Zanzibar Lemon Grass Tea

I first tasted this tea in Zanzibar, Tanzania. We were on a spice tour in the Zanzibar "jungle" where you can experience the amazing aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamoms, vanilla, pepper, lemon grass, turmeric and more. To smell the divine aroma of these spices in their natural surroundings almost made me cry with happiness. It gets very, very hot in Zanzibar and when walking, surrounded by the vegetation you can just feel the wall of spicy aroma hit you. We were in that jungle for two hours, led by a local guide through the wonders of all the spices. It is amazing seeing their origin (not just dried on a store shelf). I had never in my life seen how nutmeg grows or lemon grass or vanilla or peppercorn. We walked around in the heat, learning about the spices, tasting different fruits, drinking coconut water and finally came across a house in the middle of the jungle. There was a lady sat on the ground with a saucepan on a stove and she was making tea which she offered us. We sat down and took the warm cup of tea in our hands. I wasn't sure that I wanted to drink a hot beverage in this heat but when allowed to cool slightly the aroma of lemon grass rose from the cup and filled me with happiness. How lucky I felt to be sitting there, enjoying that simple, yet amazing cup of tea in this surrounding! I asked for the recipe which was very simple (as you can see below). I definitely recommend that you take a trip to Zanzibar if ever in Tanzania. If you are not able to go there, you can at least experience some lemon grass tea at home!

A very refreshing and cleansing drink which always reminds me of Zanzibar

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free
  • Vegan

Zanzibar Lemon Grass Tea

Serves 2 people


  • 400 millilitres (13½ fluid oz) water
  • 2 stalks lemon grass
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar


  1. Trim the two lemon grass roots and the tough tops away, leaving about 15 centimetres (6 inches) of stem, remove the outer skin and chop the lemon grass stalks coarsely.
  2. Place the lemon grass in a small saucepan along with the 400 millilitres water.
  3. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Discard lemon grass stalks and run the tea through a sieve (optional) into two cups.
  5. Add 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar and stir well.
  6. Serve hot.


  • For an even more refreshing drink you can add a small piece of lemon or lime peel or 1-2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice.
  • You can also serve this drink chilled. Chill for at least 2 hours and add several ice cubes.
  • You can use acacia honey or maple syrup instead of the agave nectar.