Green Tea vs Lemon Tea: Difference, Benefits, Taste, Which to Drink


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In some cases, it can become difficult to understand the difference between green tea vs lemon tea. There are blurred areas in some ways, especially if you’re looking to understand which one will be better for you in the long run or for certain occasions.

So here I’m going to outline the differences, and where they can interact with each other too, and which is healthier – if any.

Let’s start with a quick answer and a quick reference table, then get into a few more details.

Green tea is one of four main types of tea and undergoes minimal processing giving it numerous health benefits. Lemon tea can be a stand-alone herbal tea involving lemon juice or lemon slices added to hot or cold water. Or, as an addition to steeped hot or cold tea. Lemon tea is ideal for detoxing.

You can find out more about Lemon tea here. And you can also learn more about green tea.

Green tea vs Lemon tea

The below table is a comparison based on green tea and lemon tea, plus where black tea is the base with added lemon.

FactorsGreen teaLemon teaBlack tea with lemon
What are they True tea variety Hot or cold water plus lemon slice or lemon juiceTea, plus added slice of lemon or lemon juice
How its brewed Standard green tea method Usually hot, cold, or iced water with added lemonUsually, hot black tea plus added lemon 
Taste Earthy, or floral, bitter with a touch of tanginess Bold, nutty, astringent, pungent Tangy, bold, sharp, bitter
Caffeine level MediumNoneHigh
Health benefitsHIgh in health benefitsModerate/specific health benefitsModerate to high in benefits
Diuretic effects Low diuretic effectsHigh diuretic effectsModerate to high effects

These are guidelines only of course. We have to remember that we’re all individual, tastes will differ, as well as how it affects our own individual health, etc. Also when to drink it can affect their benefits. Here’s when to drink green tea.

Shortly I’ll discuss when you might want to drink each version – to gain the right benefits.

So when it comes to green tea vs lemon tea, there are really three or four most popular options:

Options:

  • Standalone green tea
  • Standalone lemon tea / lemon water
  • Black tea with added lemon
  • Green tea with added lemon “lemon green tea”

You can of course add lemon to many teas, but I’m focussing mostly on the most popular options

And I know these options are popular because, in my global tea survey, lemon was added by 2.7% of respondents for the survey.

As you can see below, most respondents preferred black tea, followed by green tea. So there are clearly a number of people that add some kind of juice to tea – 2.7% to be exact!

results of added lemon from tea survey
results of added lemon from tea survey

I should add that this is an ongoing tea survey, so feel free to chime in with your own answers. Each month I send a free copy of my tea course to one lucky winner among those that leave an email address. (and just so you know – I don’t collect email addresses)

So let’s examine these popular options in a bit more detail…

What they are

Green tea, lemon tea, and tea with added lemon are all popular tea varieties that are widely consumed around the world. Here’s the makeup of each…

Green tea – is a true tea variety like black and white tea. Meaning green tea is made from the true tea plant Camellia Sinensis.

Lemon tea – strictly speaking, this is lemon water. But considered a tea option that can stand alone as a simple herbal tea. It comes with all the benefits that herbal teas bring. It can be served hot, cold, or iced.

Black tea with lemon – this is simply a variation made to a standard cup of tea. It can be made using any type of tea variety as its tea “base”, but mostly uses black tea. Lemon can be added when hot, when cold, or even to iced tea. And here’s sweet tea vs iced tea – in case you’re woindering that too.

Green tea with lemon – another popular option is adding a slice of lemon or lemon juice to green tea. Also popularly known as “Lemon green tea”. It could be added to cold green tea but is usually added to hot green tea.

How they are brewed

A cup of green or black tea is brewed using green or black tea leaves, either tea bags, or even better, with loose tea. 

Following the standard brewing method for green tea. Lemon tea is brewed either by pouring boiling water into a cup and adding a slice of lemon or lemon juice. Or by using a tea variety of your choice as a base, and adding a slice or a splash of lemon juice

You can also add sugar or honey if needed. Adding certain types of honey brings additional benefits.

In simple terms, a cup of lemon tea is brewed as any other standard black, green, or even white tea and by adding lemon juice at the end. And here’s white tea vs matcha in case you’re considering those options.

There are different methods you can use to brew both green and lemon tea; cold or iced, blends, and so on.

brewed green tea
brewed green tea

Green tea vs lemon tea: Taste 

Green tea taste

Tastes vary of course, but in general, green tea tastes bittersweet with an earthy, vegetal, buttery, and floral taste. Depending on the quality of your green tea, they can also taste fruity and even grassy.

Some also believe that steamed green teas taste bittersweet, whereas others taste slightly sweeter. If your green tea is too bitter and it’s putting you off green tea altogether, then here’s why your green tea is bitter and what you can do about it.

Lemon tea taste (lemon water)

Lemon tea, or lemon water, either hot, cold, or iced, offers a sharp, tangy and fruity taste to the water. It’s a more refreshing taste with a slight bitterness to it and astringency. Often it’s preferred to plain water, for some it’s easier to drink and it brings additional health benefits.

Black (or green) tea, with an added lemon taste

The taste of your tea with lemon will mostly depend on the tea base you use because of course that makes up the greatest volume of the drink.

A traditional black tea with lemon will retain a nutty, bold, and smoky taste with a slightly greater astringent and tangy note. The more lemon you add, the more fruity, bitter, and refreshing your lemon tea will become.

