Citrus and Tea

When you think of citrus and tea, lemon is probably the citrus fruit that springs to mind first. But don’t forget limes, oranges, etc. They add zest to your teatime!

Teas with citrus
Twinings, Republic of Tea, and Harney & Sons teas with citrus

Quick quiz: How many citrus fruits can you name?

  • Orange — duh! everyone thinks of this one; becoming more common in flavored teas and herbals. The bergamot orange is the flavoring in the most popular flavored tea, Earl Grey.
  • Lemon — the second one people think of and the one most associated with tea, both in pre-made blends and as an additive to the perfect cuppa black tea (especially Assam).
  • Lime — yellowish-green, not as sours as lemons, lots of acid; not just for key lime pie and cookies.
  • Grapefruit — several varieties; lots of fiber, beta carotene, iron, and calcium; low in calories. Sometimes called “the diet fruit.”
  • Pummelo — larger than grapefruit, thicker outer skin; less sweet than other types of oranges; low calorie/fat.
  • Tangelo — oblong shaped; lots of vitamins C and A; no fat or cholesterol.
  • Mandarin — seedless, loose skin, sweet, high fiber, no fat or cholesterol.
  • Tangerine —  orange-red; citrus or sour taste; less acid content; lots of vitamins C, A, B1, B2, and B6, plus calcium, iron, and potassium.
  • Kumquat — edible skin; used in cooking and alcoholic beverages.
  • Clementine — seedless; high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
  • Minneola — a cross between tangerine and grapefruit; easy-to-peel; also called the Minneola tangelo.

Teas and herbals that contain citrus: The trend to flavored teas seems to be a conveyor belt running faster and faster. More teas and herbals with one of the above types of citrus added in are becoming more common.

Treats with citrus: Don’t forget citrus in things that go with tea.

One thing is certain: lemon and milk together in your tea is not one of life’s great experiences. “Why?” you ask. In a word, “curdling.” Richard Feynman, noted physicist, wrote in one of his sort of autobiographical books, that when attending a university tea as a young man, he said he wanted both lemon and milk in his tea. His hostess replied: “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman.” Yes he was. So beware!

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