When Life Gives You Lemons Again and Again… Just Add Honey!

Citrus and Honey Cha

Eating, making tea, or preserving lemons with honey is known probably in every cuisine in the world. For some reason, I was surprised when came across traditional citrus and honey teas in Japan, and then when found dedicated shelves of Korean fruit and honey teas in almost every Asian store in the U.S.

Citrus and Honey Tea
Citrus and Honey Tea

There is a list of traditional Korean fruit teas with honey that includes a few citrus varieties — gyulpicha (귤피차; 橘皮茶; “citrus peel tea”), taengjacha (탱자차; “bitter orange tea”), yujacha (유자차; 柚子茶; “yuja tea”). Korean word yujacha means yuja citrus tea. Yuja, or citrus junos is better known in the U.S. as yuzu. Traditionally, thinly sliced yuzu is preserved with honey to make yujacheong, and then to make tea a portion of preserves is mixed with hot water.

Citrus and Honey Tea
Citrus and Honey Tea

Winter Citrus Fest

During the winter, two our favorite food stores Whole Foods and Centra Market bring a generous variety of citrus fruit to Austin. Some of them a simply better during the season — fresh, juicy and fragrant. Other are exotic and not available any other time of year. Making honey preserves is my way to prolong the pleasure of having them in my kitchen. I do not add pectin or other gelling agents. Instead, I keep the syrup liquid and use it for everything — hot tea, sparkling drinks, cocktails, sponge cakes feed, etc. Honey candied citrus slices are excellent as toppings for other desserts, ice creams, custards, fruit salads. Everything is pure, natural, and beautiful.

Citrus and Honey Tea
Citrus and Honey Tea

Honeyed Citrus Tea

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 min
Total Time1 d 6 mins
Course: Dessert, Drink
Cuisine: American, Eastern Asian, Eastern European, European, Korean
Keyword: citrus, condiment, dessert, drink, honey, lemon, recipe
Servings: 1 pint


  • 2 each lemon organic
  • 4 each limequat
  • 1 handful kumquat
  • 6 oz honey


  • Wash citrus fruits with hot water and wipe dry. Thinly slice them and remove pits.
  • Pour honey into a clean 1-pint glass jar and heat it in a microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute on HIGH until the first bubbles appear.
  • Add sliced citrus fruit to the honey making layers of different varieties. Fill the jar to the top, screw on the lid and keep at room temperature for 24 hours. Store refrigerated.