| |

Yuja Tea (Citron Tea) with Any Citrus

Yuja tea is a super refreshing drink that requires very little time to make. This citrus drink is not only a great drink year-round but also works well with a wide variety of citrus and flavors!

Yuja Tea, Korean Citron Tea Overhead

What is yuja tea? Yuja cha (유자차), or yuja tea, is a popular East Asian citrus drink that utilizes the yuzu plant. This quick and easy recipe only requires two key ingredients: a sweetener and citrus. The most common combination of these two ingredients is regular sugar with yuja.

Yuja is a type of citrus that is commonly grown in East Asia, particularly Korea and Japan. In Japan, yuja is referred to as yuzu. It has a bumpy exterior with a flavor similar to grapefruit, lemon, and mandarin.

To make homemade yuja, the yuja is first chopped and mixed with sugar to draw out some water. The marmalade mixture is typically left out at room temperature for up to a few days to let the sugar dissolve naturally. However, I found it much faster to either microwave or cook the marmalade on the stovetop to dissolve the sugar faster. Boiling the sugary yuja can give the marmalade a jammy texture; however, yuja tea has that thick, jammy texture when sold in store.

Even though yuja/yuzu is the most popular choice for this style of drink, this technique can be applied to many different types of citrus, such as the lemon I used in these pictures. It turned out just as delicious! You can experiment with other citrus types that also may be easier to source such as:

  • lemon, pomelo, grapefruit, orange, etc.

Benefits of Korean Citron Tea

Citrus fruits contain nutrients such as vitamin C, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. These nutrients can support the immune system, reduce inflammation, and lower LDL cholesterol. So, this healthy drink can be a wonderful gift for those feeling under the weather. Plus, if you choose to add honey and/or ginger to make a honey ginger citron tea, yuja tea can have a wider variety of health benefits. 

Notes on sweetness:

Yuja tea is typically made with equal parts sugar and yuja/citrus of choice. However, if you prefer your drink to be less sweet, you can definitely increase the citrus to sweetener ratio. I’ve made this with roughly 4 parts citrus: 3 parts sweetener and found it sweet enough. I’ve also seen some people try out a 6 part citrus: 5 part sweetener. I wouldn’t go much lower than that ratio since there needs to be enough sugar to draw out water from the fruit and make a syrup. However, this ratio can also change depending on the citrus that you decide to use.

Equal amounts of citrus and sugar can be measured out either by weight (ex: in grams) or by volume (ex: in cups).

Variations on Yuja Tea

Sweetener Suggestions

You can use any sweetener such as sugar, honey, rock sugar, raw sugar, etc. Depending on the sweetener you use, the tea may need to be kept at room temperature longer to allow the sweetener to fully dissolve. You can also combine different sweeteners together. 

Choosing honey: When I use honey, I think using 50% honey and 50% regular sugar is best. This way, the honey flavor is not too overpowering. Feel free to experiment to find your ideal ratio!

Other Additions

You can experiment with adding ingredients such as mint or ginger to the marmalade. You can also substitute the water for the tea with teas such as black, chamomile, or chai tea. 

Yuja Tea, Korean Citron Tea Small Jar Square
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Yuja (Citron) Tea with Any Citrus Fruit

Yuja tea is a super refreshing drink that requires very little time to make. This citrus drink is not only a great drink year-round but also works well with a wide variety of citrus and flavors!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese, Korean
Keyword: asian lemon tea, korean citron tea, korean lemon tea, yuja cha, yuja tea
Servings: 1 mason jar
Calories: 60kcal

Ingredients

Yuja-Cheong (citron marmalade)

  • 1 part citrus ex: yuzu or lemon, see post above for more suggestions
  • 1 part sweetener of choice ex: white sugar and/or honey, see post above for more options adjust the ratio to preference

Yuja Tea Ingredients

  • 2-3 tsp marmalade syrup
  • 2-3 slices of citrus from the marmalade
  • 1 cup water hot or cold water

Instructions

Make the Marmalade

  • Add glass jars to a pot of water. Boil for about one minute to sterilize the jars. Set the jars aside to cool and dry.
  • Rinse the citrus. Scrub the outside skin of the citrus with baking soda and/or salt. Let the citrus air-dry or pat dry with clean towels.
  • Slice the citrus thinly into roughly equal sizes. Make sure to remove any seeds to prevent bitterness.
  • Add the sliced citrus to a clean bowl with the sweetener and toss well to combine. Then, you can choose to dissolve the sugar using three different ways:
  • Microwave: Microwave the citrus sugar mixture in intervals (30 seconds – 1 minute), stirring in-between until all of the sugar is incorporated.
  • Stovetop: Add the marmalade mixture to a pot. Place it on a stove and cook until all of the sugar dissolves. (This process will cause the texture to slightly resemble jam, which is closer to how yuja tea is sold in stores. However, the taste will remain the same).
  • Letting the mixture sit: Add the marmalade mixture to the sterilized jars. Close the jars and let them sit at room temperature for 1-3 days until the sweetener has dissolved. You can use a clean spoon to stir the marmalade each day to help speed up the process.
  • Pour the prepared marmalade mixture into a jar, and store in the fridge. The citrus slices will continue to sweeten as it sits in the syrup. The marmalade will last for about a month.

Make the Yuja Tea

  • In a cup, mix all of the ingredients together. Enjoy hot or cold.

Notes

  1. See my post above for suggestions on citrus to sweetener ratios, different types of sweeteners that can be used, and types of citrus to experiment with.

How to Make Yuja Tea

Make the Marmalade

Sterilize glass jars in a pot of boiling water and let air dry. 

Sterilizing the Glass Jars

Rinse the citrus. Deeply clean the peels by scrubbing with baking soda and/or salt. Let the citrus air-dry or pat dry with clean towels.

Slice the citrus thinly into roughly equal sizes. Make sure to remove any seeds to prevent bitterness. 

Lemon Sliced and Seeds Removed

Add the sliced citrus to a clean bowl with the sweetener and toss well to combine. 

Lemon Slices, Sugar, Honey Unmixed
Lemon Slices, Sugar, Honey Mixed

Then, you can choose to dissolve the sugar using three different ways:

  • Microwave: Microwave the citrus sugar mixture in intervals (30 seconds – 1 minute), stirring in-between until all of the sugar is incorporated.
  • Stovetop: Add the marmalade mixture to a pot. Place it on a stove and cook until all of the sugar dissolves. (This process will cause the texture to slightly resemble jam, which is closer to how yuja tea is sold in stores. However, the taste will remain the same).
  • Letting the mixture sit: Add the marmalade mixture to the sterilized jars. Close the jars and let them sit at room temperature for 1-3 days until the sweetener has dissolved. You can use a clean spoon to stir the marmalade each day to help speed up the process.

Store the jar in the fridge. The citrus slices will continue to get sweeter as it sits in the syrup. The marmalade will last for about a month.

Yuja Tea, Korean Citron Tea Left Out to Let Sugar Dissolve

Make the Yuja Tea

In a cup, mix all of the ingredients together. Enjoy hot or cold. 

Yuja Tea, Korean Citron Tea Small Jar

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments