Japanese Green Tea is a wonderful drink for many reasons: In many communities it’s an affordable drink, in others it’s a component to history and/or culture. Tea is also enjoyed for its flavor and for some, the sheer complexities in flavors, processing, and approach to producing the end product. For those of us who want to enjoy a nice cup of tea, it may be the simple part of a busy morning. How many, however, deviate from our tea norms? Do you ever find yourself experimenting with tea? Why or why not?
Part of this post is to explore those questions. In the next few minutes, we are going to explore sencha and the nine ways to sweeten this incredibly common Japanese drink (see also 10 ways to sweeten your matcha). Chances are you have either tried Sencha or come across the name. Let us explore Sencha a bit further and see if there is something new to enjoy through the world of sweeteners.
1 – Honey
Honey may not be the obvious choice for many, but this fat-free sweetener may be just right. One of the great advantages of honey is that its calorie count doesn’t differ all that much from sugar, with approximately 20 per teaspoon. Honey and green tea generally is an incredibly common mix and chances are you have come across honey as a sweetener. Honey has some unique benefits as well such as fighting bad breath. It also adds antioxidants called flavonoids. Sticking with organic honey will help retain antioxidants and the vitamins and minerals often found in honey including copper, iron, and magnesium.
Apple honey flavors have been with us for an exceptionally long time. In fact, recipes that fuse apple, vinegar, and honey have likely been used for thousands of years. If you are a vegan and wish to retain the flavors of honey in your diet, apple honey may be a great option. Vegan-centric recipes often include apples, lemon, and sugar among other ingredients thereby bypassing honey. Some recipes even include dandelions! Quite sweet, this sweetener may be a healthier sweetening option.
2 – Stevia
Stevia is considered a direct sugar substitute for a reason. While it contains a slight bitterness, it generally elevates tea and acts as subtle sweetener. It has an incredibly wide application and you may find it a beneficial addition well beyond the world of tea. Many of you may be asking: Is stevia the healthy sugar alternative for my tea? Well, some of the benefits include reduced calorie intake, improved blood sugar levels, and a lower risk of cavities. However, because stevia comes in different blends and individuals may have various health conditions, it is best to research whether a given dose is appropriate for your tea. For example, while stevia may reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels, this may in fact interfere with medication use.
3 – Light Coconut Milk
Light Coconut Milk has become quite popular recently. This nutty-yet-floral and fully-flavored sweetener is a great alternative to other sweeteners such as cow’s milk. This milk is relatively thin in consistency and has a creamy-esque texture. It does contain fat and is considered a higher-caloric sweetener within this list. However, not to be outdone by the relatively high-calorie count, light coconut milk cuts through some of the fat and includes a number of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium and others.
4 – Macadamia Nut Milk
Macadamia Nut Milk is pretty tough to ignore in the world of milks and sweeteners. Yes, you can add this pleasantly smooth and thicker milk to your tea. Many may link the flavor with almond milk. Macadamia milk is high in vitamin B1, magnesium, and manganese; however is higher in fat than other nut milks. Nut milks generally tend to also be a bit more expensive. If you are like me, the flavor is hard to beat!
Concluded in Nine Ways to Sweeten Sencha Green Tea – Part 2
Author Kei Nishida is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program, and uses product images with permission