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Tart and citrusy, this Sumac Tea Recipe is loaded with immunity-boosting antioxidants. Used as medicine all over the world for centuries, this lemony ground fruit can easily become a warm, soothing drink in a matter of minutes. Sumac Tea is a refreshing and invigorating tea you’ll want to sip on again and again!

This post was originally published on October 3rd, 2021.

❓ What is Sumac?

I’m absolutely in love with Sumac. What is sumac? Good question! Staghorn sumac (rhus typhina) is a type of small tree found in North America. They produce drupes (also called sumac berries or sumac bobs) and are related to cashews and mangoes. Native Americans foraged wild sumac to aid with things like colds and sore throats. The berries ripen in the late summer to early fall and the ripe berries can even last on the sumac plant through to the following spring. Although they have a similar name, staghorn sumac is not related to poisonous sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) which will break you out in a rash worse than poison ivy.

To make the edible sumac spice, the sumac bobs (or berry clusters) are dried and then ground into a coarse powder. Often used in middle eastern cuisine, its color is a beautiful deep wine-red, and the flavor is absolutely incredible every time I use it, like in this BBQ sauce and this Keto Ketchup. Today we’re turning it into an immunity-boosting tea.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s really good for you. And I mean really. Sumac spice benefits include immunity-boosting and illness-fighting antioxidants like vitamin C, as it contains tannins, anthocyanins, and flavonoids. Evidence also suggests that it helps reduce inflammation, and balance blood sugar. What’s more, studies have shown that it even soothes sore throats and relieves muscle pain – we can all use a bit of help with that!
  • It’s so easy! Yes, pop some sumac in a reusable tea bag, add some boiling water and maybe a spot of honey, and…you have perfect sumac tea!
  • It can be sipped hot or cold. One of my favorite parts about this herbal tea. It’s so soothing as a hot drink as well as perfectly refreshing ice cold. In fact, it’s often called “sumac lemonade” or “Indian lemonade” when drank cold because it’s tart just like lemon juice.
  • It’s addictive! Tea? Addictive? I know, I know, how British of me, but this smooth sumac hot tea makes me feel SO GOOD even hours after it’s finished.

🗝️ Key Ingredients

  • Sumac: Ground sumac or sumac powder is what you’ll need for this recipe. It is a beautiful deep-red color and tastes tart. I bought mine online at buywholefoods.com
  • Water: Whatever water you usually make tea or coffee with is ideal for this recipe.
  • Sweetener: Use your sweetener of choice! I really like honey or maple syrup, but you could try simple syrup, sugar, or a low carb sweetener if you prefer.

🥣 How to make Hot Sumac Tea

1. Boil water: Begin to boil water either in a kettle or on the stove.

2. Prepare sumac: Add 1 tsp of sumac to a tea bag or fine mesh tea ball, and place it in a mug (see below for french press option!).

Adding sumac to a tea bag.

3. Pour the hot water over the tea bag in the mug.

Pouring hot water into a mug of sumac tea.

4. Steep: Allow the sumac tea to steep for 4 minutes.

🪄 Recipe Notes and Tips

  • I steep my tea in a reusable, organic cotton tea bag (affiliate), which is also great for steeping regular loose leaf tea in, as well as herbs and spices when cooking. You could also use a coffee filter to steep and then strain the tea, or strain it over a cheese cloth.
  • To sweeten, I recommend adding 2 tsp of honey or 7-10 drops of liquid stevia.
  • Make a triple batch, bring it to room temperature, and then chill it in the fridge to make sumac lemonade!
  • Try making it in a french press: add 3-4 teaspoons of sumac to a french press and fill it with hot water. Steep it for 5 minutes before slowly pressing it.
  • Do not add milk to this tea! It will curdle.

❓ Where can I buy Sumac from?

IMPORTANT: When buying sumac, double-check the ingredients! It often contains salt and additives which we don’t want for tea. Just plain, ground sumac.

In the UK, I first found sumac at Tesco and then Morrisons, but now buy it in bulk from buywholefoodsonline.co.uk.

However, Amazon UK, Amazon USA (affiliates) and Amazon Canada have several decent ground sumac products. The easy way to see all of your available options online would be to do a quick google search, e.g. “buy ground sumac <insert country name here>“.

I like to buy it in bulk as I use it in cooking as well, especially for condiments like ketchup and BBQ sauce.

🤔 Does Sumac contain caffeine?

It does not! However, sumac does have malic acid in it which is said to be an energy booster. I’d quite agree – I find sumac tea both refreshing and invigorating. Perfect in the afternoon!

🤷‍♀️ What is Sumac Tea good for?

Sumac tea is one of my favorite pick-me-up drinks when I’m feeling under the weather or even just a little sluggish. Because of its various health benefits (see above), it’s an amazing immunity-boosting tea that helps fight off colds, sore throats, and the flu. It also balances out your blood sugar levels and is said to be an excellent help in alleviating muscle pain.

😋 More recipes you will love

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📖 Recipe

Cup of sumac tea in a white mug with a blue rim and a spoon inside.

Sumac Tea Recipe

Bethany Galloway
Tart and citrusy, this Sumac Tea recipe is loaded with immunity-boosting antioxidants. Used as medicine all over the world for centuries, this lemony ground fruit can easily become a warm, soothing drink in a matter of minutes. Sumac Tea is a refreshing and invigorating tea you'll want to sip on again and again!
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 1 serving
Calories 5 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tsp ground sumac
  • 250 ml water or as much as your mug will hold
  • 2 tsp honey or sweetener of choice optional

Instructions
 

  • Begin to boil water (either in a kettle or on the stove).
  • Add 1 tsp of sumac to a tea bag or fine mesh tea ball, and place it in a mug.
  • Pour boiling water over the tea bag in the mug.
  • Allow the sumac to steep for 4 minutes.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  1. I steep my tea in a reusable, organic cotton tea bag (affiliate), which is also great for steeping regular loose leaf tea in, as well as herbs and spices when cooking. You could also use a coffee filter to steep and then strain the tea or strain it over a cheesecloth.
  2. To sweeten, I recommend adding 2 tsp of honey or 7-10 drops of liquid stevia. You can also try maple syrup or simple syrup.
  3. Make a triple batch, bring it to room temperature, and then chill it in the fridge to make sumac lemonade!
  4. Try making it in a french press: add 3-4 teaspoons of sumac to a french press and fill it with hot water. Steep it for 5 minutes before slowly pressing it.
  5. Do not add milk to this tea! It will curdle.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 5kcal
Keyword autumn, fall, honey, kettle, sumac, tea, tea bag, teacup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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