Cutting sugar from everyday beverages like tea can have a host of benefits, but what if your favorite brew just doesn’t taste right without it? Luckily, skipping sweeteners doesn’t need to be a sacrifice. We’ve got three simple steps to make sure every cup tastes great, without any added sugars.
1. Train your palate.
The most common advice for quitting sugar is to train your palate to appreciate the natural flavors of teas, and this is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. As added sugar becomes a habit over time, an accustomed palate comes to expect intense sweetness. While training your palate might take more time than replicating the flavor with artificial sweeteners, uncovering the complex flavors of natural tea will ultimately be more satisfying.
Whether you prefer to reduce sugars gradually over time or quit cold turkey, getting serious about tasting can shift the focus of each sip. Rather than missing additives, place the emphasis on the nuances of flavor that now take center stage.
2. Perfect your brewing technique.
Missing those nuances? Maybe the brewing technique is drawing out more bitterness and astringency than necessary. Make the best of whatever is in the cupboard by experimenting with serving sizes, time, and temperature until you find the best way to brew. For the easiest iced tea without sugar, try cold brewing to draw out maximum flavor and minimal bitterness.
Water quality also impacts the final flavor of any tea, as it makes up the majority of the volume in any cup. If a tea seems lackluster in a new environment, consider experimenting with alternative water sources to improve the overall character of the brew.
3. Drink better tea!
Hands down, though, the easiest way to improve the flavor of any cup without sugar is to invest in high quality leaves. In the same way that cheap wines are best enjoyed as sangria, low quality teas are designed as a host for sugar and milk.
On the other hand, the best teas are always the easiest to brew without bitterness. Find high quality leaves by asking vendors about the variety, provenance, harvest date, and craftsmanship of every tea, and soon added sugars will be a thing of the past.
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