Korean Yuja Cha (Yuzu Citron Tea)

Korean Yuja Cha (Citron Tea)
Naomi Imatome
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Plus: 24 hrs
  • Yield: 10 cups of tea
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
86 Calories
0g Fat
24g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 cups of tea
Amount per serving
Calories 86
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 0g
Calcium 10mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Korean yuja cha (yuza tea) is a traditional Korean tea made with citrus and honey. Yuja tea's main ingredient is the yuja fruit, a citrus fruit that ranges from yellowish green in color (like similar a lemon) to a bright orange; the ripest, best fruit will be orange in color. The taste somewhat resembles a tart grapefruit, although you should be able to detect traces of the fruit's mandarin orange ancestry as well. Korean yuja cha is very easy to make at home if you can find fresh citron or yuzu. If you cannot find fresh yuja, you can use yuja chung (citron tea marmalade), found at many Asian groceries and almost all Korean markets.

Yuza tea is recently enjoying a resurgence as Koreans and others seek a healthier lifestyle. Because vitamin C may help to fight colds and flu, this tea is quite popular in the winter months. In fact, Korean yuja cha is marketed as a cold and flu remedy. However, there are many good reasons to drink it beyond its help in warding off winter illnesses, since it's quite tasty and thirst-quenching. It's also said to help with indigestion, suppress coughing, and even relieve hangovers.

Ingredients

  • For the Yuja Chung (Citron Tea Marmalade):
  • 5 yuja fruits (citron or yuzu), scrubbed clean
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup very warm water
  • For the Yuja Cha (Yuja tea):
  • 1 spoonful yuja chung
  • 1 cup hot water

Steps to Make It

Make the Yuja Chung

  1. Slice the yuja fruits thinly and quarter them. Leave the peel intact but remove the seeds.

  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the honey in the warm water, making a thick syrup.

  3. Add the yuja fruit slices to the honey mixture, mixing to combine to make the yuja chung (yuja marmalade).

  4. Keep in a closed container at room temperature for 1 day and then store in the refrigerator.

Make the Yuja Tea

  1. To make tea, dissolve one spoonful of yuja chung into hot water.

  2. When you drink the tea, you also eat the bits and pieces of yuja fruit and rind that come your way.

About Yuja Fruit

Yuja may be a hybrid of the sour mandarin and the Ichang papeda, a form of citrus fruit that's native to southwest and west-central China. The yuja fruit normally grows to about the size of a small orange, although some of the largest yuja fruits can reach the size of a small grapefruit. They're very aromatic, with a distinctly tart citrus odor. When you cut into a yuja, you'll find it contains a very acidic and dry pulp.

According to the Korea Tourism Organization, yuja cha originated well before the 13th century. King Sejong the Great, who presided over Korea in the 1400s, was its most famous advocate.