This super simple lemongrass ginger tea recipe is perfect for enjoying year-round. All you need is three ingredients, plus water, to make this herbal, non-caffeinated tea with loads of health benefits. You'll look forward to the uplifting and refreshing experience each time you drink this tea!
The first time I tried fresh lemongrass tea was during my visit to Bangkok, Thailand. It was a hot and muggy summer, and I was spending a lot of time walking outside. While taking a much-needed break for lunch at a restaurant, I was served a glass of lemongrass iced tea. It was the most refreshing and soothing beverage I have ever tried.
What is Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is a perennial grass native to tropical climates and can grow up to 6 feet tall. The top leafy part of the plant has a light green color while the bottom half of the stalk has a pale yellow to white color. Its outer leaves are quite tough and dry while the inner layers are used for cooking.
What does Lemongrass Taste Like?
Lemongrass has a lemony herbal flavor yet isn't tart like a lemon. It is commonly used in Southeast Asian recipes, such as this Instant Pot Tom Kha Gai Soup recipe. It is also used as a medicinal herb in India and making tea in African and South American countries. When paired with ginger, you get a smooth lemony flavor with a slightly spicy and citrusy infusion.
What are the Health Benefits of Drinking Lemongrass Ginger Tea?
Some of the health benefits of lemongrass have been scientifically researched while others are time-tested benefits that require more research to fully understand. Most studies have been done using lemongrass essential oil. It is unclear whether the concentration found in lemongrass tea is enough to provide all of the same health benefits.
Lemongrass has the potential to provide a variety of benefits, including:
- Relief from stress, anxiety, depression, and headaches
- Immune system support
- Act as an antioxidant as well as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent
- Reduce pain, fever, and swelling, due to powerful anti-inflammatory properties
- Address digestive problems
- Lower cholesterol
- Relief from menstrual cramps
Ginger also has the potential to provide many health benefits:
- Control blood sugar
- Manage blood pressure
- Promote weight loss
- Fight cancer
- Lower cholesterol
- Support digestive health
- Relieve pain
- Protect brain health
As you can see, drinking lemongrass ginger tea is a healthy choice for many reasons and is used in several parts of the world to promote health and wellness.
This recipe uses three key ingredients plus honey as an optional sweetener. I recommend trying this recipe without sweetener first to see how you like it.
- Fresh lemongrass stalks - you can find these at your local health food store or Asian market. I recommend using a ratio of 2 stalks of lemongrass per cup of water for a stronger tea.
- Fresh ginger root - look for larger pieces of ginger so you can slice them up easily for this recipe. Do not substitute with ginger powder as you will not get the same result.
- Water - I recommend using filtered water to avoid any off-flavors and chemicals that can be in your tap water.
- Honey - while this is entirely optional, I recommend using honey if you want to add sweetener. The flavor of honey goes well with lemongrass and ginger. Other natural sweeteners such as maple syrup are okay, but they can easily mask the citrusy aroma and herbal flavors of this tea.
Prepare the Lemongrass
Using your hands, remove the dry outer layers from each stalk of lemongrass.
- Using a sharp knife, trim off the roots and discard.
- Cut off the top ½ to ⅔ of the stalk, reserving the lower white portions only.
- Diagonally slice the remaining portions into 2-inch pieces
- Gently smash the sliced pieces to release the lemongrass aroma. I find a meat tenderizer or rolling pin works well for smashing. Alternatively, you can use the back of a chef's knife to bruise the lemongrass.
Prepare the Ginger
Thinly cut five slices off a piece of ginger, about ⅛th of an inch thick per slice.
Brew the Tea
Place the smashed lemongrass and ginger slices into a medium-sized saucepan, then add the water.
On high heat, bring the water to a rolling boil and let it continue for 5 minutes. On medium-high heat simmer, for an additional 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and pour the mixture through a strainer over a large measuring cup or heat-safe bowl. You should have about 24 ounces, or 3 cups, of strained tea.
Immediately stir in some honey until dissolved. This step is optional if you want to add a little sweetener.
At this point, you can pour or ladle the hot tea into a mug to enjoy right away.
Drinking hot lemongrass ginger tea is not only soothing but very uplifting. Perfect for the winter blues.
You can also let it cool to room temperature before chilling it in the refrigerator to make iced tea.
- Instead of using ginger, you can add a couple of teaspoons of lime juice or lemon juice to fresh-made lemongrass tea.
- Dried lemongrass can also be used to make hot tea. It may have a bit of a woodsy flavor as compared to using fresh lemongrass. Start with a tablespoon of dried lemongrass per cup of water to make a strong tea. This recipe has not been tested with dried lemongrass, so you may need to experiment to see what works.
Since there are so many ways to make a delicious lemongrass drink, here are some other ideas to try:
- Lemongrass goes well with herbs, such as fresh mint or basil, so feel free to muddle a few leaves into a cup of hot or cold tea.
- For a spicy tea, here are a couple of options:
- Add a dash of turmeric and cracked black pepper or
- Add a cinnamon stick while simmering or even after you have finished making the tea.
Leftover tea can be cooled and stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. To reheat, pour the lemongrass ginger tea into a mug and microwave it for about 90 seconds. It can also be enjoyed chilled or poured over a glass with ice.
For a stronger brew, cover the boiled lemongrass ginger tea to steep for about 10 minutes before straining.
Lemongrass Ginger Tea
- 8 stalks lemongrass, peeled, sliced, and smashed only use lower third
- 5 slices ginger root unpeeled
- 4 cups water preferably filtered
- 1 tablespoon honey optional
- Place the smashed lemongrass and ginger slices into a medium-sized saucepan, then add the water.
- On high heat, boil the ingredients for 5 minutes, then lower to medium-high heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and pour the mixture through a strainer over a large measuring cup or heat-safe bowl. You should have about 24 ounces of strained tea.
- Immediately stir in some honey until dissolved. Note: This step is optional if you want to add a little sweetener.
- If you are making hot tea, pour or ladle the hot tea into a mug to enjoy right away. Or, let it cool to room temperature before chilling it in the refrigerator to make iced tea.This recipe makes 4 six-ounce cups of tea.