a certain amount of lemon juice or a specific number of lemon slices to cups of green or black tea. This results in a boost in flavor and a change in color.

Depending on which recipe you follow, the lemon is either added after the tea is brewed, or the lemon is steeped in the hot water with the tea leaves. There are also a handful of variations to lemon tea that use other additives for even more flavor and to elevate the potential health benefits. Some of these other additives include:

  • Ginger
  • Mint leaves
  • Honey

Lemon Tea Recipe

Whether you want to enjoy this beverage hot or cold, it is both flavorful and easy to brew. Once you have chosen which type of tea you would like for the base, normally green or black tea, you can begin brewing. You also have the freedom to choose whether to use tea bags or loose-leaf tea.

For hot tea, you will need a pot or kettle to boil some water, black loose-leaf tea, a teapot for steeping the leaves, a strainer to catch the leaves, a mug to drink out of, and some lemon juice.

It is recommended to use 1 to 2 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea for every 8 oz of water. You will also need the juice from a quarter of a lemon.

  1. Bring your water to a boil. Put a little more water than needed, as the extra hot water will be used to preheat the teapot and the mug.
  2. Once the water comes to a boil, pour a small amount into the teapot and the cups. Swirl this water around and then discard.
  3. Place the measured amount of tea leaves into the teapot and pour the remaining hot water on top of the leaves. Place the lid on the teapot and allow the leaves to steep for 5 minutes.
  4. Once the time is up, strain out the leaves and pour the tea into your warm cup. Pour in your freshly squeezed lemon juice, stir, and enjoy!

Sweeteners like honey can also be added after stirring in the lemon juice. You can also incorporate other additives (such as ginger, mint, cinnamon, or berries) at this time to customize the flavor to your liking.

Aroma, Appearance, & Flavor

Many of these characteristics will vary depending on which type of tea you choose for the base of the beverage. If you use black tea and add lemon juice, it will appear a light brownish color. If you use green tea and add lemon to it, the color will be pale and yellowish.

As with the appearance, the aroma and flavor can vary depending on the type of tea that is used. The lemon flavor is potent, however, so there is usually an underlying tartness to the beverage. This is especially true if there are no other additives or sweeteners used. Additionally, if the rind is left on the fruit and slices are steeped in the tea, the beverage can take on a more bitter flavor.

Nutritional Values & Caffeine

One serving of lemon tea, a ratio of 6 oz of tea and ½ tsp of lemon juice, has under five calories. This serving also has zero fats, proteins, and sugars. As for caffeine, this can vary depending on the type of tea that was used. Black tea can have anywhere from 50 to 90 mg of caffeine, while green tea can have anywhere from 12 to 75 mg of caffeine.

Final Thoughts

Made by either steeping lemon slices with tea leaves or adding lemon juice into a fresh cup of black or green tea, lemon tea is flavorful and loved by herbalists for its potential health benefits. This beverage is also highly customizable as it can be enjoyed with additives such as ginger, mint, and honey.

Since lemon tea is made with a fresh cup of black or green tea, the beverage is caffeinated, but the amount varies. If you are a tea enthusiast and love exploring new flavors and concoctions, this is the tea for you. It’s the perfect variety to experiment with at home to perfect and satisfy your taste buds.