6 Tips to Make Tea Taste Better Than Soda

by Steve Schwartz
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6 Tips to Make Tea Taste Better Than Soda

It’s three o’clock in the afternoon and you’re starting to drag. You need your daily Diet Coke to revive you. Full of artificial sweeteners, caffeine and chemicals, it gives you that energy boost you need to finish the rest of the day. It is a mid-afternoon necessity that you have come to rely on.

Maybe you drink soda to curb your hunger or sugar cravings, or because of the caffeine jolt it brings. Whatever the reason, a soda addiction can be a hard one to kick. The good news is you can get all the perks of pop (and more) by switching to tea. Tea is a healthy alternative to soda that packs a punch of caffeine and a variety of other health benefits.

You may be thinking, “Well that sounds great, but tea isn’t nearly as sweet or refreshing as a Diet Coke.” Think again. Check out these six ways to make your tea taste even better.

1. Think outside the leaf. Look for teas that include ingredients that tend to be naturally sweeter like dried apple, coconut, pineapple and cocoa or antioxidant-rich cacao nibs to help curb your sugar craving.

2. Create a tea mocktail. Tea can be added to a variety of mocktail recipes that are full of other fun, fresh ingredients. During the summer, you can make a ginger peach tea punch with chilled chai black tea, fresh ginger and ginger syrup, and fresh peaches. Pour it over ice and you have an instantly refreshing, hydrating seasonal sipper. Also consider adding sparking water to your tea mocktails to curb that hankering for carbonation.

3. Drink whole leaf tea vs. broken leaf tea. Tea made from whole leaves contains more amino acids, and also offers a sweeter, fuller-bodied flavor for a more satisfying experience.

4. Do some research on your tea + how to steep it correctly. Know your supplier and where the tea comes from. Use purified or filtered water, mind the recommended steep time and temperature. All of these factors play a role in brewing the perfect cup of tea. Some teas may require a longer steep time to pull the maximum sweetness from the leaves, while other teas may require only 60 seconds.

5. If you need to add a sweetener, find one that is minimally processed. If drinking tea on its own still does not curb your sweet tooth, we recommend trying a natural sweetening source, such as coconut sugar, date sugar, whole stevia leaves or local raw honey found at your farmer’s market.

6. Try it cold brewed (or as an iced tea). Tea can be just as delicious cold as it is hot. To cold brew your chosen tea, place the tea leaves in a sealed container with filtered water. Put into your fridge and let sit for 8-12 hours. Remove the leaves from the water. What you are left with is a full, round cold brew tea without the excess tannins that can be found when you steep your tea hot. (Tannins are what can create that sense of astringency and the drying effect in the mouth, often found in great wines, coffee, chocolate and, of course, tea.)

Steve’s favorite tea: “My favorite tea of the moment is Fukamushi, a high-quality sencha I discovered on a recent sourcing trip in Japan. I like it cold brewed for 30 minutes after a long workout.”

What’s your favorite tea? Share in the comments below!

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  • Carr1elou

    I like cold green tea . I like to mix raspberry blue berry together. It’s nice an refreshing !

  • GG

    I like my hot coffe but on the go I fill up a water bottle with ice and add water and my Lipton blackberry pomegranate tea bag and I’m great. The tea doesn’t have calories so that’s how I fit in most of my water. No sugar, no honey, the flavor of the tea does it for me.

  • Have been enjoying simple black tea sweetened with stevia and lemon 🙂

    Monica.

  • Gale Marlow Rummer

    We have cut our Coke consumption by 75% by brewing Red Rose Tea. We ice it in a gallon tea jar and pour over ice!

  • Vanessa Bledsoe

    I like hot chai-vanilla tea or chamomile.They’re relaxing…

  • LeahP_RR

    I like to mix half a glass of strong black tea with half a glass of seltzer from my SodaStream. I don’t crave soda when I have those bubbles!

  • caz1310

    Good old green tea/peppermint blend. My skin glows, my eyes are brighter and its refreshing hot or cold. Earl Grey tea when I need something hot with milk. No sugar or sweeteners ever.

  • Max

    I find the best way to make Ice Tea is to add the ice cubes right when the water starts boiling. You guys should give it a try, so refreshing! 🙂

  • Kim

    Yogi Berry Oolong tea, very fruity and wicked awesome iced, as well as a mint green tea. Yum!!!

  • Dawn

    silly question, but where do you buy the whole tea leaves?

    • Rachael

      In the tea section of any supermarket. It will be written on the box.

  • Amy Sinclair

    My favorite tea right now is Tazo Passion. The combo of the hibiscus and cinnamon flavors is out of this world. I like to mix it with some flavored sparkling mineral water and some lemon or lime for a great mocktail.