Are these "no sugar added" teas also sugar free?
June 22, 2011 1:33 PM   Subscribe

Please explain how these sweet-tasting teas are advertised as "no sugar added" ? Only some contain rooibos. Does that mean there is sugar present from other ingredients? If so, how much?

I love teas like Good Earth's Sweet and Spicy tea, and Harney & Sons' Hot Cinnamon tea.

I'm on a low carb diet and avoid sugars at all costs, but these teas are pretty great. They don't trigger cravings for me, but I'm worried that I'm unwittingly consuming sugars in my tea that will kick me out of ketosis.
posted by Viola to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Many of these blends have liquorice root as an ingredient.
posted by Namlit at 1:42 PM on June 22, 2011 [5 favorites]

Well, they don't list any obvious stealth sugars in their ingredients.
posted by OmieWise at 1:44 PM on June 22, 2011

This article says they are 0 calories.
You'd need to write the company and ask to make sure. I think realistically you're probably looking at 3 calories for every 12oz consumed. The caffeine consumed would automatically cancel out any of that.

No sugar added means just that. Some things that say that use sugar alcohols but this product seems to be just tea.
posted by zephyr_words at 1:44 PM on June 22, 2011

The good earth tea is just regular herbal tea and probably tastes somewhat of rosehips like every other herbal tea on earth. Rosehip tea has a vaguely sweet flavor. The hot cinnamon tea is basically black tea and cinnamon which will taste just like that, black tea and cinnamon. Black tea tastes great unsweetened, at least to me. But there's no reason to believe either of the products has any hidden sugar at all. They're pretty much plain old tea like they've been making it for a few hundred years.
posted by GuyZero at 1:57 PM on June 22, 2011

Also, there is no licorice root in either of these teas and neither is likely to actually contain any sweetener based on the ingredients listed on their respective websites and on the general basis that rarely does dry tea have any sweeteners added.
posted by GuyZero at 1:58 PM on June 22, 2011

Honeybush is sweet, and it's in the listed ingredients in the first one. I'm betting the second one isn't listing everything that's in the tea; it could have some honeybush or liquorice in it.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:37 PM on June 22, 2011

I see mention of undefined "organic spice blend" and "natural flavours". Although I don't think either of these would have any actual hidden sugar, they may have things like licorice root buried in there. If you have been avoiding sugar at all costs then your perception of sweetness has likely readjusted to be more sensitive. I have gone sugar free for long periods of time (many months) and then when I did have sugar after that it was super intense. The first time I did this and then months later randomly had a sugar coated candy it actually hurt my teeth and was so sweet I didn't want it. It totally turned off my cravings for sugary sweets. I have had the same thoughts as you regarding Bengal Spice tea - it seems sweetened to me, and I think the Cinnamon has something to do with it.
posted by smartypantz at 2:40 PM on June 22, 2011

Some essential oils, such as those of cinnamon, orange, basil etc. actually taste sweet. They are different from simple sugar carbohydrates and not metabolized like sugars.
By the way, I highly recommend Market Spice's cinnamon Orange tea.
posted by halogen at 2:42 PM on June 22, 2011

Hmmm...poking seems the company won't name anything specifically because it's proprietary. That said, when I was low-carbing it, Stevia and Agave Nectar were two things I used in moderation.
posted by peagood at 3:13 PM on June 22, 2011

The problem is that anything sweet will spike your insulin levels - including sugar, sugar supplements, and fruit.
posted by carlh at 3:57 PM on June 22, 2011

The Good Earth tea has "artificial flavor" as a second ingredient. You would have to contact the company to find out what's in there, but that is one way sweeteners are hidden in foods.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:10 PM on June 22, 2011

My first thought was the cinnamon. And if it has licorice root, that too. I don't think it's anything secret or some hidden artificial anything.
posted by kirst27 at 6:19 PM on June 22, 2011

The Good Earth tea has "artificial flavor" as a second ingredient.

What? This is the list of ingredients as given on the linked Amazon listing:
Organic red rooibos, organic spice blend, organic chicory root, organic rosehips, organic honeybush, natural flavor, organic lemongrass, organic peppermint, organic chamomile, organic orange oil and organic orange peel. A natural source of antioxidants. Caffeine Free.
No artificial flavor. (Good Earth non-organic does have artificial flavor, unfortunately.)
posted by Lexica at 4:16 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

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