Both are delicious. Both have their place in the wonderful world of hot tea. So let’s dive into the “what” and “why” of lemon in tea!
Hot Tea with Lemon Pairings
In the category of “tea with lemon in it,” there are classic flavor combinations:
- Lemon and ginger (Can’t go wrong.)
- Raspberry and lemon (Zing!)
- Lemon and lime (Double zing!)
- Licorice, mint, and lemon (So soothing.)
- Lemon, cardamom, and plum (Yes, please!)
- Lemon verbena with chamomile, pineapple, and peach (A calming cuppa with a fruity punch!)
Black and green tea lovers alike can get a hearty helping of citrus with Kitchen Table Blend: a fusion of black and green teas sprinkled with rose petals and jasmine flowers, enhanced with lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit essences. A veritable do-si-do of citrus flavors!
Or, lean into a sense of elegance with Royal Wedding black tea—a marriage of elderflower and lemon, dressed up with vanilla and almond essences. Pair with this luscious lemon and elderflower cake, decadent enough to be served at a true royal wedding. Your will feel like the ruler of all you survey, sipping royally-inspired tea with your pinky in the air!
If you’re feeling particularly regal, you might try Queen’s Blend green tea: a lemon crème earl grey that is every bit as good as it sounds.
This green tea-based Earl Grey (or as I like to call it, Earl Green,) is infused with the essential Bergamot oil, then adds the brightness of orange peels and lemon essence, the floral touches of blue cornflower and calendula, and is rounded out by a creamy splash of vanilla essence.
Truly a blend fit for royalty, you can enjoy a refined spot of tea from your front porch and practice your “queen wave” at all the peasant passers-by.
Anyone who likes a zesty mint tea may be intrigued by Citrus Mint green tea if they are looking to expand into the world of lemon teas.
Spearmint provides a calming zen, while lemongrass, orange peel, and lemon essence elevate the Chinese green tea to a refreshing new level! It’s perfect for a contemplative moment or an alleviating after-dinner drink.
Calm Chamomile Bloom is another lemon blend this is perfect in the evening or just before bed. The soothing bouquet of rose, lavender, and chamomile relaxes the senses, balanced by the crispness of lemongrass and the freshness of lemon balm. The cares of the day will melt away with each warming sip!
If floral teas have a special place in your heart, consider Evening in the Garden herbal tea. Fragrant elderflower and rose petals adorn a base of honeybush tea, augmented by the tang of lemon, and topped with a hint of vanilla essence.
It's delicious on its own or with sweetener, works great hot or iced, and whips up into a variety of tasty cocktails! Try it in an Arnold Palmer, a sangria, or in an elderflower martini!
A Lemon a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Before reading, please note: I am not a qualified medical professional, and lemons are not FDA-certified medicine.
I’m not sure where the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” comes from, but as far as I’m concerned, the adage could just as easily have included lemons.
This tart, yellow fruit contains a comparable amount of Vitamin C to its much-touted cousin the orange, depending on which part of the fruit you eat. (And it has less sugar, so bonus if you are watching your sugar intake!)
Because of their high Vitamin C content, lemons are helpful immune-boosters. They are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and hot water with lemon has long been a home-remedy for a sore or scratchy throat. Hot Toddies have been used for ages to cure what ails you, and they are lovely with a healthy squeeze of citrus!
You can add a zest of lemon to any of your favorite teas to see how the flavors play together, but if you are looking for teas that specifically pair well with lemon, here are a couple of suggestions to get you started.
Fog Cutter black tea is an Irish breakfast blend with a total of four black tea varietals! Assam, Ceylon, African, and Darjeeling are all represented in this stout powerhouse of a tea, flavored simply with a hint of lemon peel.
You can play up that lemon essence by adding a nice dose of freshly squeezed lemon juice. If you don’t mind a bit of texture in your tea, you could even grate a bit of zest in there. The rind of the lemon is the most nutrient-dense part!
Earl Grey is a natural pairing for lemon because the bergamot inherent to all Earl Greys melds beautifully with the additional citrus.
Mindful Morning Blend naturally augments the bergamot with the addition of orange peel, and softens both with vanilla extract. A dash of lemon would add a wonderful pop of tartness to an already stellar tea.
You could also try it with floral Delightful Morning Earl Grey for a whisper of lavender, or pecan-studded Picard Earl Grey for a depth of nuttiness.
In my opinion, the crème de la crème of lemon-pairing teas is Butterfly Pea Flower Tea. This naturally blue-pigmented tea turns purple with the addition of citrus—an entrancing transformation for tea lovers of all ages, but especially fun for kids!
Plum Deluxe Magical Butterfly herbal tea is a juicy cornucopia of fruity and floral elements: apple pieces, rosehips, hibiscus, strawberries, raspberries, orange peel, lemongrass, and of course, butterfly pea flowers.
The tea is well-balanced, sweet, delicate, and perfectly suited for a smattering of lemon!
All you tea-and-milk lovers out there, be warned—milk and lemon do not play nicely together! The addition of lemon to your milky tea will cause the dairy (or dairy substitute) to curdle.
Unless you like a sour flavor and chunky texture to your daily cuppa, I would steer clear of the lemon-milk combo!
With the exception of that one caveat, I encourage you to experiment with hot tea with lemon! Whether it’s for the great taste or that boost of Vitamin C, you can’t go wrong with a cup of lemon tea. (Yes, I did mean for that to rhyme.) Cheers, friends!