There’s no doubt that the topic of sweetening tea will always cause some debate among true tea lovers. There’s also no doubt that regardless of what anyone says or thinks, lots of people sweeten their tea, and will continue to do so.
So, rather than debate whether to sweeten or not to sweeten, let’s take a look at some of the different ways to sweeten tea that you may have overlooked.
The most obvious choice, and one that has been around forever is just plain white sugar. Opinions on how much is enough vary greatly from person to person. Some like a teaspoon. Some like four. It’s all a matter of taste.
Of course, along with regular sugar consumption can come extra pounds and other health problems, which is why people started using artificial sweeteners to sweeten their tea. Aspartame and sucralose under brand names like NutraSweet and Splenda can be found on the tables of most restaurants these days as an alternative to sugar.
And while these products have no calories, there has been much debate as to the long term safety of man made sweeteners too. This is one of the reasons why there has been such a push to find natural ways to sweeten your cup of tea in recent years. Here are a few that have become popular:
Honey – This really isn’t very new when it comes to sweetening tea. People everywhere who have access have been using honey for a very long time. There are different types and qualities of honey, and finding the right taste that suits you is probably the most important aspect of using it as a sweetener.
Agave Syrup – This is taken from the juice of the agave cactus and is 50% sweeter than sugar. It has been used as a sweetener in South America and Mexico for centuries. It also has a very low GI (glycemic index) which means it won’t spike your blood sugar like white sugar does.
Stevia – The leaves of the stevia plant have been used as a natural sweetener in Latin America for centuries. Here, you can buy it in powder or liquid form, and it has a GI of zero, which means it won’t alter your blood sugar at all.
Maple Syrup – Most wouldn’t think of using maple syrup as a sweetener for tea, but it can really add a new dimension to the same old drink. The processed sap from the maple tree is about as sweet as sugar, but with more minerals and fewer calories than honey.
These are some of the more popular natural sweeteners being used today. You can also try date sugar, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, or even molasses.
As tea drinkers, we’re all individuals. And the way we sweeten our tea should be individual as well. Experiment a little, and try some new things until you find one that’s perfect for you.