Legend has it that tea was discovered by a Chinese emperor who, around 2700 BC, was purifying water under a tea tree when some leaves landed in the pot. The emperor, for whatever reason, drank the leaf-infused water and pronounced it delicious!
One has to wonder if the emperor didn’t then meander over to sit under a nearby lemon tree with his newly discovered vessel of tea where, lo and behold, a lemon slice fell in! It only makes sense that a lemon would naturally find its way into a cuppa. Tea and lemons are as natural a combo as peanut butter and jelly.
While we understand that not everyone is a fan of lemon in their tea or even lemon teas, there is no denying that adding lemon to your tea does have some health benefits. Lemons are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. When added to green teas which are also loaded with antioxidants, you get a double whammy of goodness. It’s also an easy way to sneak extra vitamin C into your day.
Low in calories and sugar, lemons are a great alternative to adding extra natural sweetness to your tea. And if you’ve been looking for ways to cut calories and fat from your diet, you might try ditching the milk or cream you add to your tea and use lemon instead for a new alternative. No, lemon juice isn’t creamy like milk, but you just might like the healthier change. And if you just can’t drop the milk/cream habit, don’t add lemon unless you like your milk curdled.
While you can try adding lemon to most any tea – and the rule around these parts is that if tea makes you smile, that’s all that matters – there are some that simply lend themselves well to being paired with lemon. Here are just a few.
- Earl Grey. Earl Grey tea is made with bergamot, a citrus flavor. Adding lemon to a cuppa Earl Grey takes the citrus flavor up a tasty notch.
- Mint. If adding mint leaves to your lemonade is a good idea…wait for it…then it makes sense that adding lemon to your mint tea is an equally grand idea. The pairing of these naturally delicate flavors is a beautiful thing.
- Hibiscus. The fruity tart/sweet hibiscus plant comes to life even more with the addition of lemon. In Italy, hibiscus tea with sugar and lemon juice has its very own name: carcadè. Our Hibiscus Ginger tea would be wonderful with lemon.
- Chamomile. Another Mother Nature duo, the teaming up of lemon and chamomile helps brighten the earthy flavors of chamomile and creates something of a tea powerhouse of goodness.
- Ceylon. A classic tea with citrusy notes by its lonesome, Ceylon teas take to lemon like a cow to cud, as the saying goes.
- Indigo Punch. Our Indigo Punch tea is made with butterfly pea flower, which gives it a lovely blue hue. When you add lemon, however, not only do you get a delicious sip, it turns the blue color to purple. It’s the most popular tea party trick around!
- Green teas. As we mentioned previously, when you add lemon to a green tea, you’re getting a twofer of beneficial antioxidants. It’s about as healthy as a cuppa gets.
If you prefer to have your lemon already built in, we can help you out! We offer many varieties of lemon teas, including these blends which feature lemon front and center:
- Lemon Herbal. A lovely lemon tisane with notes of hibiscus (see, they do pair well!)
- Verveine. Also known as lemon verbena, this tea has been around for thousands of years and is especially beloved by the French.
- Lemony Gunpowder. A wonderful combo of gunpowder green tea and lemon for a truly unique tea.
- Organic Ginger Lemon. Another one-two punch of goodness! All the health benefits of ginger along with lemon’s great properties. There’s even a hint of black pepper for added flavor and health oomph.
- Amba Lemongrass. This special tea comes from Amba, a women’s cooperative in Sri Lanka.
- Dar-Jee-Lingside. As the label says, this tea is “crafted in cahoots with the band Darlingside,” which happens to be my brother Alex’s band. (Harney family membership sometimes has its perks.) A Darjeeling tea flavored with lemon and honeybush.
- Bee’s Knees. The winner of our 2020 customer blending contest, this tea was inspired by the popular Roaring ‘20s cocktail with gin and lemon flavors.
However you decide to squeeze lemon into your tea ritual, we think you’ll find it just adds another layer of taste and elegance to your daily cuppa.