Kitchen & Pantry

Honey citron tea is delicious. But it isn’t real tea.

Honey citron tea is delicious. But it isn’t real tea. |

Last week, when Speedy got home from the city to buy cheesecake ingredients, he unloaded a few extra items from the pick-up. There were bags of chocolate and a bottle of what I first thought was marmalade.

But it wasn’t marmalade. The label said “honey citron tea” but it was unlike any tea I had seen before. It was thick like marmalade and it had a lot of citrus peel too. Me being me, I was more interested in the chocolates than the drink. Speedy said I should try it because it was good but I didn’t until the chocolates were almost gone.

Last night, when Speedy started getting the symptoms of the same virus that hit our girls days before, one after the other, I finally got to try the honey citron tea. I fixed a glass for Speedy, brought it upstairs then made another glass for me. I agree — the honey citron tea is delicious.

But, deliciousness aside, the honey citron tea is not real tea. Tea is Camellia sinensis.

(Update on February 11, 2018: The linked article above is something I wrote a while back and has since been moved to my other blog. I am inserting it here in response to a reader’s email who insists that an infusion is a tea. IT IS NOT.)

Honey citron tea is delicious. But it isn't real tea.

A close inspection of the ingredients list shows that there is not even the smallest amount of tea in it. While it can be drank hot or cold just like real tea, I find the misleading label more than a bit annoying. It’s a Korean product so, perhaps, the label is a case of getting lost in translation? Maybe, but is that really an excuse? Any company that can afford to export it products surely can afford to hire a translator.

Honey citron tea is delicious. But it isn't real tea.

The annoying label notwithstanding, the drink is delicious. I’ve tried it with hot water and the best part is getting to the sliced citron — with the peel which makes the drink smell so good — which turns soft like jelly in the hot water.

What is citron? It is a fruit that belongs to the citrus genus. Just so it’s clear — citron and citrus are not interchangeable terms because citron is a fruit while citrus is a genus. Lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange are all citrus but they are not citron. The size and shape of citron varies.

While most citrus fruits are cultivated for the pulp, citron has very little pulp which is dry rather than juicy. What it has is a thick rind which is sliced and boiled with sugar or other sweetener to make candy, marmalade or, as in the case of the citron honey tea-not-tea, drinks.

The honey citron tea-not-tea is available at S&R.

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