This Ginger Orange Tea is fruity, sweet with a rich and bold flavor of black tea. The addition of ginger and lemongrass makes the iced tea much more interesting with a relaxing fragrance and just a bit of heat.
One of the trending iced teas in Vietnam is lemongrass orange ginger tea (tra cam sa gung). We especially love to drink it when eating banh mi for breakfast. It is really easy to make this drink and you can customize it to your desired sweetness, strength of the tea, as well as strength of the lemongrass and ginger flavors.
Related: this strawberry iced tea is also very popular in Saigon.
Watch How to Make Ginger Orange Tea
Why Black Tea
Black tea has a strong, bold, and rich flavor. It not only stands up well to the sweetness of oranges but also goes well with the fruitiness and aroma of oranges. Green tea has a grassy taste that doesn’t pair well with oranges, in my opinion.
We usually use Twinings loose black tea (like Earl Grey or Lady Grey) for this drink. You can try making it with any black tea you have on hand. This orange cinnamon iced tea recipe is another example of how well black tea goes with orange juice.
What Kind of Oranges to Use
I recommend using orange-fleshed navel oranges for the best taste. They are juicy, sweet with a vibrant color, which will make our iced tea look beautiful.
We have also tried red-fleshed navel oranges (called Cara Cara navel oranges), and the drink still turned out pretty tasty. However, it has something like an unexpected hint of grapefruit. Therefore, we prefer the orange-fleshed variety.
Ginger and Lemongrass
Lemongrass adds a relaxing effect to the drink. You will need to simmer lemongrass for several minutes to extract its flavor and then use the liquid to steep the black tea. If you love lemongrass fragrance, you may also want to try this ginger lemongrass tea.
When I make savory dishes that only call for the white part of lemongrass, I often save the green part to make flavored tea later. You can usually find lemongrass stalks at Asian grocery stores, but it is okay to leave it out if you can’t find it.
I use ginger syrup to infuse this orange black tea with ginger flavor. Get my homemade ginger syrup recipe – it’s very easy to make. If you don’t want to bother with making the ginger syrup, you can simmer some fresh ginger together with lemongrass and use simple syrup instead.
Tips for Orange Ginger Tea
Although this orange tea recipe is pretty straightforward, here are some details I want to point out:
- Don’t steep black tea too long, or it will be unpleasantly strong and bitter.
- Lightly bruise the lemongrass before simmering. Bruising it will help to release the fragrance.
- If you want your orange iced tea to look picture-perfect, strain the orange juice to remove the pulp.
- This is not a must, but we love to use a cocktail shaker to mix iced tea. The cocktail shaker helps to cool the drink rapidly before serving. Read about reasons to use a shaker to mix drinks here. It is still okay to pour everything into a glass and stir to combine.
Other Iced Tea Recipes
I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.
Ginger Orange Tea
- 2 lemongrass stalks (plus more for serving if desired)
- 1 cup water
- 1.5-2 tablespoons black tea
- 2 small pieces of ginger, slightly crushed
- 2-3 tablespoons ginger syrup, divided
- 1 cup fresh orange juice, divided (from about 2 large oranges)
- ice cubes
- Cut lemongrass stalks into shorter pieces (about 4-inch long) and slightly bruise them. Add lemongrass and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer. Cover with the lid slightly askew and simmer for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and add black tea (you can check the water temperature to make sure it's around 200°F or 95°C). Cover with the lid slightly askew and steep for 4-5 minutes.
- Strain the tea (you should have about 3/4 cup or 180ml of brewed tea). Let it cool down slightly.
- If you have a cocktail shaker, add a piece of crushed ginger, a 3 to 4-inch long piece of bruised lemongrass, half of the brewed tea, 1-1½ tablespoons of ginger syrup, half of the orange juice and plenty of ice cubes. Shake vigorously. Add 6-7 ice cubes to a serving glass and immediately pour the iced tea into the glass.
- Alternatively, you can pour all ingredients into a glass and stir to combine. Then add ice and drink right away.