You may have heard brown sugar is healthier.
So it makes sense to wonder: can you put brown sugar in tea?
If you’re doing it for the health benefits, don’t bother.
We’ll get into why below.
But if you’re doing it for the flavor, it could work.
It depends on the type of brown sugar the type of tea, and your personal taste preferences.
Keep reading to learn all about the use of brown sugar in tea instead of white sugar. We will cover everything you need to know.
Table of Contents
- 1 Can You Put Brown Sugar In Tea?
- 1.1 3 Reasons To Substitute White Sugar For Brown
- 1.2 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Brown Sugar
- 1.3 What Brown Sugar Is Best For Tea?
- 1.4 How Much Brown Sugar To Add To Tea
- 1.5 Is Brown Sugar Healthier Than White?
- 1.6 What Is The Healthiest Sugar?
- 2 Can You Use Brown Sugar In Tea: Final Thoughts
Can You Put Brown Sugar In Tea?
Yes, you can put brown sugar in tea. It gives it a great flavor, if you like your tea sweetened. Organic brown sugar is actually a healthier alternative to granulated white sugar because it contains molasses.
Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar-refining process which gives tea a rich-caramel-like flavor. It also has a higher antioxidant and mineral content. Let’s take a closer look at the main reasons to use brown sugar in tea, instead of white.
3 Reasons To Substitute White Sugar For Brown
Brown sugar is a great alternative to white sugar to sweeten tea for the following reasons. We will also have a table further down showing all of the advantages and disadvantages of brown sugar in tea.
Gives Tea A Great Flavor
Brown sugar contains molasses, which gives it a unique flavor. White sugar is stripped of molasses during the refining process.
Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar refining process, and it is added back to the brown sugar. This imparts a richer, caramel-like flavor to the recipes to which it is added. The flavor of brown sugar varies based on the type.
Light brown sugar, which contains about 3.5% molasses, has a milder flavor, whereas dark brown sugar has a stronger molasses flavor. You also have other brown sugar varieties, such as turbinado sugar (also known as demerara sugar), with its blond coloring and milder flavor.
Might Be Healthier Than Other Sweeteners
Brown sugar is slightly healthier than other sweeteners. It contains several minerals, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. These minerals are stripped away during the sugar refining process for other types of sugars.
As a result of the additional minerals, brown sugar may help with digestive health, relieve cramps, act as an antiseptic, help with weight loss, etc.
Having said that, it is still important to limit your sugar intake. According to the experts at the Harvard School of Public Health, adults should limit their daily sugar intake to less than 10% of their total calorie intake.
Brown Sugar Is Natural
Brown sugar a natural sweetener. It is basically raw sugar with molasses added back to it. If you are looking to limit your intake of processed foods, then adding brown sugar to your tea is a great option.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Brown Sugar
Here is a table showing the advantages and disadvantages of brown sugar at a glance.
|Advantages of Brown Sugar||Disadvantages of Brown Sugar|
|Brown sugar may have a richer flavor thanks to its molasses content. This imparts a rich-caramel-like flavor which is great in tea, coffee, and baked goods.||Like white sugar, brown sugar is high in calories.|
|Organic brown sugar contains slightly more micronutrients, antioxidants, and minerals than other sugar varieties. It contains more calcium than white sugar.||Excess consumption of brown sugar could increase your risk of developing dental issues, heart disease, diabetes, etc.|
|Organic brown sugar is usually minimally processed, which makes it a good choice for people looking for minimally processed foods.||Many varieties of brown sugar tend to be more expensive than white sugar.|
|Some recipes can’t use brown sugar. Even certain varieties of tea, like milk tea or chai latte, could spoil or curdle due to the acids in the sugar. Brown sugar may also be too strong for milder teas.|
|Brown sugar might not always be readily available.|
What Brown Sugar Is Best For Tea?
You can use either light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, jaggery, panela, piloncillo, muscovado sugar, turbinado sugar, blackstrap molasses, or Chinese brown sugar. Their flavors differ slightly due to the varying levels of molasses they contain.
You can also vary your choice of brown sugar based on the type of tea you drink, whether it be black tea, oolong tea, green tea, white tea, pu-erh tea, or an herbal tea. That said, any type of brown sugar might be too overpowering in white and green teas, and even in lighter oolongs.
In general, stronger teas stand up better to stronger flavored sugars. For example, Indian masala chai tea pairs well with jaggery, dark brown sugar, and turbinado sugar. Their caramel or toffee-like flavor pairs well with the spices in the tea.
Ultimately, the choice of brown sugar in your tea will depend on personal taste preferences. You can always experiment a bit to see which brown sugar works best for the tea you drink.
How Much Brown Sugar To Add To Tea
The quantity of brown sugar to add to tea also depends on your personal taste preferences and the type of tea you are drinking. You can start with half to one teaspoon of light brown sugar per cup of brewed black, oolong or pu-erh tea. Taste the tea and adjust accordingly.
If you plan to add milk or dairy creamer to the tea, account for their inherent sweetness and adjust the quantity of brown sugar accordingly. Please note that the acids in brown sugar could curdle the milk in milky teas.
People who prefer moderately sweet tea can go for one to one-and-a-half teaspoons of brown sugar per cup of tea. This won’t overpower the tea. If, on the other hand, you prefer very sweet tea, then add 2 to 3 teaspoons of sugar per cup.
If you are drinking a milder tea, like a green or white, brown sugar may not be the best option. Go ahead and give it a try, but most will find that the sugar overpowers the tea. We have an article on things you can add to green tea to make it taste better. Those also work for white tea.
Is Brown Sugar Healthier Than White?
Brown sugar might be slightly healthier than white sugar, due to its higher mineral content. Refined white sugar loses its mineral content during the refining process, whereas brown sugar retains those minerals, especially calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Having said that, brown sugar is not necessarily healthier than white sugar. After all, it contains the same amount of calories per gram as white sugar.
In any case, you generally want to limit your sugar intake, whether you take brown sugar or white sugar. Both types have been linked to weight gain, diabetes, and heart-related issues.
What Is The Healthiest Sugar?
You have various options in sugars to add to your tea. These include white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, honey, stevia, coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, etc.
According to nutritionists, all of these sugars are nutritionally very similar, since they all contain either glucose, fructose, or sucrose. This means that all of these sugars hit you with the same amount of calories per gram.
However, some liquid sugar varieties like honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar may contain slightly less sugar, due to their higher water content.
Similarly, sugars like organic brown sugar, coconut sugar, etc. are higher in minerals and antioxidant content, due to their minimal processing.
Bottom line: if you are looking for healthier sweeteners, opt for raw or minimally processed varieties like cane sugar, organic brown sugar, maple syrup, or raw honey. These also contain slightly more micronutrients.
Of course, it is still important to limit your daily sugar consumption to less than 10% (ideally less than 5%) of your total calorie intake.
Can You Use Brown Sugar In Tea: Final Thoughts
You can put brown sugar in tea instead of white sugar. It’s not going to be much more healthy, but it gives you a completely different flavor profile. And some people love the stronger flavor of brown sugar.
But it does not work well with all teas. Brown sugar tends to overpower milder teas, like green and white tea. Even light brown sugar may be too strong. But you’ll have to try it for yourself.
Brown sugar works best with stronger teas. Black tea and pu’er teas are the best pairings. Stronger oolong teas work, too, if you use a lighter brown sugar.