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Mom’s Best Honey Lemon Tea

5 from 6 votes
A family recipe that teaches you how to create the best honey lemon tea. By marinating lemons in honey, it creates a drink that has a much richer and smoother body. It’s soothing, healing, and so comforting!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Maggie Zhu


  • 2 pounds (900 grams) lemon , sliced
  • black tea bags (Optional)
  • 3 to 4 cups honey , or enough to cover the lemon slices


Make lemon marinade

  • Clean a half-gallon (2-liter) air-tight jar thoroughly with dishwasher and let air dry. If you have further concerns, boil the jar to sanitize it, then let it air dry.
  • Wash lemons thoroughly and let them air dry. Or you can use paper towels to pat dry.
  • Slice lemons and place in the half-gallon (2-liter) air-tight jar. Try to arrange them tightly so as to leave little space between the slices. You should leave the top third of the jar empty, because you will need that space to re-arrange the lemon slices and stir later.
  • Pour honey into the jar. The honey should almost cover the lemons.
  • Seal the jar with the lid and place it in the fridge.
  • Every two to three days, use a clean spoon to scoop the lemons and honey from the bottom and drizzle them on top. The honey will be very thick on the bottom.
  • The marinade will be ready in about a week. By then, the lemons will lose a lot of their juice and the texture of the liquid in the jar will be very thin, almost like water.

To serve the tea

  • Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the liquid and a few slices of marinated lemon into a big glass.
  • (Option 1) Add hot water until it fills half of the glass. Stir and let rest for 3 minutes. Add ice water to make it a cold drink. The drink will be more flavorful this way than using cold water directly.
  • (Option 2) Add cold water or soda to make a quick cold drink.
  • (Option 3) Add a black tea bag and hot water to the glass to make honey lemon black tea.
  • (Option 4) Add hot water to the glass to make it a hot drink.

To store

  • Use a clean spoon every time; you can store the jar in the fridge for up to a month.