Adding Up the Flavor

Feb 4, 2013|

If youre enjoying coffee or tea at your favorite restaurant, relaxing at a coffee shop or stopping to grab a beverage-to-go at the local convenience store, everyone has the ability of individualizing their beverage taste using a sweetening agent.

If you pour, spill, or pinch something into your coffee or tea, youre not alone. According to the NPD Group, 67% of coffee drinkers who purchase their beverage outside of the home use a type of additive to sweeten their drink.

It should come as no surprise the two most popular are cream and sugar.

NPD data reveals 32% of those who prefer extra flavor pour half-and-half cream into their coffee while an additional 7% use a non-dairy creamer.

Sugar, and sugar substitutes, are next on the favorites list for coffee and are undoubtedly the most popular for tea as well. There are different types of sugar which offer different flavor profiles.  White sugar is the most preferred, but for a deeper flavor try brown sugar or cinnamon sugar.

Artificial sweeteners come in the familiar little yellow, blue or pink packets.  These sweeteners are usually low in calories making them popular with the calorie-conscience consumer.  Artificial sweeteners are usually highly concentrated and very little makes coffee or tea very sweet, very fast.  

There are also other options to boost your drink that can be both healthy and tasty. Honey is a natural sweetener that contains some vitamins and minerals.  Plus, it is reported that honey does have some potential health benefits.    Just like sugar, different types of honey can produce a variety of flavor profiles.

Agave nectar is a honey-like sap that comes from the leaves of the blue agave plant.   This nectar is fairly thin and light in consistency and can be easily added to tea and coffee.

Lemon is a fruit commonly added for a touch of tart and sweet.   Lemon is not the only fruit that can be a natural way to sweeten a beverage.  Fruit juice is another viable alternative.

Finally, plain or flavored syrup is an easy way to sweeten a cup of coffee and tea.  A common syrup used is simple syrup - a solution of sugar and water boiled together.  According to About.com, plain simple syrup has a neutral flavor that works well with most coffees and tea.  

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