Lemons are sour…. But we all already knew that! What you might not know is that lemons contain vitamins A, B6, C and E, they contain folate, niacin (I don’t even know what that is but doctors recommend it), thiamine, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and protein. It is a fruit that contains flavonoids, which are composites that contain antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties. They are also responsible for higher absorption rates in the body.
Basically they are good for you 😀 That’s why adding lemon to tea is a great idea and I definitely can’t fault it. I only have one rule to follow when you reach for the lemon and that is, “Lemon to tea is what salt is to food, add too much and you will ruin the flavour.”
Let’s take a look at some science to the practice.
What does lemon do to tea?
Lemon is a helpful fella, It allows the good stuff in tea to be absorbed into our bodies. The way this happens is because the acidity (citrus) nature of lemon stops the binding of the polyphenols (which prevent absorption) in tea from attaching themselves to the calcium and iron in tea. Put it this way, there is a massive traffic jam and only a few small cars can get through, then they open up another lane and all the cars can get through, everyone is happy. Lemon is that extra lane, letting everyone in, creating a happy flow.
Quick tip: while I never promote the drinking of tea from a Styrofoam cup, if you must, be sure to never add lemon because the polystyrene in the cup will also dissolve into the tea. Not good!
How much should you add?
In case you missed it, lemon to tea is the equivalent of salt to food. This is a great way to gauge just how much you should add. With a large meal you would add a fair amount of salt than compared with just a little to a light snack. So think this way, if you are adding it straight to your cup and stirring it in then I would say a quarter lemon lightly squeezed is perfect. There is no need to juice it and go crazy, just use your hand and squeeze it in. If you want to add lemon to a pot of tea (average, 4 cups worth) then let’s go with a half a lemon juiced. This way you’ll be getting all the juice out of the lemon.
If you prefer to have a slice of lemon floating in your cup of tea then go right ahead. I suggest an 8th of a lemon or a lemon wedge with the skin on (all the good stuff is just under the skin.) Allow it to sit as your tea cools down to a drinkable temperature.
Remember adding lemon will change the flavour and each tea can be different. If you are not enjoying your tea with these amounts of lemon do not hold them as gospel, remember it’s TEA, your style 😀
Which tea goes best with a little lemon?
Green and Black teas are the best with a little lemon if you ask me.
Green tea can often taste grassy or unprocessed (a good thing for health but not for flavour) adding lemon will actually boost the health benefits and give a fresher tastier flavour. Yep that’s right, Green tea just got better!
Black tea is a sweet tea (compared to others) and adding lemon can bring down this sweetness. A lot of people will instead add milk to their Black tea and sadly this inhibits the absorption of teas health benefits. Lemon on the other hand aids the absorption so it’s a great option.
Lemon and tea are a great mix! In fact, you can buy tea with lemon already in it, that’s convenient!! We always still recommend fresh organic lemons though. Never be afraid to experiment with your tea practice, with thousands of tea flavours out their they definitely didn’t come without a little trial and error. Be sure to let me know if you find invent a new, awesome tea with your practice 🙂
Don’t forget to check out our partners in tea for some great, trusted tea producers.
If you have any questions or would like to leave a review then simply leave a comment below and I will answer asap.
All the best and all the tea
Founder of TEA, your style