I’m pretty open about not being a fan of sugar or milk in my tea, though I am happy to tell others if I think that a black tea is strong and substantial enough to handle these additions. Still, I would encourage you to try tea on its own, without sugar, both for the health benefits as well as being able to fully enjoy the subtle flavors of the tea. Here are a few suggestions for finding teas and tisanes that you may wish to start with as you eliminate sugar from your tea.
A Few Basic Guidelines & Tea Recommendations:
- White, green, and oolong teas are seldom consumed with sugar. If black tea without sugar proves to be too much of a shock, try one of these other types of tea.
- Flavored black teas can be great for transitioning from added sugar to no sugar.
- If you normally drink Ceylon, Indian or African teas, try switching to Chinese black teas, which are often less assertive, have more complex flavors and are often naturally sweet. I’ve found that many tea-drinking novices really like black tea from Yunnan, as this tea can be quite smooth, spicy and slightly sweet on its own without sugar.
- Start by drinking unsweetened black iced tea and eventually work up to unsweetened hot black tea.
- Add a thin slice of lemon to your black tea (don’t add any milk, it will curdle). This should neutralize any bitterness and help you get used to the lack of sweetener.
Tisanes That Don’t Need Sugar:
- Mint: Mint is naturally sweet and adding sugar to the tisane just blunts its cool, crisp notes. Try drinking mint tisane between meals to curb food cravings.
- Rooibos and Honeybush: These plants grow in South Africa and each produces a rich, sweet beverage that doesn’t need added sweetening. Those with a more serious sweet tooth may prefer honeybush over rooibos, as honeybush is the sweeter of the two.
Naturally Sweet Tea Flavorings:
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is naturally sweet and absolutely delicious. In addition, there is some evidence that it can help control blood sugar.
- Vanilla: Vanilla has a slight sweetness and a lovely flavor that can counteract bitterness and add sweetness to a tea. If drinking an unflavored tea “straight” is too much for you, try a vanilla flavored tea.
Don’t miss reading Lainie’s many tea reviews on this blog!
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