Jujube tea is a calming and nourishing East Asian herbal concoction, perfect if you love warm fruity beverages. It is delicately sweet and makes a healthier alternative to sugar-packed energy drinks. You can enjoy it any time of the day, be it in the morning or before bed.
Therefore, we bring you a family recipe that has been passed down for generations. Our jujube tea recipe is simple, quick, and involves no complex processes. So, you can prepare it even on your laziest days. Also, it'll leave you with a kitchen filled with sweet aromas and a delightful warm drink. Continue reading to find out how to make jujube tea with only a few ingredients.
What is it?
Jujube, also known as Chinese dates, is a round and reddish fruit typically used in Chinese traditional medicine. So, jujube tea is a herbal drink made from this fruit brewed with ingredients like ginger, goji berries, and honey.
This beverage comes in plenty of variations, but the Korean and Chinese versions are the most popular. Due to their different preparation methods, Korean jujube tea is typically thicker and sweeter and contains pine nuts. On the other hand, the Chinese version is more diluted and less sweet. However, for our jujube tea recipe, we will be making the Chinese version.
What does jujube tea taste like?
In general, jujube tea tastes slightly tart and sweet. Some people have likened the taste to raisin tea. Ginger also gives it a subtle spicy and tangy flavour. Apart from that, you can also catch a hint of sourness from the goji berries.
However, the taste depends on the quantity of each ingredient used to make the drink. Some are prepared sweeter, some sour, but the perfect balance of all ingredients will give you a comforting, flavourful beverage.
Jujube tea benefits
This herbal tea has many health benefits, making it a great daily nutritional drink. For example, it is packed with fibre, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides that, it contains no caffeine, which can help with anxiety and insomnia relief. The cup is also beneficial for digestion as well as women’s health.
Drinking a cup of this warm beverage daily can promote gastrointestinal health and reduce flatulence or bloating. Healthline says the fruit is high in fibre and can speed up digestion. Its natural laxative properties can help regulate bowel movements, alleviate constipation, and promote a healthy digestive system. This also indirectly makes it an effective natural remedy for weight loss.
Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory
Furthermore, as affirmed by WebMD, jujube tea health benefits include being an antioxidant powerhouse. Antioxidants are known to benefit the skin and reduce signs of ageing significantly. So, drink it regularly to support a healthy ageing process and maintain supple skin.
The antioxidant properties also prevent the onset of undesired health conditions. So, the beverage is also a potent ally in lowering the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. This is supported by a study which proves jujube is also anti-inflammatory and can neutralise harmful cells. With that being said, the drink itself is an immunity booster.
Anxiety and insomnia relief
Moreover, those struggling with insomnia can also drink jujube tea for sleep, thanks to its calming properties. You've probably heard of this tip if you've watched the famous K-dramas, 'The Good Bad Mother' and 'Our Beloved Summer'. And the protagonists are right as various medical and health sites like The Sleep Doctor have confirmed this. This traditional herbal drink brings a sense of calmness and relaxation to help those with anxiety and insomnia.
Most Chinese infusions contain caffeine, but this is an exception. Therefore, it is highly recommended to those who want to enjoy Chinese brews without caffeine. In addition, those who enjoy matcha daily can occasionally substitute it with this drink to reduce their caffeine intake.
Interestingly, this warm traditional brew is highly recommended to women since it improves blood circulation and regulates hormones. Traditional medical practitioners recommend drinking the beverage to recharge from the fatigue and weakness caused by blood loss. Hence, jujube tea is a safe and ideal beverage for periods, pregnancy, and postpartum.
However, Healthline suggests avoiding this fruit if you take venlafaxine (anti-depressant) and some anti-seizure medications. As discussed by MBG Health, large consumption of the superfood may also lower blood sugar levels. Although rare, other side effects of overconsumption include diarrhoea, drowsiness, and reduced appetite. Please talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Overall, jujube offers many benefits, even within its leaves. You can consume the drink daily to maximise the health benefits. Furthermore, we recommend enjoying it with natural sweeteners like honey to maintain nutritional value.
You only need jujube, ginger, goji berries, and honey to make jujube tea. These are the main ingredients required in the jujube tea recipe, but you can add more ingredients if you want.
You can make jujube tea with fresh jujube fruits. However, it is usually prepared with dried jujubes. The dried fruit will introduce a more enhanced flavour. Plus, they last longer, are more accessible and are easier to work with when preparing the drink. Thus, we will use the dried fruits in our jujube tea recipe for the best results. You can easily purchase dried jujube online or from any Asian grocery store.
Alternatively, you can use instant jujube tea bags. It is the best option to make the drink quickly and skip through the preparation process. It is also great for first-timers who want to know the taste. The only downside is that you won't be able to change the flavour profile. Therefore, we prefer making the drink from scratch.
The ideal amount of fruit to add to your beverage is wholly based on personal preference. This recipe will use about 4 ounces or 115 grams of dried Chinese dates. Do note that the dried fruits are sweet, and the more you add to the drink, the sweeter it will be. Furthermore, adding more dried red dates will make the beverage consistency thicker and more syrup-like. We recommend adding more when serving as a cold drink.
Ginger provides a distinctive, warm, slightly spicy flavour that complements the drink's sweetness. You can use powdered or fresh ginger. However, we highly recommend using fresh ginger for a bolder flavour.
Although ginger powder can be more intense by itself, it tends to create a milder taste in drinks. Despite that, you may prefer ginger powder for convenience and longer shelf-life.
