Drink Black Tea to Reduce Sugar Consumption

Ground Black Tea Leaves

Black tea is a staple of US culinary tradition, particularly in the South as “Sweet Tea”.  While most commercially available sweet tea is a good substitution for soda, tea made at home, with less sugar, can be a portal to adding less sugar to one's diet. 

Outside of the slow-sugar-reduction method, there are other ways that black tea can be a great asset to someone who is trying to kick the soda habit, or who is just wanting to have some change from plain water.  Tea in general is a huge gastronomic genre, offering hundreds, if not thousands of different flavor options to choose from.  Black tea is a popular subcategory, offering dozens of different flavor options, and a wide variety of quality differences. 

All “true” tea is made from the leaves of the Camelia sinensis plant.  Standard American tea-bag tea, which is more than ¾ of the tea that is consumed in the US, is often called orange pekoe.  Orange pekoe is a grading, or quality designation, rather than a type of tea.  These tea bags are made from fairly low quality “fannings” or fragments of tea that are produced in the tea drying and oxidation process, which involves bruising or tearing the leaves.  The quality of tea is determined by the cultivar, or variety of the tea bush, the location of the tea bush, the quality of the plucked leaves, and the manner of the processing of the tea. 

Some black tea of better quality that is available in the US includes Keemun, Assam, Darjeeling, and Ceylon, although the European tea importers have produced famous blends such as English Breakfast, English Afternoon Tea, and the bergamot scented Earl Grey. 

Interestingly, higher quality teas can survive well, and often benefit from multiple brewings.  In this way, even very expensive and high quality tea is often less expensive than soda based on how many ounces can be brewed per dollar.  


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