Lemongrass Tea

Make a cup of uplifting lemongrass tea that is caffeine free, bright, and easy to make! Take a moment to have a cup and soak in this cheery citrus tea.

Iced lemongrass tea in a cup with two stalks of lemongrass.

A cup of lemongrass tea is a delightful and refreshing herbal infusion that has been enjoyed for centuries across various cultures for its unique tangy flavor.

Lemongrass tea is a herbal tea with a refreshing light citrus flavor.  This simple lemongrass tea recipe uses fresh lemongrass stalks.

It can be served as hot tea or iced tea. I especially love making variations such as lemongrass ginger tea.

It is: easy to make, super tasty, and a unique drink. If you like this, you may also like Lychee Lemonade or Rose Lemonade.

Hot lemongrass tea in a mug.

This aromatic tea is made from the leaves of the lemongrass plant, scientifically known as Cymbopogon citratus, which is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Australia. Lemongrass has a distinct lemony scent and citrusy taste.

Flavor and Aroma

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the tea is its bright and invigorating flavor profile.

The tea has a clean, lemony taste with a mild hint of earthiness, making it a soothing and revitalizing beverage. The aroma is equally enticing, with its citrusy and herbal notes. Many people find the scent of lemongrass tea alone to be uplifting and calming.

Lemongrass plant.
Fresh lemongrass can be grown at home so you can enjoy it year round or you can find it in a local Indian or Asian grocery store.

Key Ingredients

The main ingredients are lemongrass and water.  The rest can be customized to your taste.

Chopped fresh lemongrass.

Lemongrass: Star ingredient! It’s a tall, fragrant grass with a lemony aroma and a citrusy flavor.  

If you don’t have homegrown lemongrass it can be easily found in an Indian or Asian grocery store.

Variation: You can use fresh leaves or dried. Fresh lemongrass typically imparts a stronger flavor, but dried lemongrass is more convenient and readily available.

➜Water:

Water serves as the base for brewing the tea and extracting the flavors from the lemongrass and other ingredients.

➜Sugar (Optional):

Sugar is added for sweetness and can balance the tartness of the lemon juice. The amount of sugar can be adjusted to your taste preferences.

Variation: You can use white sugar, brown sugar, honey, or a sugar substitute like stevia if you prefer a lower-calorie option.

➜Lemon Juice (Optional):

Lemon juice enhances the citrusy flavor of the lemongrass and provides a refreshing, tangy element to the tea.

Variation: Freshly squeezed lemons or lime juice can work here.

➜Ginger (Optional):

Ginger adds a subtle spicy and warming note to the tea. It can complement the citrusy and herbal flavors of lemongrass.

You can use fresh ginger slices or grated ginger root for a stronger ginger flavor, or omit it if you prefer a simpler lemongrass tea.

Ice Cubes: If serving as iced tea.

It can also be tasty brewed with some black tea leaves or tea bags or made as a lemongrass chai recipe.

Cutting Lemongrass For Tea

To cut lemongrass for tea, cut off the leaf parts of the stalk.  Wash well.

I like to tear apart the stalks in the middle to help release more flavor.

Five stalks of lemongrass.
Cut lemongrass stalks.
Torn lemongrass stalk.
I like to tear the lemongrass stalk in half to help release more flavor.

Then, chop or cut with clean scissors into smaller pieces.  They don’t have to be perfect.

Cut lemongrass on a cutting board with scissors to the side.
Cut lemongrass with clean kitchen scissors.

To make lemongrass tea:

Making lemongrass tea is a simple process. Here’s how you can brew a cup:

Add the water, lemongrass leaves, and sweetener (if using) to a pot. If using ginger, grate and add now.

Lemongrass leaves in a pot of water.
Add ingredients to a pot of water.

Keep it on high heat and bring to a rolling boil for about 4 minutes.

Then, turn the heat down to between low and medium heat to continue to simmer for another 5-6 minutes. 

Lemongrass tea on a rolling boil in a pot.
Bring to a rolling boil then turn down to simmer.

If you are having it hot you can strain and serve right away. If using lemon juice, add it now.

Strained lemongrass leaves in a strainer.
If having it hot, strain tea.
Strained lemongrass tea in a measuring cup.
Makes about two cups as one cup of water boils away.

If you are having it iced, remove it from the stove and turn off the gas. Mix in lemon juice. Let it cool to room temperature. You can even transfer it to a pitcher and set it to cool in the fridge without straining the leaves (just strain before serving). The longer you steep, the stronger the flavor.