Our jujube tea recipe will use about 2 inches of sliced fresh ginger. But you can modify the quantity according to your preferences. For example, add more ginger if you prefer more heat and spice. Conversely, you can reduce the amount of ginger for a milder drink.
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are commonly added to this herbal concoction to enhance its depth of flavour. These berries are typically tart and sweet, which pleasantly contrasts the natural sweetness of jujube.
Since they are also a superfood, adding them to the drink will also enhance the nutritional profile of the beverage. You can purchase Goji berries online or at most organic grocery stores.
Honey is commonly used to make jujube tea as it is a natural sweetener that complements the other ingredients. We prefer using honey to sweeten the tea further since it doesn't overpower all the other flavours. The taste can differ from one to another, depending on the type of honey used. Honey can introduce floral, fruity, or earthy notes.
Besides honey, you can also use substitutes like brown sugar. However, adding brown sugar can darken the drink's colour and create a deeper amber hue. It may also add a caramel-like flavour due to the presence of molasses. This ingredient can be a satisfying addition, but some may find it too strong.
This Asian beverage is quite versatile and pairs excellently with many other ingredients. So just like other herbal infusions, you can create several tasty variations.
One of the most popular variations worth trying is jujube longan tea. This drink combines Chinese red dates with longan fruit. The longan fruits contribute a delicate floral sweetness to the mildly sweet red dates. They will also enhance the drink’s texture with their soft, smooth, and chewy flesh. You can make this lovely cup simply by steeping dried longan and red dates in hot water.
Furthermore, you can make jujube milk tea by adding some milk. You can make it by simply following our jujube tea recipe.
However, leave out goji berries and ginger. This is because they can cause the milk to curdle. Instead, use honey as the sweetener before adding it to the milk. Finally, you can add chewy tapioca pearls for the full boba experience.
Cinnamon is usually added to Korean jujube tea to introduce an earthy, sweet, and spicy flavour. Moreover, it contributes a comforting warm, woody, and vanilla-like scent, making the beverage more aromatic and appetising.
Both cinnamon sticks and powder can be used to make the comforting drink, but the former is more commonly used. Furthermore, since the Korean jujube tea recipe uses cinnamon as a sweetener, you can omit the goji berries so it isn't overly sweet.
Finish your drink with a sprinkle of pine nuts. This is also a common ingredient in the Korean jujube tea recipe. The nuts are known for their rich buttery taste and provide a pleasant crunch when sipping on the brew.
How to make Jujube tea from dried fruit
The process of making this traditional Chinese beverage can be divided into two parts: preparing the ingredients and making the tea.
Preparing the ingredients:
- Firstly, prepare the dried jujubes. You will need 6 of them if the fruits are big (approx. 4-5cm), but if they're small (2cm), prepare around 10-12 pieces. Then, soak them in water for 10 minutes. This step is important to rinse off the dust from the fruits' surface and ease the cutting process.
- Then, cut the soaked fruits in half and remove the seeds. You can use a paring knife for this step. It is optional to remove the seeds, but we recommend doing it to impart a bitter taste to the drink. The seeds have a slightly bitter and astringent flavour that can affect the overall flavour profile.
- Prepare about 5 grams or a tablespoon of goji berries. Rinse them to remove any dirt. You can add more for a sweeter beverage.
- Slice 2 inches of fresh ginger. If you're using ginger powder, prepare ¼ teaspoon of it. The general rule is that ⅛ teaspoon of ginger powder equals 1 inch of fresh ginger. You can add or reduce the amount of ginger to suit your preferences.
Making the tea:
- Prepare a pot containing 1 litre of water. Add all ingredients into the pot and leave them to boil with medium-high heat. Once the water boils, lower it to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Then, strain the tea into a glass jar. Make sure to press the fruits to release all the juices. Finally, add some honey once everything cools down and mix well before serving.
- You can prepare the drink in advance and save it for later. First, leave it to cool before pouring it into a glass jar. Then, place it in the refrigerator. The beverage should last for about a week. Once ready to enjoy, have it cold or heat it in a pot on medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes.
- It is also possible to prepare the herbal blend in advance. Simply prepare the ingredients according to our jujube tea recipe. You can cut the dried dates in half or smaller pieces to make them more convenient for future use. Mix the dates with other ingredients in your desired proportions. Then, store them in an airtight container. Once you're ready to brew it, take the desired amount of the mix and follow the brewing instructions.
- You can include the leftover strained fruit in your tea for extra texture and flavour. They can also be kept and used for other cooking purposes, such as herbal soups.
Jujube Tea Recipe for Sleep
- Place the red dates in a large bowl filled with water and leave it to soak for 10 minutes. While soaking, gently rub the fruit surfaces to remove any dirt and dust. Then, cut the dates in half using a paring knife and remove the seeds.
- Rinse the goji berries and gently rub the surfaces to remove dirt and dust.
- Add the dates, goji berries, and ginger to a pot with 1 litre of water. Let the ingredients cook over medium-high heat until the water is boiling.
- Once the water boils, use medium-low heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then, strain the tea into a glass jar and press the fruits against the strainer to release all their juices.
- Finally, mix in a tablespoon of honey and enjoy!
- If you're using small jujube fruits of about 2 cm each, use 10-12 pieces instead.
- If you're using ginger powder, use ¼ tablespoon of it instead.
- For this jujube tea recipe, you may also use brown sugar, white sugar, or cinnamon as sweeteners.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimate.