Your mornings are hectic, your afternoons are busy, and you’re always in search of that extra boost of energy. You head for the nearest Coke to regain your vigor and curb your sugar cravings in the process. Soda has become your trusted friend and has proven to give you what you need to get through the rest of the day. Maybe the caffeine is a comfort for you, giving you increased alertness and an elevated mood.
Whatever the reason is for drinking soda, there is a better, more healthier way to get all the benefits of caffeine and enlighten your taste buds by turning to tea. You may be saying, “I don’t believe you, tea doesn’t taste nearly as sweet as soda.” Well, think again.
Check out six ways you can make tea taste better than soda:
1. Look for natural sweeteners.
Sure, sugar is the go-to sweetener. It’s quick, cheap, and always around. However, there are other natural sweeteners that taste just as good as sugar and are better for your health. Consider stevia, date sugar, coconut sugar, and raw sugar. Raw honey, molasses, and whole stevia leaves are also an option. Some lesser known natural sweeteners include: Yacon syrup, xylitol, and erythritol.
2. Consider fruit-flavored sweeteners.
While there are many fruit-flavored teas such as pomegranate, there are just as many fruit-flavors sweeteners. You can look for teas that include ingredients that are naturally sweeter, but if your tea is not to your taste, you can include fruit that are not high in sugar. Dried pineapple, apple, coconut, and orange rinds can add an extra punch to your cup of tea. Additionally, lemon is a good sweetener (it also includes vitamin C), ginger, and cinnamon. If nothing else, just drop a few teaspoons of your favorite fruit juice.
3. Create an integrated tea drink.
Tea can be added to drinks that are already full of sweetness. An iced ginger and green tea mocktail consists of green tea, mint, ginger, honey, and lemons cooled on top of ice. You can brew your tea at home or at work, put it in a thermal cup with ice, and let it chill. Consider adding sparkling or carbonated water to your tea to curb carbonation.
4. Research the best steeping methods.
No two teas are the same. Get to know your favorite tea. Pay attention to recommended steep times and water temperature. As an alternative to tap or bottled water, consider using filtered, purified or natural spring water. Being aware of all of these factors help to bring out the best in your cup of tea.
5. Drink whole leaf tea.
Drinking tea made from whole leaves is the closest one will get to tasting the richness and sweetness of tea when it comes straight out of the garden. When you drink whole leaf tea, you’ll notice a fuller experience and a more complex flavor. This will add a kind of flavor and complexity not found in “dust tea” which most tea drinkers are accustom to.
6. Think outside the box.
Did you know chocolate can sweeten tea? If you’re a chocolate lover (like me), you can get your chocolate fix in your daily cup of tea. Dark chocolate adds a rich flavor to chai tea. Some people add white chocolate to black tea. Melt some and enjoy! Boba (also called bubble tea in Taiwan) is another creative alternative. This mainly consists of tapioca, milk/creamer, sugar, and water all added to your favorite brewed tea.
Hot or cold, green or black, drinking tea is just as effective and healthier for you than drinking soda. To lessen your withdrawal symptoms, try one cup of tea each day, replacing the can of soda you would normally drink. After a few weeks, you’ll experience more alertness, more energy, and a more vibrant you.
What’s your favorite tea? How do you sweeten it? Share in the comments below.
Featured photo credit: Green Tea / JD via flic.kr