Iced lemongrass tea in a cup with two stalks of lemongrass, top down view of glass.

Variations

 Lemongrass tea can be enjoyed plain or customized to suit your preferences. Some variations include:

  • Lemongrass and ginger tea: Adding fresh ginger slices to your lemongrass tea can create a zesty and warm blend.
  • Lemongrass and mint tea: Combining lemongrass with fresh mint leaves results in a refreshing and revitalizing infusion.
  • Lemongrass and coconut tea: Infuse lemongrass with coconut milk and a touch of sweetener for a tropical twist.

 Fresh vs Dried Lemongrass

Using either dried or fresh lemongrass to make lemongrass tea can yield a delicious and aromatic beverage, but there are some differences to consider. Both options have their advantages, and your choice may depend on availability, convenience, and personal preference.

Mug of lemongrass tea overhead shot.

Using Fresh Lemongrass:

  1. Flavor and Aroma: Fresh lemongrass provides a more vibrant and intense flavor and aroma compared to dried lemongrass. It imparts a citrusy, lemony scent and taste that is often preferred by those looking for a robust and authentic lemongrass tea experience.
  2. Preparation: To use fresh lemongrass for tea, you will need to chop or crush the stalks to release their flavor. Typically, you’ll need 2-3 stalks of fresh lemongrass for each cup of tea. Simply slice the lemongrass into thin rounds or crush it with a kitchen mallet to expose more surface area.
  3. Steeping Time: Fresh lemongrass may require a slightly shorter steeping time compared to dried lemongrass. Steep it for about 10-15 minutes, depending on your taste preferences, as it infuses its flavors into the hot water relatively quickly.
  4. Availability: Fresh lemongrass can be found in many grocery stores, Asian markets, or grown in your own herb garden if you have the conditions for it.
Chopped lemongrass leaves in a pot of water.

Using Dried Lemongrass:

  1. Convenience: Dried lemongrass is more convenient and has a longer shelf life compared to fresh lemongrass. It is readily available in most grocery stores and online, making it a practical option if fresh lemongrass is not easily accessible.
  2. Flavor and Aroma: While dried lemongrass still offers a pleasant citrusy flavor and aroma, it is generally milder than its fresh counterpart. To compensate for this, you may need to use slightly more dried lemongrass to achieve the desired flavor strength.
  3. Preparation: Using dried lemongrass is as simple as steeping it in hot water. You’ll typically use 1-2 teaspoons of dried lemongrass per cup. No chopping or crushing is required.
  4. Steeping Time: Dried lemongrass may require a slightly longer steeping time, around 15-20 minutes, to fully release its flavors into the tea.
  5. Cost: Dried lemongrass is often more cost-effective than fresh, especially if you plan to make lemongrass tea regularly.

Have you tried this fresh lemongrass tea recipe? If so, I hope you enjoyed the refreshing drink and I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a comment and rate it with stars. It would mean a lot to me to hear how it turned out. If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creation. Thank you for your support!

Iced lemongrass tea in a cup with two stalks of lemongrass.

DELICIOUS Fresh Lemongrass Tea (Hot or Iced)

Shilpa Joshi
Make a cup of uplifting lemongrass tea that is caffeine free, bright, and easy to make! Take a moment to have a cup and soak in this cheery citrus tea.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine global cuisines, Indian
Servings 2 cups
Calories 3 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pot
  • 1 tea strainer

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup lemongrass tea leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp sugar or sweetener adjust to your taste
  • 3 tsp lemon juice optional
  • ½ inch ginger root optional grated
  • ice cubes option, if serving cold

Instructions
 

  • Start by washing and chopping the lemongrass into smaller pieces to release its flavor.
  • Add the water, lemongrass leaves, and sweetener (if using) to a pot. If using ginger, grate and add now.
  • Keep it on high heat and bring to a rolling boil for about 4 minutes. Then, turn the heat down to between low and medium heat to continue to simmer for another 5-6 minutes.
  • If you are having it hot you can strain and serve right away. If using lemon juice, add it now.
  • If you are having it iced, remove it from the stove and turn off the gas. Mix in lemon juice. Let it cool to room temperature. You can even transfer it to a pitcher and set it to cool in the fridge without straining the leaves (just strain before serving). The longer you steep, the stronger the flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 3kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.04gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 18mgPotassium: 15mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 0.5IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 0.01mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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