Tea Welcoming Autumn – Yuja Tea

Yuja-cha or yuja tea is a traditional Korean tea made by mixing hot water with yuja-cheong (yuja marmalade). Yuja tea is popular throughout Korea, especially in the winter. This tea is created by curing yuja into a sweet, thick, pulpy syrup. It does not contain caffeine. It is often sold in markets (in large jars) and used in households as a common cold remedy.

Yuja tea is made from the fruit Yuja. These fruits do not contain much juices, unlike other citrus fruits. They are able to cook at high temperatures without losing their tart flavor. Yuja fruits have a strong fragrance. Its scent comes from the zest, juices, and essential oils. Yuja tea is both bitter and sweet. In addition, Yuja tea is a preservative, so it can be left out on a shelf or counter.

Yuja tea is well known for its health benefits, albeit medically unproven. It is said to have more vitamin C (2.3 times more) than raw lemon juice. The vitamin C in yuja tea allegedly helps the immune system to fight against infections and other diseases/illnesses.

Yuja tea can be made at home from scratch. The ingredients needed are citrus fruit (can be lemon or grapefruit) or yuja, honey, and sugar. The first step is thoroughly cleaning the fruits. Next, cut the yuja into thin slices and remove the seeds. Put the yuja slices into a bowl, and mix in the honey and sugar. Lastly, put the mixture in a container and store it in a cool, dark until the syrup is created (about six months). When ready, stir in 1-2 tablespoon of Yuja tea into hot water. The syrup of the yuja tea is also used in cocktails, spread for toast, or ice cream.