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Yujacha or yuja cha (citron tea) is a traditional Korean tea (herbal tea) made from the citrus fruit yuzu. Yuja (유자) fruit is thinly sliced with its peel and combined with honey or sugar, prepared as fruit preserves or marmalade. The fruit is so prepared because of its otherwise sour and somewhat bitter taste. Though the word Yuzu is sometimes translated into english as citron, the citron and the yuzu are distinct types of citrus fruits.
To prepare as a beverage, a tablespoon of yucheong (유청, thick, yellow syrupy yuja) is stirred into a cup of (usually) hot water. Yujacha can either be made at home or purchased in glass jars.
Types of Yuja cha
Yuja cha is a Korean traditional tea made of Yuja, citron in English. To make this tea, we need Yuja rind and Yujacheong. There are some ways of making Yuja cha, one is putting two or three pieces of Yuja in boiled water the other one is just boiling rind of Yuja and another one is using the Yujacheong. The one making Yuja cha with Yujacheong is widely and generally used because it is easy to make the tea after storing Yuja as Yujacheong.
Origin of Yuja in Korea
Yuja first came to Korea in the age of Silla, the second year of king 문무 (Munmu). A person named 장보고 (Jangbogo) was carrying Yuja from China to Korea, then a sudden storm hit the boat when he was about to arrive at the Southern coast of Korea. That shock crushed Yuja and the seeds went into the bottom of the man’s coat. All the way he went through wearing his coat in Southern part of Korea the Yuja tree became prevalent later.
How to make Yuja cha
To make Yuja cha, first split the peel and inside of the Yuja and preserve them separately in sugar. After a while boil the inside in water. Then slice the peel and pour the boiled water in a cup. In addition, there we need a table spoon of Yujacheong, which is made of marinated Yuja in honey and stored in a glass of jar for four or five months. In past, people used to marinate Yuja in late fall and drink it as a tea with hot water in winter and cold water in summer. People now have jars of Yujacheong at home and drink Yuja cha whenever they want.
How to make Yujacheong
First, wash Yuja in warm salt water and dry it. When it is dried, cut it in half and cut into slices in about 0.5 cm thickness. Then get a glass jar, first put 5 cm thickness of prepared Yuja into the jar and cover it with sugar or honey. Repeat this until the jar is full and keep it in a cool place. Generally two or three days after storing, it is edible.
Benefits of Yuja cha
Yuja cha is good for colds, coughs, headaches and chills because it contains a lot of vitamin C, which is effective in preventing colds and fatigue recovery. It can also help people recover from colds quickly, by causing perspiration to bring down a fever. It also helps soothe the inflammation in throats and coughs. Alcohol poisoning and help digestion.
Other popular hot Korean teas include daechucha (jujube tea), googijacha (goji berry tea, also known as Chinese matrimony vine tea), insamcha (ginseng tea), nokcha (green tea), omijacha ("five-taste" tea, from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis), sangangcha (ginger tea), and yulmucha (Job's Tears tea).
- "The Wonderful World of Korean Food". Korea National Tourism Organization. AsiaFood.org. Archived from the original on 2006-03-02. Retrieved 2011-10-15. "Spoon out 1 tablespoon of the sugared citron, with juice, per cup of boiling water to make tea. A few pine nuts would be nice."
- Mi Jin Nam (2009). "Teas". Korean Food Culture. Boston University. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
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- (Korean) Preservation and usages of yuja from namu-ro.com