Honey Citron Tea from Scratch

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Korean honey citron tea is an herbal or tisane made with a citrus fruit. It contains no caffeine and it’s perfect for when if you’re looking for a little cold relief or just a nice hot beverage to warm up.

Honey Citron Tea in a glass mug.

What is Honey Citron tea?

  • Korean honey citron tea or yujacha is a very popular and traditional Korean cold remedy.
  • It’s an herbal tea and doesn’t contain any caffeine and won’t keep you up.
  • Made from a citrus fruit called yuja in Korean, or yuzu in Japanese.
  • Yuja tastes like a mix of lemon, orange, and grapefruit all in one.
  • It looks like marmalade and you stir 1 tablespoon into a cup of hot water.
  • Giant glass jars of this herbal tea is sold in Asian markets and even Costco.

Want more easy herbal tea recipes? Try my ginger tea from scratch, roasted corn tea, chamomile tea latte, and rooibos tea latte.

Store-Bought vs Made from Scratch

I don’t know anyone that makes citron tea from scratch and I can see why—tracking down the yuzu is no easy feat. But if you have ever had the citron tea from the jar, the ingredient list made me want to try making my own.

Instead of the three ingredients I needed for mine, the ones sold in stores had at least six ingredients, some of which I couldn’t pronounce.

The biggest difference between homemade and store-bought is the cost. 

A store-bought jar costs about $8 and can make about 35 servings. My version costs about $12 and can make a whopping 6 servings. Ha.

It’s not something you can make at home to save money, that’s for sure.

Ingredient Notes

Yuzu fruit, cut in half.
  • Fresh yuja or yuzu
    This citrus fruit is not easy to find and when you do, it’s pretty pricey. I paid $5.50 for EACH at a Japanese market. Try looking for them in Korean supermarkets too.
  • Honey
    Any kind of honey you have will work.
  • Sugar
    Use light colored sugar to keep the bright yellow color from the citron fruit.

How to Make Citron Tea from Scratch

6 photos of step-by-step of how to make honey citron tea.

Here’s a quick overview of the steps to make this drink. For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to see the recipe.

  1. Clean citron fruit.
    Since we’re using the entire fruit including the peel, make sure it’s thoroughly cleaned.
  2. Slice citron and discard the seeds.
    First cut citron in half, then in thin slices.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Stir 1 tablespoon of citron tea in a cup of hot water.

Notes & Tips

  • The citron tea will last about a month in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • You can make the citron tea by using all sugar or all honey but making it with all honey completely masks the yuzu flavor.
  • Use brown sugar instead of white if that’s what you have but it’ll change the color of the tea.

Questions You May Have

Can I eat the yuzu peel?

Yes, In fact, you should! It packs a nice vitamin C punch.

Can I drink this even if I don’t have a cold?

Yup, it’s great any time you want a caffeine-free hot drink.

Can I make this iced?

Make a syrup by diluting 2 tablespoons of sweetened citron in 2 tablespoons of hot water. Add cold water and pour into a cup with ice. It’s a great hot weather drink.

Overhead photo of citron tea.

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Citron tea in a mug.

Honey Citron Tea from Scratch

Author: Jee Choe
Korean Honey Citron Tea is an herbal drink made with yuzu or yuja fruit.
4.8 from 12 votes
Prep Time 7 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Course Drinks
Yield6 servings


  • 2 large yuzus or 4 small yuzus, about 1 cup, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey


  • Clean citron fruit.
    Since we're using the entire fruit including the peel, make sure it's thoroughly cleaned. I like to clean it by spraying it with vinegar then scrubbing it clean.
  • Slice citron and discard the seeds.
    Cut citron in half, then in thin slices.
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
    In a bowl, mix together the sliced yuzu, sugar, and honey until well combined. The honey and sugar will break down the yuzu peel, making it soft.
  • Stir 1 tablespoon of citron tea in a cup of hot water.
    Citron fruit peel can be eaten.


Calories: 114 | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 7mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized and use hashtag #ohhowcivilized!
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3 thoughts on “Honey Citron Tea from Scratch”

  1. I was introduced to this by a friend who has a Korean wife. When living in Toronto I used to buy the ginger ‘tea’ in T&T. Have you made your own ginger version? or another fruit?


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