Lately, even among high-end boutique herbal tea shops, there has been a trend of adding refined white sugar to tea blends as herbal tea sweeteners. There’s something about the combination of the often savory and earthy notes of herbs and the sweet taste of sugar that just drives us wild! They seem to be made for one another, but are the results worth it?
Refined sugar is made by processing sugar cane in factory where it is cleansed, bleached, dried, and processes to its granular form. This is a far reach from the natural sweetness and presentation that you’d find in a raw piece of sugar cane plant.
There are countless sources and studies that support refined sugar being a bad choice when it comes to our overall physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s far beyond the scope of this Herbal Tea 101 article to get into that information, but if you’re interested in learning more, it’s easy to find various points of view online and at your local library.
The key point I’d like to present here is that there are sweet, flavorful, and healing alternatives to refined sugar that will work in synergy with your favorite herbal tea blend. No matter what herbs you work with, if you’d like to add a little kick of sweetness you can keep it natural!
Natural Herbal Tea Sweeteners
Here are just a few of my favorite ways to add a sugar-like boost to any herbal tea blend. These are also great options when teaching children or new herbal tea drinkers how to love the taste of natural herbs!
At 300 times the sweetness of refined sugar, stevia doesn’t cause intense reactions in blood glucose like refined sugar does and works great with most herbal blends.*
The amazingly sweet seeds from the anise plant offer their own sugars and aromatic qualities that are the perfect boost to many savory herbal blends.
Super sweet with an almost brown sugar or molasses overtone, agave is a great inclusion in many herbal blends that use heavy or earthy herbs.
Honey is a perennial favorite among herbal and green tea connoisseurs. The light flavor and amazing color seems to blend perfectly with most herbal tea blends. It’s also interesting to note that there are many varieties of honey which get their distinct flavors from the particular herbs and flowers that the bees who create them feed from.
As you can see, there are many alternatives to using refined white sugar. When it comes to your health and to the preparation of herbal tea, it’s always a good idea to keep it simple, natural, and enjoyable. Using white sugar may be a simple thing to do, but it’s not simple for your body to process or work with, and it’s surely far too removed from its beautiful natural roots.