If brewed correctly, the tangy and acidic flavor of lemon will perfectly complement the bold flavor of the black tea.

If you use green (or even white) tea as a base, then you’re likely to taste your lemon tea slightly tangier as green tea tends to have a more delicate and subtle flavor when compared to black tea.

Green tea vs lemon tea: Caffeine content

As green tea comes from the true tea plant camellia Sinensis, it does have caffeine content. On average, the amount of caffeine in an 8-oz (230-ml) serving of green tea is around 35 mg of caffeine. 

Any main tea variety with added lemon will have caffeine, and the caffeine content varies depending on the tea you use for your lemon tea.

The traditional black tea-based lemon drink will have 40 to 70 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce of serving, whereas a white tea-based lemon tea will have around 15 to 30 milligrams per eight-ounce of serving.

You can find out more about caffeine in each of these in my articles dedicated to caffeine content:

Is green tea caffeinated

white tea caffeine content

Does herbal tea have caffeine

Green tea vs lemon tea: General benefits

Green tea boasts a profile of anti-inflammatory properties, fat-burning properties, Bio-active compounds, flavonoids, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, detoxifying properties, and even hydrating properties.

The properties of your lemon tea might depend on what tea you use as the base (if any). Usually, any lemon tea variety will come with the benefits of lemon juice, which includes a high profile of vitamin C, antioxidants, minerals, and detoxifying properties

Any lemon constituent can also help with bloating, which is why it made my list of best teas to reduce bloating. But then green tea also has benefits for bloating. Lemon tea is also a great choice to combat the effects of a cold.

Popular benefits

The popular benefits of green tea include:

  • Improves brain function
  • Increases fat burning
  • Acts as an anti-cancer agent against certain types of cancer
  • Protects the brain from aging
  • Reduces bad breath
  • Prevents type 2 diabetes
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Detoxifies the body

The popular benefits of lemon tea include:

  • Boosts digestive function.
  • Combats infectious ailments
  • Relives cold and flu 
  • Enhances skin wellness
  • Promotes heart health
  • Treats post-operative edemas
  • Cures inflamed gums
  • Promotes weight loss and detoxifies the body 

One of the popular benefits that both green tea and lemon tea share is their fat-burning properties and also the ability to effectively detoxify your body.

Green tea vs lemon tea: Diuretic effects

Both green and black tea, according to Healthline act as diuretics, as they’re made using actual tea varieties that contain caffeine.

Depending on the amount of caffeine in your green or lemon green tea, the diuretic effects can vary – the more the caffeine, the more the diuretic effect. And both green, but especially lemon tea are great for “flushing” out the system.

Generally – black tea tends to have the highest caffeine content and so a traditional lemon tea made using black tea can have a greater diuretic effect than a cup of green tea.

However, it should also be noted that this can depend on the quality of your black and green tea. Sometimes a good quality green tea can have higher caffeine than an average or mediocre quality black tea. If you’re a beginner, then I’d suggest starting with these teas.

black tea with a slice of lemon
black tea with a slice of lemon

Which is healthier? – Which one to choose!

Here, of course, preferences come into account. For a start, you might not even like lemons that much!

That aside, the health aspects of green and lemon tea (made using black tea) can be compared mainly through the addition of lemon.

Green tea has a list of benefits of its own, as does black tea. Some of which can replicate what lemon tea does for you. For example, green tea has some detoxifying properties the same as lemon tea.

But adding lemon simply brings additional benefits to your green (or black) tea. And I’m not talking about adding milk in this scenario. If you want to, you can learn more about black tea vs milk tea.

Also, as green tea has less caffeine than black tea, green tea can be healthier when adding lemon. Unless caffeine is what you’re after? in which case check out my list of best morning teas!

Strictly speaking, the clear winner would be green tea with added lemon. Followed by black tea with added lemon. It’s the added boost of lemon along with each tea that can make a difference.

Simply check out the list of benefits of each tea (above), and decide which one you would like to focus on.

And let’s not forget, on a hot summer’s day, you might find an iced lemon tea is just what you need! And lemon tea at night has its benefits too. So keep in mind the nuances involved and what is best for you at that moment.

Quick reference table

Purely based on targeting specific benefits, here’s a quick summary table I’ve drawn up for you as a guide. I hope it helps…

BenefitGreen teaBlack teaLemon tea or adding lemon
Enhances skin wellness✔✔✔✔✔
Combats infectious ailments✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔
Boosts digestive function✔✔✔✔✔✔✔
Relieves cold and flu ✔✔✔
Aids inflamed gums✔✔✔
Promotes weight loss ✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔
Improves brain function✔✔✔✔✔✔✔
Increases fat burning✔✔✔✔
Anti-cancer agent✔✔✔✔✔✔
Protects the brain from aging✔✔✔✔✔
Reduces bad breath✔✔✔✔✔✔✔
Prevents type 2 diabetes✔✔✔✔
Promotes heart health✔✔✔✔✔✔
Detoxifies the body✔✔✔✔✔

More tea help…

I hope this has helped to thoroughly explain the differences and nuances of green tea vs lemon tea and the variations around it. Be sure to check out my other articles to help you become a better tea drinker.

Don’t you just love tea? Well if you do then you’ll love my Tea Sommelier course. Designed to fast-track your tea skills to a whole new level. Here are some more details…

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