Can Tea taste good without adding sweeteners, etc?

28 Replies
inguna said

I honestly can’t imagine adding sugar or any sweetener to my tea. For me that does not enhance any flavor – it tastes like sugar water :) You may try some flavored teas such as rose tea or even chocolate or strawberry tea which have natural sweetness and all the health benefits.

Butiki Teas, Davids Tea have some very nicely flavored blends.
Some of my personal flavored favorites at the moment are: Grape Sencha (Dens Tea), Rose Tea (Golden Moon), Sagittarius and Cancer.Zodiac Series. (Adagio Teas).

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Dustin said

I almost always ad a little bit of sweetener to my tea. I enjoy it more that way, appease my sweet tooth a little, it rounds out some of the tastes I don’t like and enhances some that I do like. I think it’s like adding salt to your food. Some like it, some don’t. Different sweetener will add different tastes to your teas too. Honey has a specific taste that it adds, so I add it only to teas with simple flavors like mint. I find white sugar to be more neutral, so I use that in teas with more complexity or variety of flavors. Stevia has a particular taste that I don’t like, so I avoid it altogether. So in addition to trying different teas, you could try different sweeteners too.

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Blitz1775 said

Wow I’m rather surprised at the overall response and it does seem to indicate that the bagged quality of tea is the major problem (or that I can’t stand tea no matter what :P). In terms of black teas I’ve had lipton, twinnings, and tetley baggged teas. With tetley being the best, but still needing sweeteners. For green tea I’ve only had “lung fung” brand tea which I picked up at a Vietnamese food store we’ve got around here.

As said the steeping times are pretty easy for me to vary I’ve got a high end zojirushi hot water boiler (I use it in addition for hot stuff to speed up boiling water). Anyways hitting an 180 temperature is as easy as pouring water in the cup letting it sit for a bit dump it and repouring it with the tea bag, otherwise the cold cup easily drop its to 160.

Last of all Corn Tea really is more two types of tea. The first is the real corn tea, which my mother used to make. She use to make it for her urinary infections and such and also has a lot of vitamins. It’s as simple as adding the silk to boiling water for 5-10 minutes, with the silk being the potency factor. It’s alright tasting, but I prefer the second type which is known as Oksusu Cha which uses roasted corn kernels instead. Personally I think they taste best cold. Do keep in mind by taste it’s more or less that it taste better than water and feels thirst quenching.

Zeks said

>>>lipton, twinnings, and tetley
Imo, they are all made of roughly the same quality leaves and are all bad :) There are some bagged teas that are quite good, but those are usually sold at the stores specializing in tea, not the places that have “lipton, twinnings, and tetley” :)

cteresa said

I think Twinings and Tetley are pretty OK (as is Ahmad´s and if a person is into it, PG Tips or Yorkshire tea). Not all blends, but there are some pretty drinkable cup of teas to be provided by teabags those companies.

Lipton is IMO a different matter and there are a few other brands which are even worse.

But Twinings, surely is worthy of some respect – personally I like Lady Grey, Prince of Wales and the Lapsang Souchong. The Darjeeling OTOh do avoid.

Helena said

I’ll drink twinnings of london chai IF I need a bagged tea or Stash’s lemon blossom those don’t need sweetner of any kind. However I find bagged in general stinks (In my opinion)

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VeryPisces said

If you are a true tea lover you will come to appreciate the flavors without additives, and then you will decide which ones taste better with extras. If you are only drinking for health benefits, you may have different priorities and not be interested in falling in love with tea for tea’s sake. It’s like eating certain foods that are good for you vs. eating them because you love the subtle flavor nuances that develop from different preparation methods. I don’t care how you prepare a mushroom, for example. I really won’t like it. Surround it with flavors I do like, though, and I’ll eat it.

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Meematea said

I stopped having sugar in my tea once years ago and nearly lost the will to live. Herbal and green, white, blue teas no problem, I don’t need sugar for those, but my beloved Ceylon BOP, sugar is a must as is milk. So fragrant, so beautiful. I have one cup of tea a day and I savour it and don’t regret the two teaspoons of brown sugar or honey I add to it.

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Donna A said

Everyone has their varying opinions, and there is no right or wrong, since people don’t experience taste the same way. I experience much more flavor from tea when it is lightly sweetened. I buy good quality loose leaf teas, often because of reviews on Steepster (Verdant, Teavivre, Butiki, Teajo are a few). I have talked to some of the owners on the phone and gotten helpful advice. To avoid calories and chemicals, I sweeten my tea with a specific brand of natural herb stevia made by Herbal Authority. It doesn’t have the additives that grocery store brands have which may alter the taste adversely. I would recommend looking at online sites that offer samples of their tea, and focus on some of the more highly rated teas on Steepster. Until a few years ago, I never thought I liked tea at all because all I had every had was grocery store bagged teas. Good luck!

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Wonks said

I started out like you. My idea of tea was a huge pitcher with 3 cups of sugar. I promise, i was the same way and looked for ways to not sweeten….

1. Use high quality tea. This should be a given, but it makes a big difference.

2. Experiment with MORE tea and shorter brews…. you may just dislike the bitterness instead of liking the sugar…. so this could be an instant solution for you.

3. Accept that you simply aren’t going to like some teas without sweeteners. Black teas and chai are like this for me….I really wish I didn’t need sugar for them, but I do.

4. Try sweetener alternatives such as honey and agava.

Also, keep in mind that when you finally dedicate yourself to unsweetened stuff you’ll notice that it wont take as much sugars to make it sweet for you. Like you may not find honey sweet enough, but over time as you ween off of sugar you’ll find honey to be extremely sweet.

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Blitz1775 said

In terms of the me drinking something because it’s healthy. That’s more of a side benefits, taste is still #1 in my book. Reason I’m trying to find other beverages is because I’ve had a lot of hits upon my beverages of choice. Obviously cutting carbonated beverages,took out huge swath of my pallet out, and I’m not trusting of diet beverages at all. Furthermore finding out that I became Lactose Intolerant did not help matters. While drinking lactose free milk has helped, it’s by far not cheap :P (3.50 a half gallon on average). So that leaves me with not a lot of beverage choices (Milk+things that can mix with it, some juice, and water atm.)

Last of all working around my diet workout plan limits my intake, so cutting out calories here and there, when I can to make room for more nutrient dense food is always good.

Anyways I think I’m willing to give this a shot, if you can recommend some good teas to try, of various blends I’ll look through and give it a shot. I figure worse thing I’m out some money, but at least I got to experience something different.

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darky said

Blitz i would start with trying out some easy to brew classic tea’s like earl grey, assam, jasmin pearls, marrocon mint, perhaps silver needle white (a sweet one)

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Babble said

Lots of great advice. I’d also like to add that it may require some time to adjust to drinking teas unsweetened. Start with a tea you like, and gradually cut down on the sugar each cup. 

If you are used to your teas sweet, I worry that even if you find a high quality tea you won’t be able to just jump in head first without sweetener.  

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