After a seriously intense exchange on Twitter this week about whether we should consider crafting a blend of tea with stevia leaves in it, I found we had a number of our followers who had never heard of stevia and were intrigued by the idea of it. However, since we do have a number of customers who don’t care to have their tea sweetened by any means, we decided to pass on the stevia blended teas, and instead, offer some stevia to purchase by itself, for those who do wish to experiment with it.
For those of you who still have no idea what we are talking about, stevia is a shrub that grows in Paraguay, where the native Guarani Indians have used the plant for over 1500 years. In it’s natural form, the leaves are said to be 10-15 times sweeter than sugar. Extracts are being made which are reported to be 300 times sweeter than sugar. Both the leaves and the extracts are calorie-free, carbohydrate-free, do not promote tooth decay and they are safe for diabetics.
In small quantities, stevia has no aftertaste whatsoever. Excessive quantities of stevia have been reported to have a slight licorice-like aftertaste. When adding stevia to your teas before steeping, keep in mind that stevia is about 10-15 times stronger than sugar, and adjust the ratio of stevia to tea accordingly. You may have to experiment a little to find that sweet spot. No pun intended.
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