Hong Kong Style Iced Lemon Tea

In Hong Kong where summers are long, hot and exhausting, there is that one and only quintessential Hong Kong drink that can really quench that terrible summer thirst: Hong Kong Style Iced Lemon Tea.  You can order this refreshing drink at almost all local Hong Kong style diners, i.e. cha chaan tengs.  I love this deliciously icy drink enough to miss it terribly when I’m away from Hong Kong.  There’s really nothing quite like walking into a cha chaan teng, feeling the blast of ice cold air conditioning, folding yourself into one of the tiny booths and slowly drinking up a Hong Kong Style Iced Lemon Tea.  The only thing that I don’t like is that I know that they probably use high fructose corn syrup for sweetening the tea.  Recently as it’s been getting hotter and hotter in Hong Kong as the days swing into the long summer, we have been longing for something cool and refreshing to drink at home.  So we thought, why not try to make our favorite Hong Kong Style Iced Lemon Tea at home?

Hong Kong Style Iced Lemon Tea Recipe
Glass Pitcher (1 liter capacity)

7- 10 bags Lipton Yellow Label Tea
4 1/4 cups boiling water
2 lemons
4 tbsp sugar (or more to taste)

Boil water and pour into your glass jug.  Immerse tea bags in the water for 10-15 minutes.  Add sugar and stir a bit while the water is still hot so as to melt the sugar.  Once you think the tea is strong enough for your taste, remove the tea bags.  (In Hong Kong, this tea is made quite strong.)  Allow the tea to cool.  Slice four slices of lemon.  Add ice to your glass (long and tall is preferred), then place lemon slices over.  Fill up glass with your sugared tea and serve!

Tip:  In Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng ( or Hong Kong style diners)  this Iced Lemon Tea is served along with a spoon and a straw.  The spoon is for pressing down on the lemon slices to release lemon juice into the iced tea.  How much you press is your preference.  Personally I usually don’t press very much, finding that the presence of the lemon slices already creates enough of a lemony fragrance.

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