Last updated: March 21, 2013
Lemon verbena tea is a caffeine-free herbal infusion made from the leaves of the plant Aloysia citrodora, commonly called lemon verbena, lemon vervain or lemon beebrush.
Lemon verbena is a flowering plant native to South America. It’s now cultivated all over the world. Its leaves are used to add a lemon flavor to a wide variety of food and drink. Herbal tea is one of the most popular uses of lemon verbena.
Lemon verbena tea should be made up only from the dry leaves of the verbena plant. The leaves are about 3/4″ long and a grey-green-yellow color. They’re papery and thin. The dry tea has a fresh, clean lemon aroma.
How to make lemon verbena tea
- In a teapot or french press, add one heaped teaspoon of lemon verbena tea for every cup of hot water.
- Pour freshly-boiled water over the leaves and cover.
- Leave to infuse for 5-7 minutes.
- Strain out the tea and serve.
Drinking lemon verbena tea
Color: the tea is a light yellow green, very clear.
Aroma: incredible perfume of sweet lemon or lemongrass, brilliantly bright and fresh.
Taste: after infusing for 3 minutes, unmistakable lemon freshness with some acidity, a little bitterness and no sweetness.
After 5 minutes, the aroma is a little stronger. The taste is no more intense but is more substantial, staying longer in my mouth before being washed away.
After 10 minutes, the bitterness is more noticeable and subtracts from the overall taste. 5-7 minutes is probably the best infusion time.
Overall, a completely delicious tea. The aroma is most similar to (predictably) lemon in hot tea, but the taste is closer to lemongrass than lemon fruit, albeit with less sweetness. I prefer lemon verbena to lemongrass; the latter tastes so close to lemon candy that I can’t shake the impression of an artificial flavor, whereas lemon verbena is less sweet, more refined, more complex.
Benefits of lemon verbena tea
A small pilot study identified possible antioxidant effects of a lemon verbena extract1.