Easy Yuzu Tea (Citron Tea) Recipe

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By Barbara Hodge • Last Updated: December 25, 2023
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Easy Yuzu Tea (Citron Tea) Recipe

Sweet and tangy, this homemade yuzu tea is delicious. This yuzu tea recipe has no bitterness, and is simply the perfect citron tea for any occasion. Only two ingredients for homemade herbal tea!

Yuzu Tea (Citron Tea)

Yuzu tea, called yuzu cha in Japanese, is widely enjoyed as a warm comforting tea during a cold winter in Japan. This sweet and syrupy warm tea has no caffeine and just the right amount of tang.

Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit. This magical yuzu fruit is so tasty, and releases an incredible fragrance. The aroma will fill the kitchen with citrusy joy!

Andy and I, enjoy making yuzu tea along with yuzu kosho and yuzu liqueur in winter. A few great Japanese cooking techniques are used in this yuzu recipe too!

Yuzu fruit is so versatile and is somewhat of a Japanese super food. Bonappetit discusses how Michelin star chefs in NYC are using Yuzu as one of their secret ingredients. But you don’t have to be a Michelin chef to use it – you can get started with yuzu tea today!

Bring joy into your life and share it with your loved ones over a soul warming yuzu tea! And if you cannot find yuzu at local shops, no worries. I will show you how to make yuzu tea without fresh yuzu. Keep reading!

Why You will Love this Yuzu Tea

Yuzu tea, also known as Korean citron tea called yuja cha is simultaneously comforting and refreshing. This citron tea, yuja tea, is traditionally made with honey.

Yuzu is citrus fruit and hence the skin tends to be bitter. The Korean honey citron tea can make the bitterness milder with the honey.

But our yuzu tea recipe is not honey citron tea. I’ve found honey overpowers the aroma and obscures the taste of yuzu. So I make this citron tea without honey.

I make yuzu tea in an authentic Japanese style that is inherited from my mother. You can reduce the bitterness with a simple and easy Japanese technique.

Read on!

Ingredients for Yuzu Tea

Yuzu: Yellow yuzu is the best for this recipe and can be found in winter. The skin is gentle and juicy, with a rich and strong citrus aroma. Green yuzu is not suitable for making yuzu tea. It has a hard skin and is less juicy.

Rock sugar is perfect for this recipe. It’s made with beet and can be easily found in the local Asian shop or online. If you buy a large bag of rock sugar by chance, try homemade yuzu liqueur which we make in winter to enjoy in summer!

How to Make Yuzu Tea

How to Make Yuzu Tea
Credit: Instagram @portlandsyrups

Cleaning

Making yuzu tea is simple. The only effort you need to make is to wash the yuzu and an air-tight container thoroughly and dry them. Make sure the knife and a chopping board are also clean. And wash your hands well with soap too.

After cleaning them up, everything needs to be dried. These cleaning and drying things are important and that keeps the yuzu tea longer in the container.

Remove stems. Take off spots on the yuzu skin with a knife. Cut each yuzu into half and remove yuzu seeds, and squeeze yuzu juice and keep it for another use.

Cutting

Cut each yuzu into half and remove seeds. Then slice yuzu skin into 1/16 inch (2mm) wide slices.

Layering

Keep the jar in a cool and dark place for at least four days. Rock sugar dissolves slowly and releases the rich citrusy flavour of yuzu gently. If you keep it for two weeks, the aroma and taste will intensify.

Scoop up two teaspoons of the yuzu base and add it into your favourite cup. Pour hot water in it. Mix them up.

That’s it! Serve immediately. Enjoy!

How to make citron ice tea

We also enjoy yuzu iced tea in summer. I put ice cubes into a glass and scoop two to three teaspoons of yuzu tea base into it. I then pour cold water or soda. Mix them up well. Fresh and delicious citron ice tea is ready

Top Tips for Yuzu Tea

What if you cannot find fresh yuzu

I know finding yuzu is not so simple at local shops. So I will show you how to make yuzu tea without fresh yuzu. Of course I prefer the fresh yuzu but this alternative is a great backup.

You can find a yuzu marmalade jar at local Japanese or Asian shop. Yuzu marmalade can also be found on Amazon. Scoop two to three teaspoons of yuzu marmalade into a cup and mix it with hot water. Yuzu tea is ready!

Can you use regular sugar instead of rock sugar?

Unfortunately you can’t. There’s science behind the Japanese cooking technique.

Regular sugar dissolves quickly while rock sugar doesn’t. Yuzu’s components can be released slowly and surely with rock sugar. When sugar dissolves rapidly, all of the flavours of the fruit are not released. That’s why you need rock sugar

The best thing, no cooking is needed. Everything’s done in an air-tight container. All you need to do is place all the ingredients into the container.

This is the Japanese secret to make yuzu tea! It’s also applied to fruit liqueur making. I’ve also made yuzu shu (sake) with rock sugar. It’s perfect for reducing bitterness of the yuzu skin.

How to store yuzu tea

Keep the yuzu tea base with an air-tight container in the fridge. Once you open the container, use it up within ten days.

This yuzu tea base can be kept for three months in the freezer. It’s convenient to separate it into small portions and keep with ziploc bags.

If you’d like to keep this yuzu tea more than three months, don’t open the bottle and keep it in the fridge. It’s said yuzu tea can be kept for one year but I always enjoy it in the summer and finish it up within six months.

Easy Yuzu Tea (Citron Tea) Recipe

Yuzu Tea Recipe

Barbara Hodge
Sweet and tangy, this homemade yuzu tea is delicious. The yuzu tea recipe has no bitterness, and is simply the perfect citron tea for any occasion. Only two ingredients for homemade herbal tea!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Japanese, Vegan
Servings 35 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 5 yuzu fruit (about 500g)
  • 18 rock sugar (500g)

Instructions
 

  • Rub each yuzu with salt and wash it with cold water. Drain water and dry naturally. Avoid direct sunlight while drying.
  • Clean an air-tight container or jar with a washing detergent. Use war water and wash it completely. Dry it out naturally.
  • Remove stems. Take off spots on the yuzu skin with a knife. Cut each yuzu into half and remove yuzu seeds, and squeeze yuzu juice and keep it for another use.
  • Slice yuzu skin into 2 mm (1/16 inch) wide slices.
  • Make three layers of yuzu skin and rock sugar in the container as the image on the recipe post. Close the lid tight, and keep the container in a dark, cool place. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • The yuzu tea base is ready in four days. If you keep it for two weeks, the yuzu fragrance and taste will intensify.
  • That's it! Put two teaspoons of the yuzu base into a cup and add hot water. Enjoy!

Notes

How to save
Keep the yuzu tea base with an air-tight container in the fridge. Once it’s opened, use it up within ten days. Or leave it in the freezer. It’s convenient to separate it into small portions and keep with ziploc bags.

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